VanWIT is comprised of a group of professional women dedicated to supporting the advancement of women working in the technology sector. VanWIT was founded in 2016 by Catherine Boivie, Jennifer Charters, Sheila Eddin, Shelley Gilberg, Joanne Hausch, Sandra Horvath and Maryam Zargar.
A Growing Industry
The technology sector is a important part of B.C.’s economy. It is a growing sector, with increasing employment opportunities. The supply of trained professionals in this industry has not kept up with demand, and many organizations are feeling the “skills gap”, when it comes to hiring and retaining talent. Average earnings in the tech sector are rising and are also far higher than the overall B.C. average (BCStats). It is an exciting and rewarding industry to be a part of.
A Shortage of Women in Tech
Unfortunately, statistics also show that there is a strong gender imbalance in this industry. Statistics Canada reports that the number of women in fields of study related to IT, especially computer science, is declining. Women are less likely than men to choose a program in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and computer science (STEM). Reports also show that women who begin their careers in technology are also much more likely than men to exit the industry within their first few years. According to a 2014 study, women in IT roles are 45% more likely than men to leave in their first year.
How VanWIT Helps
VanWIT provides a supportive community for women in technology at all stages of their careers. Founded in 2016, VanWIT is led by a group of professional women with a passion for helping other women grow and advance.
- We create mentorship, networking and educational opportunities to help women grow and succeed in Vancouver’s tech community.
- Our community of students, up-and-comers and seasoned professionals shares experiences and opportunities, connecting at quarterly events that encourage, inspire and motivate.
- We provide a vendor-neutral, supportive environment that encourages personal and professional growth and collaboration. We welcome everyone who shares our mission, to join us.
There are many volunteering opportunities available with VanWIT. If you are interested, please contact us directly.