There’s no such thing as a cookie cutter approach to community building, and women in tech communities are no exception. Canada’s tech sector is growing at an exponential rate with each passing year; this means jobs (and well-paying ones). Good, right? Of course! Except for one thing: where are the all the women in tech?
In 2017, Ali Close and Elena Yugai founded Women in Tech (WinTech) to empower and elevate women in the technology industry. With a vision of going global within five years, Close and Yugai launched Driving WinTech as a way to connect with women in tech, and build on their experiences to create more inclusive and diverse tech communities. First stop – Canada.
This September, the Driving WinTech team is heading on a road trip across the country to connect with 10,000 community members and stakeholders from coast to coast. The team will cover close to 14,000 km in eight weeks, with a goal of organizing 50 community research events to uncover the stories, challenges, resources, and successes that women in tech communities are experiencing in Canada.
What are they going to do with the info they gather? According to Melanie Ewan, Program Director (and Co-Captain on the tour), the idea is to bring all of the findings together in a national report and set of playbooks to create a snapshot of the unique experiences of different communities, as well as both regional and national recommendations for adopting or improving on programs that promote inclusive and diverse tech communities.
“It’s not about reinventing the wheel, but working together to create the spaces and opportunities for women in technology, tailored to the region they’re in,” Ewan said. “This type of community building, from the ground up, is really exciting to be a part of.”
WinTech has put out the call to raise $30,000 to get the team on the road and into tech communities across the country.
“We have received overwhelming interest and enthusiasm from tech communities across the country, with 75% of the campaign funded,” said Alicia Close, Co-Founder of Women in Tech World (the other Co-Captain). “We’re excited to establish partnerships across the country to introduce a research process that is driven by values of empowerment, social change, continuous learning and respect for diversity.”
Driving WinTech launches from Vancouver in early September. Follow them on social media @WinTechWorld and with #DrivingWinTech.
Help them achieve their goal through their Kickstarter campaign here.