Women in Tech Web Development Program Expands to Alberta
TORONTO, March 11, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – The International Development and Relief Foundation (IDRF) announced today that it is expanding its highly successful “Women in Tech” training program in Alberta. This initiative, which trains young women to work as full-fledged developers, will now support young people in Calgary and Edmonton, with generous support from the Rideau Hall Foundation’s Catapult Canada Access Innovation Fund.
In 2018, IDRF created Women in Tech for young women in Toronto who were living in poverty or at risk of doing so due to a lack of employable skills. In order to remove some of the socioeconomic barriers associated with the high cost of technology education, IDRF is offering the program free of charge through an annual grant from The United Way of Greater Toronto under its inclusive employment initiative.
Since the start of the program in Toronto, 100 young women have learned computer coding skills and another 22 have graduated from a web development start-up camp. The program has a 100% occupancy rate and most participants have secured full-time positions in technology as web developers within 90 days of graduation.
According to Elyas Burney, director of the Women in Tech program, there is a large gender gap in the technology sector, with women accounting for only 20% of the workforce. She also points out that there is a high percentage of young women, especially those with BIPOC and new immigrant communities, who are not represented in one of the most influential industries in the world.
“Technology skills are in high demand across Canada, but in some regions like Alberta we still have high unemployment rates, in part because of COVID-19,” says Mr. Burney. “Women in Tech provides young women with the coding skills to work as web developers, increases the level of participation of women in the industry, and builds future leaders.”
The Women in Tech – Alberta program will be launched this spring, and IDRF is inviting local Calgary and Edmonton community groups to help promote the program and encourage young women to apply. Priority will be given to candidates who face challenges to access full-time / permanent employment, unemployed or underemployed people and those who do not have the financial resources to access technology education.
“We are excited about the expansion of Women in Tech in Alberta, which would not have been possible this year without the generous support of the Rideau Hall Foundation’s Catapult Canada Access Innovation Fund,” said Zeina Osman, Director of Giving & Impact at IDRF. . “We are also grateful for the continued support we have received from United Way of Greater Toronto. The generous support of these two organizations will help us make a significant difference in the lives of many young women in Ontario and Alberta.”
Young women interested in learning more about the Women in Tech program in Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton can do so by visiting the IDRF website.
IDRF is a Canadian registered charity dedicated to empowering disadvantaged people in Canada and around the world. Founded in 1984, IDRF has an enviable reputation as one of Canada’s best-managed charities and has been recognized by third-party organizations such as Financial Post and MoneySense for its effectiveness, efficiency and results. Learn more about IDRF’s work in its Annual Report and follow them on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
For more information, photos and interviews, please contact:
Zeina Osman: Director of Giving & Impact