TechGirls Canada & The Working Group Join Forces for Ground Breaking Workplace Diversity Pilot
May 19, 2015
TechGirls Canada (TGC) is excited to announce its new partnership with The Working Group (TWG) for Project Change the Ratio; a pilot designed to explore, test and create a how-to manual for addressing gender diversity and equity in the workplace in measurable and accessible ways.
The how-to guide will follow an 8-month discovery and test-and-learn implementation period during which TechGirls Canada will review, analyze, and consult to recommend policies and strategies for TWG to improve workforce equity and diversity. TWG will implement these policies to address hiring and retention of underrepresented groups in the technology sector, with TGC’s guidance and an agile reporting method to optimize the results.
The pilot, the first of its kind in Canada, will mark a turning point for the approach to increasing diversity and equity in the workplace by ensuring that the intersections of race, class, age, and access are also deliberately considered right alongside gender.
“TGC is thrilled to partner with The Working Group for this milestone project, with their long celebrated tenure of supporting the tech community in Toronto,” said Saadia Muzaffar, Co-founder and Head of Partnerships for TechGirls Canada. “The goal is to work in tandem to create a tried-and-tested how-to guide for the scores of businesses that have approached us over the last two years to ask how they can get started on making their workplaces more diverse and equitable. TWG’s partnership would help make this a living, breathing, relatable case study for businesses in the tech sector and beyond.”
“TWG’s partnership would help make this a living, breathing, relatable case study for businesses in the tech sector and beyond.” — Saadia Muzaffar, Co-founder and Head of Partnerships for TechGirls Canada
TechGirls Canada has partnered with renowned diversity and equity expert Steph Guthrie to include her strategic proficiency in the project. Guthrie, with her stellar experience in feminist advocacy and gender consulting, will work closely with TWG to create and implement the recommended strategies and policies.
“Over the last few years, our team has grown from a handful of people to almost 50, and we’ve been active in our efforts to build a diverse team. Since 2012, we’ve changed the ratio of female to male TWGers from 9% to just over 15% today. However, the more candidates we interview, the more we recognize a painful lack of diversity in the tech industry.
Partnering with TechGirls Canada is an opportunity to confront this challenge head-on while hopefully creating value for the broader community. Our goal for Project: Change The Ratio is to provide a set of clear, actionable steps that can be implemented at any organization.”
The pilot’s results will be compiled into a broadly distributed recommendation guide that will be released following the end of the implementation period, which will focus on providing key lessons for companies that are looking to change the ratio and improve gender diversity and equity in the workplace.
“Partnering with TechGirls Canada is an opportunity to confront this challenge head-on while hopefully creating value for the broader community.” —Derek Watson, Director of Engineering at The Working Group
About TechGirls Canada (TGC)
TGC is the hub for Canadian women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Proudly supporting Women of Colour, LGBTTQ, and Aboriginal Trailblazers – TGC is committed to centering intersectionality in designing solutions that address the barriers for diversity and equity in the technology sector.
About Steph Guthrie
Steph Guthrie is a feminist organizer, speaker and consultant focusing on the intersections of gender, culture and technology. As a consultant she helps organizations bring their gender lenses into focus so they can do a better job of engaging women as customers, staff and community members.
About The Working Group
TWG is a digital product design studio located in Toronto. We are a team of 50 designers, developers, and business-thinkers; creators with a mission to embolden visionary teams to create remarkable products. We believe in doing right – by our clients and partners, by our community, and by each other.