ArticleResponses Invited: Improve the attraction, retention and career-advancement of equity-seeking groups in B.C.Submit proposals to improve diversity & inclusion of equity-seeking groups in BC workforce see more
Invitation for Responses:
Improve the attraction, retention and career-advancement of equity-seeking groups in B.C.
A Call for Reponses (CFR) seeking pilot project proposals to improve the diversity and inclusion of equity-seeking groups in the BC workforce has now been posted on BC Bid. The purpose of the CFR is to invite responses for funding through the Sector Labour Market Partnerships program for pilot projects that can help improve the attraction, retention and career-advancement of equity-seeking groups in B.C. The pilot projects will help various sectors determine the course of future workforce development and/or commit to implementing existing Diversity and Inclusion strategies. The pilot projects will help determine what works best to address the systemic structures and behaviors that create advantage for some and disadvantage others.
The CRF can be accessed at this link. Please take time to review the document. An information call is scheduled for October 2 at 10 am. The deadline for responses is November 2 at 2pm.
Sector Partnerships Team
Workforce Innovation and Division Responsible for Skills Training
Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training
f: 250.387.4789| e: LabourMarketPartnerships@gov.bc.ca
Tessa Bousfield posted an articleJoining a tight-knit team of three, she took charge of improving diversity and inclusion at Mozilla. see more
Source: Georgia Straight
Author: Kate Wilson
Tara Robertson tackles LGBT inclusion in the tech industry
Growing up in Prince George, life wasn’t always easy for Tara Robertson. A queer-identifying woman with a Japanese-Canadian mother and Scottish-Irish father, she found herself often treated differently than the other kids in the predominantly white city. Days on the playground could be tough, filled with whispers and stares from the other children and comments from the adults.
Even as a child, though, she was able to draw the positives from the situation.
“It was interesting being mixed-race,” she tells the Straight on the line from her office in Vancouver. “A lot of the racism I experienced there was because people thought I was First Nations. That kind of highlights the illogical nature of hatred: they were pegging me as the wrong race but still treating me rather badly. But I think growing up not part of the dominant group in terms of race and gender and sexuality, the gift and the silver lining of that is that you see a lot of things in a different way. You see power differently, and the complexity of how people interact, and you also get the opportunity to think about who you are. And I really value that.”
Robertson has since dedicated her personal and professional life to advocating for diversity and inclusion. Spending her days working as a librarian, she developed a scheme for 20 colleges and universities to help those who found it difficult to read print materials. In her free time, she volunteered for the Queer History Project in Vancouver—an initiative that aimed to collect and catalogue stories from LGBT individuals in the city—and offered her services to the International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics Association, an organization that promotes visibility in sports such as swimming, diving, and water polo.
Most recently, Robertson has begun to tackle the issue of representation in one of the most notorious straight, white, and male industries: technology. Joining a tight-knit team of three, she took charge of improving diversity and inclusion at Mozilla, the software community behind free-for-use products including the widely downloaded Firefox Internet browser.
“We have about 1,000 people worldwide,” she says. “What really excited me was that the leadership here truly believes that diversity is important. They see a connection between inclusion and the open-source products we build, and our fight to keep the Internet open for everyone. I do a lot of data work, because it’s important to measure change in the areas we care about, and I help with policy and programs to help shift the needle on representation and to make the culture more inclusive. I want this to become a place where people can bring their difference, and have that difference be valued.”
One of the initiatives Robertson is most proud of is improving access for trans people. Believing that the letter T is often forgotten in the LGBT acronym, she created a program to help people transition their gender at Mozilla, including writing a checklist to let someone know where they would need to update all of their usernames and official documents, and who to talk to during the process.
“I know what it’s like to feel that things weren’t designed to include me,” she says of her motivation to help others in the community. “It’s a really crappy feeling. If I’m able to change how people are doing things so [marginalized] folks can get in the building, can get to the meeting rooms, can have their voices heard—that’s the stuff I’m really excited about.”
In the lead-up to the Vancouver Pride parade (which takes place on August 5), we’ve compiled profiles of LGBT community members that, together, offer just a brief view of how multiple identities overlap, interplay, and interact to make up each individual’s totality. To see more of our Pride 2018 coverage, click here.
Tessa Bousfield posted an articleBC Tech Diversity & Inclusion Report Finds Strong Industry Interest Presents Opportunities for Sector Improvement96% of organizations surveyed believe D&I is important to the success and competitiveness of... see more
BC Tech Diversity & Inclusion Report Finds Strong Industry Interest Presents Opportunities for Sector Improvement
Vancouver, BC – January 24, 2018 -- British Columbia’s tech sector has expressed a strong willingness to do more when it comes to Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) practices, but is struggling with how to implement these practices, according to a new report from HR Tech Group. The report, Diversity & Inclusion in the BC Tech Sector, highlights a desire for collaboration and implementation of impactful D&I strategies. Findings from the report noted that 96% of organizations surveyed believe D&I is important to the success and competitiveness of their organization.
Based on interviews and recent data, the BC tech sector is motivated to employ underrepresented groups. Currently less than 1% of BC tech jobs are held by First Nations and Indigenous Peoples or people with disabilities. According to the 2017 HR Tech Group Salary Survey, pay equity is another continued concern, as women in BC tech earn 5-6% less than their male counterparts.
Recommendations from the report considered the resource constraints many BC tech companies face, examining the need for a collective effort and investment in a comprehensive multi-year plan. Recommendations include:
- Increase industry’s D&I awareness and understanding of benefits
- Increase company’s D&I capability by engaging & educating CEOs/Senior Leaders and HR
- Drive D&I progress through reinforcement and measurement
- Increase the talent pool and its diversity
- Increase Reconciliation commitments and opportunities with First Nations and Indigenous Peoples
Overall the report found the majority of BC tech companies are interested in working together and with government on recommendations that allow access to a diverse and inclusive pool of talent that can positively impact innovation.
"This report is a first for our sector. It represents a deep interest and collaboration to not only identify gaps in underrepresented groups, but also to recognize the business case for increased diversity and inclusion in our tech companies. Diverse and inclusive teams are more innovative, and contribute positively to the financial performance and success of organizations. Our hope is that this project will inspire the community to take action to close the gaps as the sector continues to grow." Allison Rutherford, Executive Director, HR Tech Group.
“A thriving tech sector means good jobs that can support families and communities throughout British Columbia,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “To fill the 83,400 tech job openings coming available in the next ten years, we need to ensure the industry is welcoming for our underrepresented groups like Indigenous people, women, and people with disabilities. This report is a good first step in understanding the challenges we need to overcome and it’s a call to action for the sector and our government to ensure these rewarding opportunities are possible for everyone.”
“B.C.’s multiculturalism is a crucial part of what makes the province’s tech sector so successful, the sector is made up of people from around the world with varying experiences, knowledge and skillsets,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. “Increasing that diversity and supporting the sector’s inclusion efforts throughout the province will introduce new talent with fresh ideas, helping make B.C. tech even stronger.”
Diversity & Inclusion in the BC Tech Sector is a report bringing together the insights of both BC tech companies and partners. Members of the Advisory Committee providing oversight included: the Vancouver Economic Commission, BC Tech, The Minerva Foundation, First Nations Technology Council and the Immigrant Employment Council of B.C. Information was gathered through stakeholder interviews, online surveys and discussions, and environmental scan and literature reviews of leading D&I practices. The report was made possible with the support of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training.
To download the full report, Diversity & Inclusion in the BC Tech Sector (released January 2018), please visit: https://www.hrtechgroup.com/cpages/in-the-news
About HR Tech Group
HR Tech Group is an association of human resources professionals employed in BC tech companies. The group produces the leading BC Tech Salary Survey, and provides new and benchmark data that keeps members up to speed on local business practices in tech. HR Tech Group serves over 150 mid to large member companies in all tech sectors including ICT, film/ VFX, digital media, clean tech and life sciences.
Executive Director, HR Tech Group