• Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Government is seeking third parties to launch and operate a “women entrepreneurship knowledge hub" see more

    Source: Betakit
    Author: Jessica Galang

    Government Announces RFP to Compile Data on Women Entrepreneurs

    During Montreal’s Startupfest, Minister of Small Business and Tourism Bardish Chagger announced that the government is accepting proposals from companies that could help it collect data on how best to support women entrepreneurs.

    The government first announced its intention to collect “disaggregated data” on women entrepreneurs in Budget 2018, which had a large focus on women entrepreneurs. The budget earmarked $9.5 million over three years for proposals on collecting gender-based data on entrepreneurs.

    Chagger expanded on its request for proposals during the event. The government is seeking third parties to launch and operate a “women entrepreneurship knowledge hub,” which will collect and compile information on women entrepreneurs and inform the development of support tools for women entrepreneurs. “This data will also help us establish best practices that women entrepreneurs can use to further their entrepreneurial journey in Canada.”

    This year’s budget had a major focus on women entrepreneurs; $1.4 billion in loans over five years is being allocated to women entrepreneurs through BDC, with the overarching goal of doubling the number of women entrepreneurs by 2025. Chagger said that the four core pillars of it’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Strategy include helping women-led businesses grow, increasing access to capital, improving participation in the innovation economy, and enhancing data on women entrepreneurs.

    “This is a key area where data is missing and to better understand women entrepreneurs and to help them and support them, we need this data,” said Chagger.

    The Minister made the announcement during one of BDC’s Women in Technology bootcamps, which works to foster business skills and financial literacy for women. The bank’s bootcamps were also part of the initial Budget 2018 announcement, and will take place across Canada.

    The news is timely, as this morning Female Funders announced a new report on the state of venture capital with Hockeystick. The report drew on data from public sources like Crunchbase and data from angel and VC groups, finding that just 14 percent of Canadian VCs are women.

    The deadline for proposals is September 7. More information is available on the government website here.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    96% 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:

    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.
    Media Inquiries:
    Allison Rutherford
    Executive Director, HR Tech Group

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    A merit-based scholarship to encourage more women to continue their studies in tech & engineering see more

    Help Shape a Scholarship for Women in Computer Science and Engineering 

    Island Women in Science and Technology is working with the Victoria Foundation and the Irving K. Barber Foundation to build a merit-based scholarship to encourage more women to continue their studies in technology and engineering fields. 

    We are looking to apply industry experience to support academic achievement. 

    The survey is short but your contribution and direction will help shape a long time legacy:

    Bonus reward: iWIST is hosting a social mixer on Tuesday November 14 at Glo as part of the Leading the Way conference November 15. Ten lucky survey participants will win a ticket to this great event! (Value $22)

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Local technology companies are encouraged to fill the survey out! see more

    Chemistry Consulting survey on recruitment challenges

    Chemistry Consulting has put together a survey, conducted on behalf of a number of local business organizations, on how staff recruiting and retention by Victoria-based businesses are being affected by a variety of factors (including housing and childcare). The greater Victoria region is experiencing historically low unemployment rates (4.1%) and recruiting has become a serious challenge for most employers.

    The survey will take less than 5 minutes to complete and the results will be anonymous, shared with VIATEC and used for general information purposes only.

    Local technology companies are encouraged to fill the survey out!

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    BCSC invites anyone involved in the BC Tech industry to complete the survey see more

    BCSC Seeking Input from BC Fintech and Tech Firms

    Vancouver - The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) today released an online survey, published a new tech industry webpage, and announced a dedicated Tech Team as a part of its ongoing outreach aimed at BC fintech and tech companies as well as other stakeholders active in these sectors.

    "The BCSC supports innovation and the adoption of new technologies in the financial services sector," said Brenda Leong, BCSC Chair and CEO. "We understand that early-stage companies need access to capital and a clear regulatory framework to operate in. Through our Tech Team's active outreach, we will broaden our knowledge and understanding of the impacts of regulation, and provide fintech and tech companies with resources and information to help them succeed."

    The BCSC invites anyone involved in the BC Tech industry to complete the survey. We are interested in hearing from all those willing to contribute their ideas and experience in an effort to learn more about this dynamic sector. The survey will be open until February 21, 2017. The BCSC will use information gathered from the survey and its ongoing outreach work to determine next steps.

    Fintech is growing in British Columbia and together with the broader tech sector is developing innovative approaches to delivering financial and other services. The online survey and new webpage build on the work the BCSC has been doing to support emerging investment advisory services, crowdfunding platforms, and online marketplace lenders.

    Currently, the BCSC has registered 10 robo-advisory firms, exempted seven firms from registration as crowdfunding portals, and registered a further nine portals as exempt market dealers. The BCSC also works with other Canadian securities regulators to support fintech industry growth by facilitating timely and harmonized reviews of registration and exemptive relief applications.

    "Our aim is to work with stakeholders to provide flexible and balanced regulation for innovative business models," Leong said. "We also need to assess whether securities regulations are keeping pace with the evolving tech landscape." 

    Those interested in taking the survey will find it on the new tech industry page, which consolidates guidance and resources the BCSC has produced over the years, and provides contact information for BCSC's Tech Team. The webpage is a good starting point for those seeking to learn more about how securities regulation intersects with BC's tech sector.

    About the British Columbia Securities Commission (

    The British Columbia Securities Commission is the independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating capital markets in British Columbia through the administration of the Securities Act. Our mission is to protect and promote the public interest by fostering:

    • A securities market that is fair and warrants public confidence
    • A dynamic and competitive securities industry that provides investment opportunities and access to capital

    - 30 -

    Media Contact:
    Alison Walker

    Public inquiries:
    604-899-6854 or 1-800-373-6393 (toll free)

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    We decided to crunch some numbers about the size and scope of Greater Victoria’s tech sector. see more

    Click here to download.

    We decided to crunch some numbers (actually, we went out and spent time surveying local companies and then commissioned an independent professional researcher to collect and analyze the data using a rigorous methodology) about the size and scope of Greater Victoria’s tech sector.

    Well, the numbers are in, and we’re astounded by the results.