The International Taskforce on Women and ICT (ITF) is an international network to increase the economic, social, and educational opportunities for women and girls in the knowledge society in a measurable way, through:

    1. Promoting women’s representation in IT education, and the use of IT to promote women’s education
    2. Increasing the representation of women in the IT workforce
    3. Supporting women’s IT-based enterprises
    4. Promoting women’s leadership in the sector

On August 12 and November 26, 2009, representatives of several Ontario initiatives and programmes promoting women in IT in various ways met together to discuss the feasibility and desirability of a Canadian initiative which would link into the ITF under one or more of the above focus areas. The Canadian Coalition for Women in Engineering, Science, Trades and Technology also participated in both meetings.

Consultative meetings to explore the potential and options for such an initiative were hosted by the NSERC/RIM Chair on Women in Science and Engineering at the University of Guelph and The Diversity Institute, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University.

The Mapping project looks at “who’s doing what” in Canada in the field. When complete, this project will include an extensive listing of:

    • policy at federal, provincial and industry levels
    • educational participation and promotion of S&T education for women of all ages
    • groups promoting women’s employment in the IT sector and as IT entrepreneurs
    • civil society groups and support strategies

all supporting the recruitment, retention and advancement of women in the Canadian IT industry.

It will also research what resources are available to promote these women, provided by government, civil society, the educational system and industry.

Mapping the Field, June 2010