The gender disparity in the sector will not be solved simply by recruiting more women, or providing them with the skills necessary to thrive. Support from industry leaders is necessary for real change to happen, which is why at NPower Canada, we are committed to working with partners who mirror our values and share in our mission to empower more women in tech. Together, we support one another to create a more equitable and inclusive workforce.
BlackRock, our partner since January 2020, is committed to gender equality and women’s empowerment, especially in the tech sector where women’s representation is still lagging. BlackRock is committed to helping more and more people- including women – experience financial wellbeing both through its business and also through non-profit sponsorship with organizations, like NPower Canada, to create pathways to success for women.
“We are proud to partner with NPower Canada in their important mission to diversify the tech talent pool in Canada,” shares Marcia Moffat, Country Head for Canada, BlackRock. “I also appreciate the opportunity it provides our employees to give back within their communities by mentoring underrepresented jobseekers.”
One of the ways in which BlackRock supports NPower Canada’s female participants is through participation in our mentorship program. In 2022, 15 BlackRock volunteers were paired with participants to help guide them throughout the program. BlackRock mentors engage 1:1 with their mentees weekly, sharing their expertise and helping our participants reach their goals. Mentors can be especially helpful for women trying to break into a male-dominated field, providing them with an ally and a sense of support as they complete the program and launch their tech career.
Veronica D., who completed our program in September 2022 and was paired with a BlackRock mentor had this to say: “The mentorship program is an amazing opportunity that helps you connect with industry professionals. I gained interview practice, learned the best ways to answer questions, and improved my communication skills, thanks to my mentor.”
BlackRock also supports our women and gender-diverse participants through corporate engagement events. In July, BlackRock volunteers shared helpful tips on self-confidence and self-advocacy at our Guest Speaker Event on interview skills and salary negotiations, which are important skills for individuals from underrepresented groups who are trying to break into a male-dominated industry. A lack of confidence is one of the biggest challenges women face, and we hear from our participants that they are able to overcome that obstacle thanks to our programs:
“The program changed my life – it gave me the courage to stand up for myself and get out of the dead-end job loop. If I can do it, so can you!” shared Charlyne, who participated in our Junior IT Analyst program in Alberta.
“I have personally gained a lot of confidence and a practical refresher on professional skills that are high in demand. I was lucky to participate in the mentorship program as well, which made me feel very secure and supported. NPower Canada helped me gain confidence to showcase the best version of myself,” said Maha M., who participated in our Junior IT Analyst program in Ontario.
By working with partners like BlackRock that have similar values to ours and are actively working towards diminishing gender disparities through targeted initiatives that help women, we can empower women, and give them the confidence to pursue their passions in technology, thus breaking gender norms and advancing women’s rights. NPower Canada thanks BlackRock for their invaluable support, we look forward to continuing to work together in the coming years.