Women’s History Month
October is Women’s History Month in Canada. It is a time to reflect on the contributions that women have made to shape the Canada we know today. It is a time to recognize and celebrate trailblazers that have defied gender norms and broken glass ceilings, making history.
This year’s theme is Women Making History Now. During a tumultuous period brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately affected women, it is important to take the time to highlight women’s achievements so that we can continue to work towards equality.
According to Canada’s Gender Equity Roadmap: A Study of Women in Tech, only 25% of the tech industry is women. That’s why at NPower Canada, we encourage women to join our programs and become equipped with the skills they need to gain meaningful employment in the tech industry. In 2020, 46% of our participants identified as female, transgender and/or non-binary. By equipping young women with the skills, training, and support they need to enter the tech industry, we aim to empower young women and break the industry’s gender barrier.
We want to use this opportunity to recognize NPower Canada’s own trailblazing women. We have three inspiring women who sit on our Board of Directors: Dr. Wendy Cukier, Laura Hopkins, and Filsan Kulane.
Dr. Wendy Cukier is one of Canada’s leading figures in disruptive technologies and innovation. She is the founder of X University’s Diversity Institute and of the Women of Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, and an expert at the Future Skills Centre. She is NPower Canada’s Board Treasurer.
Laura Hopkins has made a name for herself in the finance world and currently is the Head & Vice-President, Canadian Operations, Investor 7 Treasury Services at RBC. She sits as the Long Range Plan Chair on NPower Canada’s Board of Directors.
Filsan Kulane, who currently sits as NPower Canada’s Youth Advisory Council Chair, has extensive history working in banking and technology industries. Currently, she works as a Business System Analyst at RBC.
We also want to recognize our Chief Executive Officer, Julia Blackburn, for her dedication to helping youth from underserved groups – including women – gain the skills and support they need to gain meaningful tech employment. When Julia founded NPower Canada 5 years ago, our programs were designed to serve only 100 youth. In 2020, NPower Canada served over 1000 youth. Thanks to Julia’s vision and dedication, NPower Canada continues to grow and help a greater number of people.
Another impressive woman, Denisse Alejo, is our Senior Vice President, Programs and Partnerships. Since 2016, Denisse has led our employer engagement team and placed more than 1,000 underserved youth per year into meaningful and sustainable employment.
We urge you to spend time this month reflecting on women making history now, particularly those women who are incredible leaders and breaking barriers in male-dominated fields. We are so lucky to have such wonderful role models as part of our leadership team for our participants to look up to.