Athena Pathways

Helping Canadian women see the potential of the tech sector, and how a career in Artificial Intelligence aligns with their skills and interests.

Project Budget* - $0.9M

Partner Co-investment - $0.6M

Supercluster Co-investment - $0.3M

Project Partners

Project Overview

There is fierce competition for the Artificial Intelligence (AI) talent driving the Canadian and global tech sector.  At the same time, there is a significant gender imbalance in the field with the World Economic Forum raising the alarm noting only 22% of AI professionals globally,  are female.

The Athena Pathways project will help more Canadian women see the potential of the tech sector, and how a career in AI aligns with their skills and interests. This will support Canadian tech companies fill job vacancies and, in turn, become more competitive while addressing the gender gap in AI. 

The 18-month project will provide girls and women, from middle through post-secondary students to professionals and leaders, training in computing science and gender diversity in AI. In addition, dozens of internships and mentorships in AI will be made available to women across the tech ecosystem.

Led by the Artificial Intelligence Network of British Columbia (AInBC), the Athena Pathways project brings together the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), Careteam, D-Wave, KPMG, MetaOptima, Northeastern University – Vancouver, Simon Fraser University (SFU), Society for Women in Science & Technology (SCWIST), Teck Resources Limited, and The University of British Columbia (UBC). The project will connect 500 women to pathways into the technology sector through education programs, networking and mentorship, and internships. 

This will be done through a number of complementary initiatives, including customized content targeting middle-school and high-school girls; classes and workshops for female professionals and leaders; specialty topic university-level courses to highlight the basics of AI, machine learning (ML), and data science (DS), and the real-world impact these technologies will have; and internships and mentorships for women in AI/ ML/ DS across British Columbia.

Athena Pathways is laying the foundation for a more extensive program of comprehensive training and leadership development. As more girls and women see the potential for a career in tech and AI, Canadian companies will have access to more diverse and skilled talent to make them competitive.

*As of September 30, contracted amounts. 

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