Helping Canadian women see the potential of the tech sector, and how a career in Artificial Intelligence aligns with their skills and interests.
Updated March 31, 2023
There is fierce competition for artificial intelligence (AI) talent in both Canada and around the world.
At the same time, there is a significant gender imbalance in the field with the World Economic Forum raising the alarm, noting only 22 per cent of AI professionals globally are female.
How We Are Solving It
The Athena Pathways project is helping more Canadian women see the potential of the tech sector, and how a career in AI aligns with their skills and interests. This project also supports Canadian tech companies to fill job vacancies and, in turn, become more competitive while addressing the gender gap in AI.
The 18-month project provides girls and women, from middle to post-secondary students as well as professionals and leaders, training, internships, and mentorship in computing science and gender diversity in AI.
Led by the Artificial Intelligence Network of British Columbia (AInBC), Athena Pathways brings together the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), Careteam Technologies, D-Wave, KPMG, MetaOptima, Northeastern University – Vancouver, Simon Fraser University (SFU), Society for Women in Science & Technology (SCWIST), Teck Resources Ltd., and the University of British Columbia (UBC). The project is connecting 500 women to pathways into the technology sector through education programs, networking, mentorship and internships.
The project includes customized content for middle-school and high-school girls, classes and workshops for female professionals and leaders, specialty university-level courses to highlight the basics of AI, machine learning and data science, and internships and mentorships for women across B.C.
The Athena Pathways project saw over 570 women participants and 320 scholarships awarded to women taking the courses. 70 mentorships were arranged, and 20 participants were directly hired through employer partners. The project had a significant expansion of partnerships with the addition of 17 new organizations participating.
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