“Women in Canadian tech jobs, with a bachelor’s degree or higher, earn nearly $20,000 less a year than their male counterparts and were found 4 times least likely than men to work in a tech job.” according to a recent report by The Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Ryerson University. The Institute for Gender and the Economy at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, found that “a significant portion of the gender gap in earnings can be explained by discrimination on the part of those responsible for determining wage compensation.” If we had more diversity at CEO level or more women CEOs, does that reduce the gender wage gap in tech? If we had more diversity at CEO level or more women CEOs, does that reduce the gender wage gap and encourage more participation by women in tech?
Bonnie Foley-Wong, CEO of Pique Ventures, in her role as a member of the Board of Women’s Enterprise Centre of BC, was invited to a roundtable discussion with The Right Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Women and Gender Equality. I had the fortunate opportunity to attend as well. We gathered along with 20+ incredible women leaders from British Columbia, representing a variety of backgrounds: some represented women of color and /immigrants, others are from traditionally male dominated industries such as aviation, technology, and law.
Throughout the meeting, I was inspired to see Minister Monsef’s leadership style and how she engaged each member around the table. We had an overall high level discussion on Canada’s Gender-Balanced Cabinet and how there are more and more policies and tools to increase gender balance in leadership (i.e. The Gender Based Analysis Plus and the Gender & Diversity Portal under Statistics Canada). In the end, Minister Monsef left everyone in the room with a call to action: What are some ideas on how we can close the gender wage gap?
Entrepreneurship is one of the way. As Bonnie said in a Q&A with Status of Women Canada, (now the Department of Women and Gender Equality), “With the future of work changing considerably, entrepreneurship is a great option for women who have the desire to start their own businesses, to rewrite the rules of business or if the current business culture they’re in isn’t working for them, to create the business culture they want.”
100% of Pique Fund’s current portfolio is invested in ventures founded by women. Here are some of the ways Pique Ventures and its portfolio companies impact economic opportunities for women:
- Beanworks’ CEO, Catherine Dahl, has stated goal of at least a 50% female workforce (compared to 30% for most large tech companies);
- MuseFind’s influencer community is 60-70% female and their platform is directing new economic activity to their supply chain;
- End users are mainly women as shared by ePACT, FoodMesh, and MuseFind;
- Close to 40% of the aggregate workforce and management teams of our portfolio companies is represented by women; and
- 80% of the capital in Pique Fund is from women investors.
I believe that by funding more tech for good startups led by women leaders and male allies who demonstrably support and implement diversity and inclusion strategies within their ventures, Pique Ventures is helping more women participate in the tech industry in leadership roles, in the workforce, and amongst end users, which we endeavour will contribute to reducing gender inequalities.
By empowering more and more leaders who embrace gender equality, Pique and its portfolio companies set an example for how leadership diversity can lead to positive impact and economic opportunities. We strive to have a positive impact on our venture ecosystem and in turn that helps take care of the village.
About Pique Ventures
Pique Ventures is an impact investment and management company. Pique Ventures enables a diverse community of investors to pursue integrated investing. Integrated Investing is a proprietary investment decision-making methodology to help create a better world and was developed specifically to evaluate impact and early-stage ventures.