Peer support group starting for women in technology

Women only make up five per cent of Canadian tech entrepreneurs

Victoria’s fastest growing industry is in technology, but only five per cent of Canadian tech entrepreneurs are women.

Staff at the Women’s Enterprise Centre (WEC) want to change that. The B.C. company, with offices in Kelowna, Vancouver and Victoria, will be hosting its first peer mentoring group geared toward women with tech-based businesses.

“We want to help women who are operating in the tech sector, using technology as a significant part of their business — for example, selling things online — or creating innovative products, services or processes,” said WEC mentoring coordinator Caitlin McConnel.

McConnel said that WEC usually runs peer support groups for women and business, but that they’ve heard many times there simply isn’t enough support for women in the tech industry.

So, tech CEO Corina Ludwig, president of FuncitonFox Systems Inc., will be leading the EM3 Mentoring Program. She will facilitate a peer mentoring group for up to eight entrepreneurs, and lead them through six, two-hour sessions over six months. The program costs $250.

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“Here, women can get together, provide moral support, and be able to discuss challenges they’re experiencing and brainstorm solutions,” McConnel said. “Tech is a different landscape, it’s very male dominated, so getting support from women is very helpful.”

Women working in communications, social media, eCommerce, health sciences, alternative energy, design and more can apply for the program online.

McConnel said that no matter the business, having some support makes a big difference.

“Six heads is better than one,” she laughed.

For more information, or to apply for the EM3 peer group you can visit wec.ca/EM3

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

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