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BC Government STEAM Week statement

Brenda Bailey, Parliamentary Secretary for Technology and Innovation, Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training, Grace Lore, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, and Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education, have issued the following statement in support of B.C. Women and Girls in STEAM Week(Nov 1 to 7).

“B.C. Women and Girls in STEAM Week is an opportunity for us to celebrate the achievements of women and non-binary people in science, technology, engineering, art and design, and math (STEAM) and encourage more women and girls to pursue technology-related areas of study.

“The pandemic has shown us how important a career in STEAM can be and the impacts it can have on people around the world. Women in STEAM have been on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19, in health care, research, technology innovation and so much more.

“We are so fortunate to have a role model like provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry leading B.C.’s response to the pandemic and showing women and non-binary people the heights that a career in STEAM can reach. A generation of young people are seeing first-hand how women working in science, technology, engineering, art and design, and math are saving lives around the world.

“While the number of young women excelling in science and math in school continues to grow, there remains a large gender gap in higher education and careers in STEAM.

“Today, less than one-third of people in technology and tech-enabled jobs in B.C. identify as women. We have a lot of work to do to encourage more people who identify as women to pursue a STEAM career.

“We’re working to increase the number of female students in technology-related areas of study in B.C.’s public secondary and post-secondary system, and the credentials being awarded to women in STEAM.

“To help close the STEAM gender gap, we are partnering with Innovate BC, Mitacs, and the Information and Communications Technology Council to help up to 3,000 people from under-represented communities, including women and non-binary people, 2SLGBTQ+, Indigenous, Black and people of colour, get their first job in the tech sector or in a tech-enabled role through the Innovator Skills Initiative program. The Province’s investment of $15 million is being supplemented by the partners, bringing the total investment in the program to $29 million.

“We’re also investing approximately $7 million through the Digital Technology Supercluster to support the Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator program to help up to 2,000 unemployed and underemployed youth and young adults from under-represented communities, including women, improve their tech skills and knowledge.

“The sky is the limit when it comes to a career in STEAM. Future leaders in STEAM could help reduce the impact of climate change, generate clean energy or help solve food security issues. This week is a time to talk to girls and women about how STEAM can help them address the challenges they care about and make a difference in the lives of people around the world.

“Please join us in celebrating the achievements of women in STEAM and supporting more young women and non-binary people to pursue a career in this rewarding and in-demand field. Help us build a more inclusive, innovative and sustainable workforce that is vital for B.C.’s economic recovery and future.”

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