Tag Archives: tech market


Diversity. Inclusion. Equity.

All of these words are synonymous with one thing: opportunity. The opportunity to express and be yourself and to be respected for the person you are. The opportunity to thrive in life and be accepted. The opportunity to have the same advantage as the rest of the population regardless of race, gender, religion, status, or sexual orientation.

Over the years we have significantly increased diversity in the workplace. However, the technology sector, in particular, still has a long way to go in order to be truly inclusive. The disparities in place are still overwhelming, especially in larger tech companies like Amazon, which opted to not report their demographics of its tech workforce. Amazon stated that almost 42 percent of its workers were women and almost 42 percent of its US workers were black or Latino ending in 2018. However, those numbers include the vast majority of Amazon’s 647,000 employees and include those that work in its distribution centers, making it hard to determine how many of those employees are working in tech.

Facebook was the winner for diversity growth over the last five years. Their technical workforce is 23 percent female, up from 15 percent in 2014. Their overall racial & ethnicity diversity ratios were the highest growing with 41% of their tech force being a visible minority in 2014 up to 52% in 2019. While we have seen incredible efforts by many companies, other companies are letting us down. Some have gone so far as photoshopping women into pictures, as was the case with a picture from the GQ CEO summit from summer.

Another aspect of diversity that often overlooked and nearly always underrepresented in the tech sector is age. At HubSpot, 64% of the workforce is age 26-35 with only 3% of their staff aged 46+. Considering the 46+ population is the largest in history, these numbers are shocking and appalling.

The Solution?

At Sage, we make it a part of our company’s mission to ensure we recruit for diversity. In 2019, almost 40% of the hires made with the help of Sage were females, and almost 60% were minorities. Our biggest challenge is finding candidates that are over the age of 46, though we have been successful working with several candidates in this age group this year. To hire for diversity takes a concerted effort by the company doing the hiring. More and more STEM programs are starting across the country and more females and visible minorities are getting into these programs than ever before. According to an ongoing study by StatsCan from 2010 through 2015, 44% of first-year STEM students in Canada were women. Despite departures from the program, women still accounted for more than 40% of those who graduated from a STEM program or continued to a sixth year of STEM studies. A large part of attracting a more diverse pool of applicants lies in the branding of your company. More than 75% of job seekers consider an employer’s brand before even filling out an application. Recruiting diverse talent alone isn’t enough — there should be an equal focus on creating a culture of inclusion, where employees feel both valued and empowered.

Recruiting for diversity begins with fostering an inclusive environment. The primary way to showcase your commitment to diversity is through your company’s advertisements, job postings, corporate website, and above all else, by your team. Pay attention to the verbiage used in job postings; simple things like the use of masculine pronouns should be replaced with gender-neutral pronouns such as “the person”, or “the candidate. In addition, using extreme language like “expert”, “dominant”, or “compete”. Instead, using words like “motivational”, “tireless”.

As we mentioned in a previous article, acquiring talent is the easy part; retaining them requires hard work. The number one way to foster an inclusive workspace is to diversify your senior and executive teams. A diverse senior leadership team shows promise of opportunity and fosters the promise of growth opportunities that aren’t limited. Another way to encourage a diverse and inclusive environment is to celebrate differences. Small things like a potluck or acknowledging cultural celebrations of coworkers is a great way to not only showcase diversity, but to learn about other groups. If there is an intent made to make this a priority, solicit ideas from your team for activities outside of maintaining diversity statistics & filling seats.

Building an inclusive workforce isn’t an option; it is a responsibility. The benefits that a more diverse team can bring to organizations are instrumental in the success of the teams and the organization. Here’s to many more strides in diversity for 2020!


By Karen Graham

New research from IDC Canada finds that Canadian executives need to embrace digital transformation and risk-taking to remain globally competitive, and the rate of adoption varies widely when it comes to major tech trends.

Toronto-based IDC Canada is a provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets.

IDC Canada found that many Canadian retailers are at risk of falling behind in embracing digital transformation, with 77 percent of companies having no strategy for innovation.

“Building Success in the Digital Economy” is based on interviews with 31 representatives from Canadian enterprises with revenue of more than $500 million, supplemented by other insights from IDC Canada. The study was sponsored by SAP Canada, one of the largest enterprise software companies in the world, helping businesses of all sizes, in all industries run better.

The whole basis of the research brings home the fact that digital transformation seems to have hit a low point, possibly due to poor leadership, disconnects between IT and the business, lagging employee engagement, and substandard operations.

Tony Olvet, the vice-president of research at IDC, said they found in case studies that the real front-runners in digital transformation stand apart, suggesting that people within the company have embraced the technology and are comfortable enough with it to sway other people’s opinions.

“There were individuals, not necessarily at the very top, but key players within the organization that are able to connect the dots and facilitate innovation in different business units,” Olvet said.

“They’re learning from those early implementations and also bringing those to other parts of the business, so digital front-runners are effectively building out their capabilities once they’ve done those proofs-of-concept.”

And while this is all well and good, what about the companies that have remained complacent, figuring on keeping the status quo simply because they are doing alright the way they are? The report says companies need to pick a strategy.

“Organizations will need to choose between weathering the storm, developing digital transformation competencies and becoming a disruptor, and becoming a fast follower of disruptors,” the report says.

Competition and customer demand

As Forbes points out, there is nothing as easy as shopping at Amazon. And Amazon is one business entity that has not only embraced digital technology, but it has transformed the way businesses and customers interact.
Olivet is very blunt in the report – and uses retail stores as an example, citing the success of Amazon against all its competitors. He says that while it is important to be aware of the international competition, it is also important to be attuned to shifting customer demands.

“I think the message is that you cannot be complacent,” he said. “Even though Amazon is not a Canadian-based organization, it just shows the international flavor of digital disruption.”

The report also points out that of the five big digital technologies, Cloud, IoT, big data analytics, artificial intelligence and blockchain, the common denominator is data. And keep in mind that in every sector of today’s economy, businesses can find more value and insights in their data to improve profitability, particularly when it comes to industrial applications.

But IDC Canada found that only 32 percent of Canadian enterprises see IoT as an important need for maintaining a competitive advantage.

“I would say we still have a bit of a conservative streak in us, in that we are dipping our toe in the water,” said Glenn Sawyer, director of IoT digital transformation with SAP Canada. “I don’t think we have adopted the technology as aggressively as the U.S. has, or in Europe.”

Conservative streak? It may be more than that. Research by the Information and Technology Council (IOTC) suggests one of the principal reasons for this conservative streak is the lack of skilled workers who can assess and implement technological innovations.

As the workplace becomes more digital, the requisite skills for a successful worker are evolving. In this dynamic environment, every professional needs to be comfortable with both digital technologies and business processes.

Original article can be found on digitaljournal.com

Written July 22, 2018




With more than 28,900 technology-related jobs created in 2017 alone, Toronto has been crowned North America’s biggest job market within the tech world surpassing hot-spots such as San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C.

From a report released July 25, 2018 by the CBRE Group, a Los Angeles-based real estate company, over the past five years the Toronto tech industry has seen 82,100 jobs established and an increase to the ratio of positions available to tech degrees’ earned as well.

Toronto’s ranking for technology-related prospects within the market increased from sixth to fourth, according to CTV News. The rise in competition and talent in Toronto could be a result of its affordable cost of living, current real estate market trends for commercial space or the level of education available locally within the field.

Paul Morassutti, Executive Managing Director at CBRE Canada, said in the report’s accompanying press release, Canada’s tech markets are booming, especially downtown when it comes to office space rentals. There is a 36 percent demand currently sitting on office space for tech-related businesses.

“High-quality and well-educated tech talent, cost-efficiencies and welcoming immigration policies are competitive advantages for the Canadian tech markets,” Morassutti said. “Companies looking to house operations are putting serious thought to locating in Canada.

Compared to cities such as New York, Washington D.C., Newark and Los Angeles, Toronto is among the best value for quality options for tech firms thanks to less expensive access to labour and real estate, but also high educational attainment levels.”

He said Canada provides high-quality labour for a fraction of the cost in comparison to other major tech-cities.

The University of Toronto, U of T, in a recent press release, attributed a portion of the growth in the downtown tech market to emerging fields such as regenerative medicine and artificial intelligence, and to Canada’s welcoming immigration policies.

Noticing the shift to a more inclusive market, foreign tech firms are expanding into the city by opening research labs and other operations downtown, U of T reported.

Toronto is becoming the place to be within the tech world.