Tag Archives: technology


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!

Welcome to the Future

When I grow up….
In the future….
One day….

To 80’s kids & the generations prior to us, 2020 sounded like a faraway utopian land. To me, it was a place where the Jetson’s lived and we would be travelling in flying cars with robots as our ‘hired help’.

We grew up without seatbelts or helmets. We sat at local libraries using pens and paper for our research papers. Children today are safer and more protected. They have the ability to write faster, learn faster, do faster. They’re uploading assignments to cloud accounts for teachers to grade remotely from Airbnb’s in foreign countries. Tutoring is easily available online. Learning is mixed with gamification and has even become “fun”.

Technology has afforded us so many incredible opportunities that have enabled us to be bigger, better, faster, stronger, wiser, and more globally unified. In the past century, we have gone from travelling across continents by boat to travelling by rocket ship to outer space. Our neighbours used to be the people on our streets, now they are the countries that surround us.

The past twenty years have brought about an explosion of social media, which has changed the world as we knew it. Marketing, communication, dating, travelling, and shopping have all changed in one way or another. We send Snaps, marketing ads are in real-time, we swipe left or right to determine who we want to date and restock our shelves via Amazon all while travelling to a shared office space in our Uber pool. Space is reducing, but through technology, we are finding a way to manage.

There have been extraordinary advances in medicine with the pioneering of 3-D printers, genetic testing, and robotic instruments in the operating room. We have built technology that helps the blind to see, wireless brain sensors, a machine that prints skin, new brain imagery and artificial organs. Neurofeedback enables those with Anxiety and ADHD to thrive. These medical marvels are enabling us to live longer lives, become stronger and healthier and have more opportunities to thrive. At the same time, stress and anxiety are almost the norm. ADHD, Cancer, and Heart Disease have become a part of our vocabulary when addressing friends & family.

Are we living in a world of flying cars and robots? Not yet, but we are certainly close. Importantly, we’ve changed the face of healthcare and opened up new doors and avenues for personal growth. We have come so far and technology has improved the lives of the many. We are growing as a culture and a community but there are still many hurdles that we face. Climate change is happening and our world sometimes feels like it’s at the end. We have one life, one planet, and one opportunity to get this right. Technology has taken us far, but I wonder, what’s next?



The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) commissioned Lpsos to conduct a survey in May to reveal Canadian’s perceptions on the current direction of the Canadian healthcare system and their level of acceptance to technology being integrated more rapidly into their healthcare. Its findings suggest a more technological-based approach should be implemented to reduce the generation gap with patients’ wants and needs.

On average, the report shows those within the Google Generation (people between the age of 18 and 34) are visiting doctor’s offices more frequently – up to 11 times per year – and are more eager to embrace new technology to assist in monitoring their personal health.

Utilizing wearable monitoring systems such as Fitbits and other smartwatches, as well as phone apps to track heart rate, blood pressure, diet and sleep habits have created a more informed patient pool. CMA urges the implementation of new policies, and encourages the system to embrace technological enhancements quickly due to the large impact this generation is having on present and future healthcare.

CMA President, Laurent Marcoux, Ph.D., said “Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual monitoring provide an opportunity to address the health needs of the Google Generation as they embrace technology in all facets of their lives.

“The way this generation manages and tracks their health is much different than any other demographic group,” Marcoux said. “To ensure we are ready to tackle this new wave of tech savvy patients; we need to have the right policies as well as action plans to [futurize] our healthcare ecosystem.”

Implementing virtual doctor visits, and the use of AI are tactics the Google Generation believes could help lead to more timely care, convenience and overall quality of care. However, 6 in 10 Canadians are excited about the incorporation of this new technology, but would only trust a diagnosis if delivered by a physician.

There are issues with privacy and ethics that 7 out of 10 Canadians believe haven’t been fully thought out in regards to AI usage in healthcare, and 67 percent are worried about losing the human touch factor.

Nevertheless, the implementation of technology within the Canadian healthcare system is necessary in order to match the demand of the evolving generations.

“We need to look at this information as a warning sign,” Marcoux said. “Every generation presents a new challenge to our healthcare system, but with the Google Generation, healthcare is about convenience and timeliness, and the current system does not provide for that.”




Sometimes a patient bus driver will wait and let trailing passengers hop on before they leave for the next stop. Well, those late riders may have to start waking up a few minutes early, at least in one Canadian town.

The City of Candiac in Quebec—about 20 minutes outside of Montreal—has announced the completion of a long-term project that will see a 100 per cent electric autonomous shuttle used on public roads for the first time in Canada’s history. The shuttle was created with the help of transportation company Keolis Canada, manufacturer NAVYA, Propulsion Québec, la Grappe industrielle des véhicules électriques et intelligents du Québec and Technopôle IVÉO, along with help from the Quebec and Candiac governments.

Beginning in September, the shuttle will carry citizens from a park-and-ride lot to André-J.Côté Park, all for free. It will travel along Montcalm Boulevard North and make several stops along the way, including one at city hall and several businesses.

An operator will be on-board the shuttle itself throughout the run of the project, but they will simply be answering questions riders may have, and not actually operating the vehicle—though they will have the capacity to take control if need be. The shuttle will travel at 25 km/hr and can adjust to different circumstances, say if it is trailing a bicycle. A touchscreen will let passengers request to be let off at a certain stop.

The video below (in French) shows off some of the features of the shuttle. It was made by Keolis Canada, the company responsible for the construction of the shuttle.

The shuttle will run throughout the fall until winter sets in and it is unable to operate. After that, another experimentation phase will take place to see if the shuttle can handle icy and snowy roads without a driver.

“Candiac places great importance on public and active transport,” said Normand Dyotte, Mayor of Candiac. “We are constantly working to provide additional multimodal transportation options while remaining steadfastly focused on the notions of sustainable development and the smart city.

A true showcase of technological advancements, the autonomous electric shuttle project put forth by Keolis Canada and NAVYA is perfectly aligned with our vision in terms of innovation and is at the heart of our 2014–2029 strategic development plan.”

“We are extremely proud to be the first city in Canada to move forward with a project of this nature.”

The overall goal for this project, aside from transporting Candiac’s 21,000 citizens, is to advance the evolution of autonomous technology.

Original article can be found on techvibes.com.

Written August 13, 2018

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