#movethedial Announces First Global Summit in Toronto

A fast-growing movement in Canada is holding a huge summit to celebrate all the success they have achieved in just a short time.

#movethedial is hosting their first-ever Global Summit in Toronto on November 7, 2018 to inspire more powerful action and help advance more women into leadership roles in the global technology community. The event will be supported by TD as a lead sponsor.

The moniker “#movethedial” refers to the idea of balancing the currently-uneven representation of women in the tech industry. The organization released an in-depth study last year looking into the problem, and found that only five per cent of the 930 Canadian tech companies surveyed had solo female founders, but raised to a still-inadequate 13 per cent when co-founders were factored in. Other reports have indicated that bias is not limited to mainstream tech roles either.

“To achieve our vision, we need to move the dial on gender in the tech market at a much faster pace, and encourage businesses and individuals to take immediate action to advance women in STEM,” said Jodi Kovitz, founder and CEO of #movethedial. “The #movethedial Global Summit will bring together corporate leaders and youth, inspiring and empowering them to unlock this country’s potential as the most inclusive technology ecosystem in the world.”

It has been shown through various studies that improving diversity and the number of women in a tech business ultimately leads to great revenue and profits through shared perspectives. Right now, over 50 per cent of tech companies do not have any women on their executive boards. A lot of strides have been made in the right direction, but there’s always more that can be done.

“This is both a moral and economic imperative, and more important than ever since machines are now learning from the minds that are designing them,” said Kovitz. “As the first event of its kind taking place in Canada, [the Global Summit] provides a tremendous opportunity for leaders to unite with a singular focus on advancing women in tech, today and in the future, and model our country’s strength of diversity and set a strong example for the rest of the world.”

The #movethedial summit will be hosted at Toronto’s Koerner Hall and feature over 600 decisions makers from corporate Canada and the tech community, along with 300 youth aged 14-24 from underserved markets, allowing all the attendees to learn and network in a unique setting.

Morning sessions at the summit will gather long-serving executives as well as new leaders to share real strategies and best practices all related to attracting and keeping women in STEM. Afternoon sessions will host female leaders and the stories and lessons they have gleaned from working in the industry.

In order to cultivate the best possible experience for attending youth, #movethedial has partnered with Plan International Canada as well as TKS.

“At our core, both Plan International Canada and #movethedial are working toward the same thing: a world where everyone has the right to realize their fullest potential,” said Caroline Riseboro, president and CEO of Plan International Canada. “When we are able to engage girls and young women in emerging economic sectors like STEM, there are fewer entrenched gender norms. This new economy presents an opportunity to level the playing field and drive leadership opportunities for women, both locally and globally.

Specific speakers will be announced in the next few weeks. Right now, #movethedial is spreading across North America to encourage women to share their stories in tech in an effort to inspire younger generations to enter the field and make a difference.