The gender pay gap in Canadian tech has tripled

Plus: OpenText lays off 1,200 employees as part of restructuring plan.

Issues of gender equity in Canadian tech have been an ongoing conversation at BetaKit. In an industry dominated by men, we’ve seen women in tech create organizations and networks meant to uplift their peers. Yet a staggering data point shows the work still left to do: between 2016 and 2021, the gender pay gap in Canada’s tech workforce nearly tripled from $7,200 to $20,000.

Those numbers come from a new report from The Dais, which highlights data and practices referred to as “disheartening” and “especially f-cking stupid” by those I spoke to.

April Hicke and Marissa McNeelands, co-founders of Toast, perhaps summed it up best: “The Canadian tech sector is devaluing women,” the two said in a statement to BetaKit. The Dais report notes that the situation is worse for women from Indigenous and other racialized backgrounds.

What happens when women aren’t given equal pay, mentorship, or opportunity? Companies are less innovative. Predominantly male investors lead to a lack of gender parity in portfolio companies, with female founders getting less than two percent of funding.

It’s a systemic issue and “At this point, it appears that the system right now is working against and not for women,” Hicke and McNeelands said. The pair estimate closing the pay gap would result in an additional $5 billion CAD in earnings for women in the sector, with $7.5 billion CAD in overall economic impact annually.

But to realize those gains “we also need to value women in tech.” Are we ready to do that?

Thanks for reading on and ‘til next week,

Bianca Bharti

Newsletter Editor


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TOP STORIES OF THE WEEK


Here’s where you can find all the Startupfest 2024 after-parties

The team that pulled together a community-submitted list of all the events surrounding this year’s Collision conference in Toronto has returned to hook up attendees of Startupfest in Montréal this week.

The list features a variety of activities surrounding Startupfest, including parties, networking opportunities, mixers, and workshops. Some of the events on the list are completely free, while others require tickets to be purchased or may be invite-only.

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Tall Grass Ventures closes $32-million VC fund for early-stage Canadian AgTech startups

Calgary’s Tall Grass Ventures has secured a total of $32 million CAD for its first fund to back early-stage AgTech and foodtech startups across the Prairies, Canada, and beyond.

In an exclusive interview with BetaKit, TGV co-founder and managing partner Wilson Acton said he sees lots of opportunity and “a ton of room to run” for the venture capital firm as it looks to invest in more companies innovating across the agri-food supply chain.

“We will look all the way up and down the agriculture and food ecosystem and supply chain,” said Acton, who noted that TGV invests “from the fork, all the way back to … the farm and everything in between.”

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Montréal selected to host 2024 Kauffman Fellows Summit with top Canadian tech leaders

As a global network of venture capital investors, Kauffman Fellows members unite at a summit hosted in a new country every year to build relationships in new VC ecosystems. The summit has previously been hosted in countries such as Kenya, Mexico, and Japan.

This year, Kauffman Fellows has partnered with the Business Development Bank of Canada to bring its summit to Canada. Montréal will host the invite-only regional tour from Sept. 15 to 18, 2024.

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ISED invests $120 million to build out CMC Microsystems’ semiconductor network

François-Philippe Champagne, the Minister responsible for Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada, announced a $120-million investment into CMC Microsystems to build out a network to support Canada’s semiconductor industry this week.

The investment was made through the Strategic Innovation Fund and will support CMC with the creation of the Fabrication of Integrated Components for the Internet’s Edge (FABrIC) network.

FABrIC will operate alongside CMC’s cross-Canada partners, looking to unite stakeholders who can support the design, manufacturing, and commercialization of semiconductors, as well as the development of intelligent sensor technology.

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OpenText lays off 1,200 employees as part of restructuring plan

Kitchener-Waterloo-based OpenText, which offers information-management solutions for businesses, will be laying off 1,200 employees in what it calls a “business optimization plan.”

CEO Mark Barrenechea announced the layoffs in a blog post on Wednesday as part of the launch of “OpenText 3.0,” a three-year strategic plan that describes how the company plans to reorient its business priorities.

The blog goes on to say that OpenText expects to reinvest savings from eliminating 1,200 removed roles into 800 new roles into the business’s sales, professional services, and engineering segments. It is unclear which business segments are facing layoffs.

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Funding, Acquisitions, and Layoffs


AB – Feds invest $8.5M across seven cleantech projects
AB – PrairiesCan invests $21M across 14 projects
ON – FedDev invests $8.5M across six businesses
TOR – OMERS sells LifeLabs to Quest Diagnostics for $1.35B
TOR – Trader Corporation acquires Collateral Management Solutions
TOR – Argo Digital Gold secures strategic investment
NY – Canadian-founded Clay secures $63M CAD
QC – Freelance.ca acquires Workhoppers


The BetaKit Podcast


Why Gen X and Gen Z both want keyboards on their smartphone

“When we unveiled the company and the product to the world, the hope was people are going to be excited. Or maybe we’re completely wrong.”

Can a ragtag team of ex-BlackBerry employees and fanboys bring mobile keyboards back with Clicks? Clicks’ Kevin Michaluk (CrackBerry) and Jeff Gadway (BlackBerry) join to explain what prompted them to build an iPhone keyboard in 2024. The answer may surprise you as much as the gadget’s target customer.


Teladoc Health Canada releases study that shows over 78% of Canadians find accessing mental health support in the health care system a challenge 

Teladoc Health Canada, a leading provider of virtual healthcare services, recently partnered with Modus Research to survey over 1,600 Canadians to shed light on the mental health needs of Canadians and the persistent challenges they face in accessing support.  

Key highlights: 

• 71% would be more likely stay with an employer who fully supported their mental health needs 

• More than 78% who accessed mental health support report that navigating the health care system to find this support was “somewhat difficult” or “very difficult” 

• 53% found it challenging to locate a professional who can effectively help them. Of those who received care, only 28% had high levels of confidence in their diagnosis 

For more information, please visit https://www.teladochealth.ca/expert-care/mental-health/

Feature image courtesy The Dais.

Bianca Bharti

Bianca Bharti

Bianca Bharti is the newsletter editor at BetaKit, where she spearheads coverage and analysis of tech news in related products. Before BetaKit, Bianca covered the nexus of markets, industries and policy in a variety of formats as a reporter for the Financial Post. There, she won silver in SABEW's 2021 Best in Business Journalism Awards in the personal finance category for one of her pieces. In her free time, she enjoys swapping her reporter hat for a baseball cap to hit up some hiking trails with her dog. She also weirdly loves debating monetary policy.

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