“I can be there one day”: learning and leadership development in a community of self-identified women in technology




Hamer, Melissa

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Women’s underrepresentation in the technology industry is a relevant and timely issue. The increasing use of technology and its expansion into our daily lives demand greater technical literacy and skills. Despite its growth, the industry remains male-dominated; fewer than 9% of executive officers and directors in Canadian technology companies are women (Macdougall et al., 2017). Researchers have linked women’s underrepresentation in technology leadership to the ‘chilly climate’ in technology spaces and a ‘leaky pipeline’ of women leaving the fields throughout their career (Prescott & Bogg, 2014b; Vitores & Gil-Juárez, 2016; Wynn & Correll, 2018). This research explores how a community can support learning and leadership development for women in technology. This case study examined the women’s experiences in YYJ Tech Ladies and their accounts of underrepresentation in technology, learning, and leadership. Their stories and reflections indicated that a community for women could create a safe space, sense of belonging, knowledge-sharing, and consciousness-raising. This study highlights the importance of community in facilitating women’s learning and confidence, essential factors for addressing experiences in male-dominated environments and supporting women’s career and leadership development



community, women, technology, leadership, learning, professional development, collective learning