Despite comprising half the global population, women continue to be significantly underrepresented in the technology sector. While the industry thrives on diverse competencies and mindsets, offering many career and personal growth opportunities, numerous studies demonstrate that women hold only a quarter of technology jobs. (For more information, visit Technopedia’s list of 60+ Women in Tech Statistics You Should Know.)

This underrepresentation not only stifles the potential of individual women but also hampers the industry's ability to ensure diverse perspectives—a requisite to effective innovation. As an industry, we must urgently address this challenge to provide women equal access to promising professions and create innovative and inclusive solutions that include a broader talent pool that best meets clients' needs.

To help advance gender equity, CGI actively empowers and supports young girls and women to pursue education and careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Through targeted outreach initiatives and partnerships with clients, communities, and academic institutions, we aim to inspire and spark a passion for technology, inform them about career opportunities, and equip them with the skills necessary for employment in the industry.

Here are some examples of our educational, mentorship and early career outreach programs:

Educational Introductory Programs: Empowering girls and igniting their interest in STEM disciplines

Our Educational Introductory programs aim to generate interest and raise awareness about potential career opportunities in STEM and IT-related fields so we can help build a diverse and inclusive workforce for the future.

STEM@CGI is a global program designed to inspire and mentor young people to explore STEM disciplines, with a particular emphasis on enhancing technical and business literacy within our communities. Students can choose from virtual and in-person initiatives that aim to ignite excitement and foster the development of skills crucial for a future in the digital workforce.

Many STEM@CGI initiatives are tailored specifically for students traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields, such as girls and women. These initiatives include participating in enjoyable and educational tech-related learning activities, competitions, and opportunities to visit CGI offices to experience a working environment and interact with female role models and leaders. Another related outreach program is STEM@CGIatHome, which provides resources across our global communities to support at-home learning for young girls and boys.

Many of our locations worldwide organize a "Bring Your Daughters to Work" day to inspire young girls to envision themselves as leaders, innovators and changemakers. CGI Partners are encouraged to bring their daughters, between the ages of 7 and 18, to CGI offices to witness firsthand the diverse roles and responsibilities of an IT and business consulting services company. It is a valuable opportunity for our professionals to serve as role models and inspire young girls to pursue careers they may not have previously considered.

In Sweden, we participate in IGE Day every year, an Engineering Day event designed to introduce girls to the field of engineering, motivate them in their education, and inspire them to discover the multitude of career paths available.

Educational Mentoring Programs: Encouraging female students to discover careers in IT and business consulting

Our Educational Mentoring Programs aim to facilitate knowledge transfer, empower mentees with valuable insights and practical expertise, and guide them in making informed career decisions

In our U.S. operations, as part of the CGI IT Girl Challenge, CGI Partners collaborate with schools and community organizations to mentor high school girls. Mentors and mentees work together to develop a smartphone app that a panel of experts judge. The team that designs the most innovative, practical and creative mobile app receives college scholarship funds. To date, CGI has awarded $200,000 in scholarships to winning students.

Similarly, in Canada, we have teamed up with a Canadian bank to offer the Dalhousie University Women in Technology Scholarship, which provides tuition assistance and career mentoring to female students studying computer science or similar subjects at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada.

Another example from our Sweden operations is the Female Student Acceleration Program. This is a network for female and non-binary students with one to three years of education remaining and who want to learn more about and jump-start careers in consulting. The network offers participants a platform to meet and interact with other students, build confidence and expand their networks to grow personally and professionally.

Code Like a Girl is a collaborative initiative between CGI in the Czech Republic and one of our clients. Through summer camps and four-day programs, we teach coding, project management, systems architecture, and computer literacy to girls looking to build technology careers.

Early Career Programs: Creating opportunities to grow through knowledge exchange

One of our goals is to facilitate knowledge-sharing between CGI's experts and our communities. We do this through our Early Career programs, which promote the professional growth and skill development of adults in the early stages of their careers or who wish to make a career change.

Recently, CGI launched EcoleBusinessApps with Microsoft in France. This inclusive school provides free 18-month training courses for women interested in becoming Microsoft Application Design Developers. The training focuses on two pillars: acquiring technical skills and developing relational skills and emotional intelligence. After completing the course, graudates have the opportunity to join CGI.

In our operations in the Czech Republic, we collaborate with Czechitas, also known as Czech IT Sistas. It is an IT skills training platform focused on improving STEM education for young women and providing accessible, high-quality digital skills training for all. CGI Partners help to create custom training programs for women transitioning to IT careers. Upon completion, participants attend a career day at CGI offices, which allows them to gain insights into potential workplaces, benefit from networking opportunities and enhance career prospects.

In India, through our Career Relaunch (CaRe) Maternity program, we actively support and empower women to return to work after maternity leave. Our goal is to equip them with the tools and support needed to re-enter the workplace in a manner that addresses the professional, psychological, and practical aspects of the transition.

Our education, mentoring and early programs are focused on increasing gender diversity in IT by helping girls build confidence, develop competencies, and access opportunities to explore STEM careers. They also facilitate women's entry into the IT workforce and support their pursuit of leadership roles, paving the way for future generations and a more inclusive industry.