Press release

#movethedial Releases Playbook for Retaining Women Working in Tech in Collaboration with Feminuity

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#movethedial, in collaboration with Feminuity, today announced the release of “Inclusion, Intention, and Investment: A Playbook for Retaining Women Working in Tech”. The Playbook features key insights and tactics that technology companies at different stages of development – from startups and scaleups to large enterprises – can adopt to accelerate inclusion and help retain more women.

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The Playbook draws on research conducted over the course of four months with 70 leaders from across Canada’s tech sector. Insights featured in the Playbook were curated through a qualitative online survey and interviews. Leaders from startups, scaleups, and large enterprises participated in the study and reflect the unique perspectives that companies of different sizes bring to the table based on their experiences retaining women working in tech.

“Although organizations of all sizes are investing a lot of time, energy, and resources to recruit and hire women, the same cannot be said about women’s experiences once they’re through the door,” says Jodi Kovitz, founder and CEO of #movethedial. “As a result, women continue to be vastly underrepresented in technology-centric workforces, especially in leadership positions. We developed this Playbook to better understand and communicate how companies of all sizes can move the dial in a way that benefits all women in the tech sector.”

Women comprise 25% of the Canadian tech sector, and while the tech sector is growing, their participation has remained stagnant for the last 10 years. Women are underrepresented, marginalized, and underpaid. Even in 2019, 50% of women still believe that companies in the tech sector do not want to hire them.

“To achieve a more inclusive tech sector in Canada, companies of all sizes must work to wholeheartedly embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion and actively integrate new and innovative practices within their businesses,” says Dr. Sarah Saska, founder and CEO of Feminuity. “This Playbook is a call-to-action for companies to take stock of their current practices, identify the gaps, and make a commitment to share, amplify, and scale these leading practices sector-wide.”

Key findings and calls to action were categorized by company size, and include the following:

  • Startups that want to attract and retain people are competing against well-resourced scaleups and big tech companies. These companies create value for employees by offering flexibility and autonomy. When startups get everyone involved in retention, design diverse teams and products, and focus on resourcefulness, they are establishing the foundation for inclusive growth.
  • Scaleups, which close the gap between startups and large enterprises in the innovation ecosystem, are setting the stage for technologies that will drive the world’s economies in the next 20 years. Scaleups know how important it is to attract and retain women who want to grow their careers alongside the growth of the company. With this in mind, scaleups are focusing their efforts on employee engagement, designing structure around great practices, and learning how an intersectional approach can further support people in the workplace.
  • Large enterprises are also some of the largest tech employers. As influencers, they are setting trends in the tech sector and taking a long-term view on women’s career paths. Large enterprises demonstrate how their resources can be invested to prepare women working in tech for the future of work and how their influence can reimagine existing approaches to mental wellbeing and caregiving to support everyone to better integrate work and life. Successfully integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion across large companies is complex and the role of a Chief Diversity Officer may be one answer.

“We recognize that the resources and constraints facing companies of different sizes will influence how they think about and inevitably take action on these strategies,” says Zak Hemraj, co-founder and CEO of Loopio. “That said, we think the findings are important to startups, scaleups, and enterprises alike, and we hope that these lessons will flow in multiple directions so that companies of all shapes and sizes can borrow from each other’s experiences.” Loopio is a scaleup that participated in the Playbook research and provided insights on the intentional steps the company is taking to scale the business while maintaining its inclusive culture.

The Playbook, which was released to coincide with the #movethedial Global Summit 2019 taking placing today, is available for download at The topic of “Diversity and Inclusion: What we got wrong and what we learned from it” featuring key themes addressed in the Playbook, is being discussed as part of a panel discussion at the Summit (at 11:50am ET) featuring Dr. Sarah Saska, one of the authors of the Playbook, alongside Damien Hooper-Campbell, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at eBay; Danny Guillory, Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Dropbox; and Annie Jean-Baptiste, Head of Product Inclusion, Research and Activation at Google. This panel discussion and other Main Stage presentations throughout the #movethedial Global Summit will be livestreamed. For access to the livestream, sign up online.

About #movethedial

Founded in 2017, #movethedial is a global movement committed to advancing the participation and leadership of all women in technology. Founded on the premise that advancing the full talent pool will make Canada’s tech industry the strongest and most inclusive in the world, #movethedial believes the opportunity for equity for all women-identified people exists at a global level. The organization has a large and growing number of leading Canadian corporate and technology partners, is supported by over 150 world-class technology ecosystem advisors, and has engaged a community of more than 150 advocates. In addition to its engaging and inclusive events, #movethedial leverages the power of shared experiences to connect people through storytelling; an initiative which has thus far led to an estimated 20,000 people engaging in the movement across Canada, the US, Japan, the UK, and Israel. Proudly headquartered in Toronto, Canada, #movethedial is working to drive support and commitment to the #movethedial movement at home and internationally. Learn more at:

About Feminuity

Founded in 2014, Feminuity is a global consulting firm, based in Toronto, Canada, working to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive world of business and innovation. Feminuity works with pre-revenue startups through to Fortune 500s to help build diverse teams, equitable systems, and inclusive products and workplace cultures. Feminuity’s work includes diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) assessments, strategy and program design and implementation, customized training workshops, and an advisory model that provides companies with ongoing DEI leadership on a fractional/part-time basis. Learn more at: