By Teri Currie
Group Head, Canadian Personal Banking, TD Bank Group
Recently I had the opportunity to take part in a keynote conversation at #movethedial's global summit in Toronto, where women from across the technology landscape gathered to discuss where the industry is headed, and the impact we can have on our collective future.
As I said at the event – I am a passionate believer that the innovative technologies we're creating today are laying the foundation for how we'll interact with each other and the world around us tomorrow. And, in order to ensure that the products and services we create are applicable and accessible to all, it's critical we engage people of all backgrounds, skillsets and mindsets in the process.
Unfortunately, despite decades of progress, women remain underrepresented in critical areas of the country's economy, including technology, where less than a quarter of the well-paying jobs in this high-growth industry are held by women.
This is troubling, particularly as we see new foundational technologies – like artificial intelligence – emerge with the ability to shape the world for generations to come.
Now is the time to educate, motivate and inspire female leaders to ensure diverse voices are shaping the technology that will impact our future. Because without diversity among their ranks, new technologies risk reflecting only a portion of the population.
Step one in the journey begins with education and providing greater access to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programming at a young age. In this spirit, TD has joined forces with organizations from across Canada, including ACTUA and FIRST Robotics Canada to inspire a passion for STEM early on, with the goal of inspiring post-secondary studies and careers in the field.
Secondly, we need to provide opportunities for female talent currently working in STEM – helping women build their networks and find and create relationships with mentors. Through outreach and dedicated recruitment events, such as TD's Women in Technology network, we provide female talent with learning and development, as well as support and motivation in the early stages of their careers.
Making diversity an organizational priority is key. At TD, we are proud of our commitment to women in leadership and are dedicated to making TD a place where all colleagues are included and have equal access to opportunity. We've seen tremendous momentum in this area thanks to our unique and inclusive employee culture, which recognizes that our continued success depends on our ability to attract, identify and develop a diverse pool of top talent.
We can't predict the future, but together we can shape it. I'm committed to ensuring we have a voice at the table and ask that you help by joining me in the pursuit of an inclusive future where we all have a role in creating what tomorrow looks like.