Originating in October 1991 as Canadian Women in Radio and Television (CWRT), the organization changed its name in the mid ’90s to Canadian Women in Communications (CWC). In 2014, it expanded its mission as Women in Communications and Technology (WCT), in response to the growing need to support and raise the profile of women in Canada’s ever-expanding digital economy.
WCT is the leader in assisting women from the communications and technology industries with advancement. A multifaceted and inclusive organization, WCT supports women in the technology, media, and telecommunications sectors. The new name and brand were intended to reflect an enlarged mandate to help bridge gaps, so women are better equipped to be successful participants and leaders in Canada’s burgeoning digital economy.
WCT is a national, bilingual organization, with 11 chapters across Canada, and over 2,000 members, that helps women prepare to meet the challenges of the current business environment. Supported by generous sponsorship from an array of companies in the communications and technology sectors, WCT offers strategic networking events and targeted professional development programs to assist women with maximizing their career potential.
WCT’s flagship programs include WCT Connect, Canada’s only online community platform for the advancement of women where women can connect and build their professional network; the Protégé Project, Canada’s only cross-sector career sponsorship program; the Mentorship program, which provides one-to-one mentorship and mentorship circles; the WCT Annual Awards Gala, which recognizes women, men, and companies who are working toward gender diversity; Closing the Gender Gap, a white paper based on research from roundtables across Canada; Up the Numbers, a research and advocacy program; and the Jeanne Sauvé and Dr. Roberta Bondar career development programs for women in the broadcast/regulatory and science and technology industries, respectively.
On March 7th, 2019 WCT announced the recipients of their prestigious Leadership Excellence Awards, which recognized women, men and organizations committed to diversity and closing the gender gap in Canada’s information, broadcast, communications, media and technology industries. The awards would be presented at WCT’s Annual Awards Gala on May 1st, 2019 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.
The 2019 Annual Leadership Awards recipients were:
Woman of the Year: Rola Dagher, President, Cisco Systems Canada
Company of the Year: APTN
Trailblazer: Anuja Sheth, Vice President, Business Networks and Supply Chain, Bell Canada
Entrepreneur: Zainab Muse, CEO & Founder, Wingd
Diversity Champions:Rekha Rao-Mayya, Country Manager, GSI/SI Services Partners, Microsoft Canada, Dr. Andrew Rau-Chaplin, Dean, Faculty of Computer Science, Dalhousie University
Rising Star: Sarah Ryan, Program Director, Brilliant Labs
Mentor: Caroline Gayle, Managing Director of Technology for Financial Services, Accenture
Innovator: Johanne Hinse, Vice President, Programming and Community Relations, Cogeco Connexion Inc.
Empowerment: Canadian Association for Girls in Science
WCT Leader: National Capital Region lead by Sally Douglas, Principal, Earnscliffe, Kristal Felea, Executive Producer & Partner, Banfield Agency
Symcor Inc. was named the 2020 Company of the Year by WCT for exemplary leadership in creating a workplace that was diverse, inclusive and supportive of women.
In 2021, WCT introduced the Gender Parity Scorecard – an online program that allowed employers to assess how their current practices for diversity and inclusion compared with those of leading companies in the labour market. It offered tutorials on best practices and helped employers chart a course to improve their progress in creating more welcoming and equitable workplaces.