On Tuesday, the B.C. government announced its new Women in Technology and Indigenous Women in Technology Scholarships, which will be used to help emerging female professionals find a path into the tech industry.

According to Statistics Canada, women are less likely to choose a post-secondary STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) program than men, regardless of mathematical ability.

The province hopes that these new scholarships will help encourage women to pursue careers in the under-represented tech sector.

Currently, ten of these $10,000 scholarships from the Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society have been awarded. The criteria for recipients includes high academic achievement and a demonstrated commitment to pursuing a career in computer science, engineering, or mathematics.

“We want to open the doors for more women in the tech sector because they’re under-represented in tech businesses throughout the province,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skill, and Training in a press release.

“These scholarships are an important first step to giving more women opportunities to succeed in the tech sector.”

According to the press release, women receive significantly less than half of all of STEM credentials awarded by the B.C. public post-secondary system, at 37%. In contrast, women make up 59% of non-STEM program credentials.

“The sheer number and exceptional calibre of not just the award recipients but of all applicants speaks volumes about the contributions made and the contributions that women will inevitably make to this province,” said Rajiv Gandhi, chair of the Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society in the same press release.

The 2018 Women in Technology Scholarship recipients are:

  • Emilie Boras from Penticton – UBC – mechanical engineering
  • Alexandra Dean from Nelson – UVic – computer science/math
  • Emma Jackson from North Saanich – UBC – mechanical engineering
  • Natella Jafarova from Victoria – UVic – statistics
  • Giulia Mattia from Burnaby – UBC – computer science
  • Emily Medema from Vernon – UBCO – computer science
  • Angelina Pinchbeck from Kelowna – UBCO –  math/computer science
  • Marlie Russell from Williams Lake – UBCO – computer science
  • Amy Zhu from Vancouver – UBC – computer science

The 2018 Indigenous Women in Technology recipient is

  • Jobina Tamminga from Big Cedar – UBC – computer science