L’Oréal Canada is launching the first Canadian edition of the Women in Digital program, in partnership with URelles and Campus InfoPresse. The program focuses on encouraging and promoting women entrepreneurs in technology by providing funding opportunities and support.
The program arose out of the observation that women entrepreneurs are underrepresented in tech in Canada. A study conducted in November 2017 by Toronto organization #movethedial and co-drafted by PwC Canada and MaRS Discovery District found that among 900 Canadian technology firms, women hold only 5% of CEO positions and 13% of all executive team positions. Nearly half (53%) of the tech firms have no female executives. On average, women occupy 8% of the management positions, while 73% of the companies don’t have any women on their boards of directors (source: “Where’s The Dial Now?” Movethedial.com).
The Women in Digital program has three stages: nominations, preselection and final selection. The winner will receive her prize at a gala in May 2019. The pre-selection committee will be made up of three experts. The jury for the final selection will include four Canadian tech and digital personalities and one L’Oréal Canada executive. All will be invited to play a role in the selection process and to offer guidance to the future winner. The names of the preselection committee and final jury will be revealed in January 2019.
L’Oréal Canada is seeking a female founder of a Canadian start-up in the tech and digital fields, who has the potential to revolutionize the digital sphere. She must embody innovation and shape the next generation of the tech and digital fields in Canada.
“It seemed natural to do our part, as we have been for the last 16 years with our L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards. We are proud to once again be part of the solution by offering funding and support to women entrepreneurs. By ensuring there is a large number of role models, we can stimulate careers and leadership in business for women” said Frank Kollmar, President and CEO of L’Oréal Canada.
Canadian women entrepreneurs in technology are invited to apply on the program site, http://womenindigital.ca/ between December 19, 2018, and February 28, 2019.
The 5 finalists of the L’Oréal Canada Women in Digital award will be invited to the L’Oréal Canada awards gala in Montreal, which will be sponsored by URelles founder, Chloé Freslon. The winner will receive a tailor-made training program from Campus InfoPresse and will be mentored by one of the jury members. She will also receive a $20,000 prize to help fund her company.
“Women entrepreneurs don’t have access to the same funding as men,” said Chloé Freslon, founder of URelles. “This type of financial incentive is needed to rebalance things. I’m happy to know that some women will be able to grow their business thanks to this helping hand.”