Jodi Kovitz is a big name in the Canadian technology space. Having run a not-for-profit organization, Peerscale (formerly AceTech Ontario) and founded #MovetheDial, Kovitz is firmly at the head of it acting as global CEO.
Her latest venture, #MovetheDial, was created in January 2017 with the mission of increasing the participation and leadership of all women in technology. She’s HRD Canada’s keynote speaker at HR Leaders Summit in Toronto.
“#MovetheDial is a global movement which aims to advance females in the tech space,” Kovitz told HRD Canada. “We focus on making large substantive systems change in a metric driven way through collaboration and a positive, solutions focus. We also want to inspire young girls and women to be all they can see, so we can help increase the number of women in the pipeline to join the tech industry and lead it into the future.”
Diversity in the tech sector has long been an issue of contention for leaders. A study created by #MovetheDial in conjunction with PwC Canada and MaRS Discovery District, found that just five percent of CEO roles in Canada were held by women. And the state is even sorrier for tech firms, as over half of digitally-led organizations have no female executives.
“It’s so incredibly important to empower females into executive positions,” added Kovitz. “I think 2018 has been a tremendous year for the empowerment of ‘The Woman’ worldwide. It’s come about through amazing movements launched by individuals – people are finally starting to understand the power of advancing all leaders. There are so many different perspectives and results that we can achieve when women are seated at the leadership table.
“In the new economy, from my perspective, we frankly cannot afford to leave any part of the population out. When you don’t have women at the design table, or at the leadership table, making choices around the solutions we need for the future, those solutions will not reflect the needs of the population at large. For me, that’s the giant impetus as to why we need empower female leaders now and do it faster than ever before.”
Since launching, #Movethedial has garnered a community of over 54,000+ and has had a great deal of impact. For example, organizations like the accelerator hub the C100, have seen an increase in the in female founder nominations in Toronto for their programs (in that case, the increase was 400%).
For Kovitz, promoting inclusivity has become a personal as well as professional calling. She’s no stranger to discrimination in her own career – yet despite this, she’s determined to take a positive stance of pushing inclusivity.
“Certainly, I’ve had moments in my career where I’ve had to find ways to demonstrate my potential and my knowledge in my career. I’ve had moments where I’ve wondered if it’s more difficult more me, because of my gender and my age. I really try to focus on the opportunities and the solutions rather than the prejudices and bias. I believe the more we can keep our mindset in ‘what we can do to fix the problem’ instead of focusing wholly on our own challenges the better we will be and the faster we will move the dial.”