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This month September, is all about equity

 

Equity often gets thrown into conversations about equality, but how are these two terms different? Treating people equally provides everyone with the same support despite differing backgrounds, experiences, and needs. On the other hand, equity provides people with support based on their specific needs. We aspire for a Canada where everyone is welcomed to contribute, participate, create, and share without disadvantages for certain groups and acting with equity is the key to achieving this future. 

 

Equity is a crucial concept in the tech industry because there are certain groups that tend to be underrepresented and therefore face obstacles that others don’t. Some people might need different support to learn how to use technology and furthermore, get jobs in this field. Recognizing the ways marginalized groups have been ignored in the past can help to change the future. 

 

Technology can be a great channel to not only recognize obstacles but also create solutions for these issues. Through technology, we want to explore the ways that digital skills can be used to strengthen equity for people living in Canada. Products and technology are not always designed with everyone in mind and changing the thought process behind these issues is critical to creating an equitable Canada. 

 

This month, we’d like to challenge you to pause, reflect and learn about topics, problems, concerns around the topic of equity – as you create your web projects.

How to participate this month:

As you learn about and develop fluency on digital tools and programming languages, we would like for you to explore the topic of equity. We’ll leave what you want to focus on up to you – but thinking about the exclusion of certain groups in the design stages of technology — may be a great starting point!

For example, how might we….

  • Understand why the layout of certain websites favours some demographics over others?   
  • Discover patterns in hiring processes that lead to less women and people of colour in the technology industry?
  • Understand how ignoring the needs of certain groups while designing a product can lead to misuse and even injury?
  • Build more awareness of how equitable practices within the technology industry have positive effects for creators and consumers of technology?

We welcome you to be as imaginative as you like – but here are some example project ideas:

  • Create a video game that shows the patterns of the consequences of design that doesn’t consider everyone
  • Create an interactive story about how technology trailblazers have paved the way for underrepresented groups 
  • Build a website that allows people to see the breakdown of different marginalized groups within a company’s employees 
  • For educators, build a lesson plan that explains what equity is and demonstrate how we can think about all people living in Canada’s experiences before designing a product or creating code and technology

 

Share your digital projects with us! 

Share photos, screenshots or videos of your digital projects you’ve started using the #clcCode4Change hashtag! We want to see what you end up creating. Remember that learning something new is a work-in-progress. We hope you continue to work on the project you’ve started with us – beyond the classroom!  

Get inspired!

  • A video about equity in computer science education– and how it translates to the workforce. 
  • A podcast explaining how women are often ignored in the design of products. 
  • A blog series explaining the importance of equity in the tech sector as it pertains to black and latinx communities. 
  • An article outlining how gender inequality continues to tarnish the Canadian technology industry.
  • A video defining equity and comparing it to equality.