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Black History Month – The Canadian IT Space, a Black perspective

Graphic of Black women and men in front of a colourful background with flowers.

 

Understanding Black History Month’s relevance is learning from diverse perspectives from different industries. You’ll hear from Al White, Managing Director of WRi Canada, in this article.

“I am now a 40-year veteran of the Canadian IT space. I started my career at Bell Canada, and in every meeting, I was in, I was the only black face. In hindsight, I’m sure being black hindered my career growth there, so I left. It wasn’t until I got my first job with a US-based company as their first Canadian employee that I was no longer “the only one.”

When I was finally in a position to make hiring decisions, I could not find black people to hire as IT did not seem to be a career black kids aspired to.

Over the years, through volunteer efforts and speaking opportunities, I have tried to make black youth understand why IT is a wonderful field to choose as a career. I give them five reasons to consider IT:

  1. You can make a better living in IT than most other industries.
  2. It is an in-demand career with more open jobs than there are qualified people to fill them.
  3. Within the IT field, there are a variety of areas you can specialize in, so there should be an area that is of interest.
  4. There are very good advancement opportunities.
  5. This industry is constantly changing, so you are always learning.

There are many more of us in the industry now, but we are still seriously underrepresented.

Encouraging more representation in the IT industry helps fill the current “skills gap” and is critical to a more equitable and inclusive future for all Canadians.”

WRi Canada is a cyber security VAR specializing in bringing unique solutions from off-shore and introducing them to the Canadian marketplace. Cybersecurity presents many unique challenges that sometimes require unique solutions. That is what WRi provides.

 

 

 

 

 

Al White, Managing Director
WRi Canada

Want to hear from more voices on Black History Month? Check out this article by Charell Smith Senic next.