Gender Diversity in Technical Leadership

A presentation at Web Unleashed in in Toronto, ON, Canada by Andréa Crofts

Tech companies control almost every facet of daily life, from communication to transportation. With that kind of impact, it’s too big a responsibility for any single demographic to have full control. This was a participatory discussion on the importance of gender diversity in technical leadership roles.

We dove into questions like:

  • Why is it important to have a diversity of perspectives represented at the leadership level?
  • How can we close the chasm between individual contributorship and leadership for underrepresented groups?
  • How can we re-define the behavioural code that has come to define the traditional definition of a strong leader?

This round table was a new format for FITC! Attendees sat in small groups and actively participated in a series of short discussions, with each group reporting back the highlights of their conversation to the larger forum.

For the purpose of discussion, we focused the conversation on gender diversity. However, diversity of race, age, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, disability, personality and intersectionality were all welcome additions to this conversation.


The following resources were mentioned during the presentation or are useful additional information.

  • Fewer Women Run Big Companies Than Men Named John

  • Hexagon UX Toronto Chapter

    Hexagon is a community of women and non-binary folks in UX who support each other through the different stages of their careers. They welcome current and aspiring designers, researchers, writers, content strategists and program managers across the user experience space. They believe that having strong networks of peers both online and offline helps us discover new skills, boost confidence, and foster growth.

  • The Parenting Playbook

    A playbook focused on supporting new parents. Strategies for all the ages, stages and phases.

  • The Expecting Playbook

    A playbook and pledge focused on supporting new parents. Covers the basics of designing a comprehensive parental leave program.

  • Change Together

    A Diversity Guidebook for Startups and Scaleups

  • Girlboss

Buzz and feedback

Here’s what was said about this presentation on Twitter.