McMaster Continuing Education partners with the YWCA to help women launch into tech roles

YW Kitchener-Waterloo partners with McMaster University Continuing Education to help women launch into tech roles through a fully funded certificate program

KITCHENER, ON, September 23, 2021 – The YWCA Kitchener-Waterloo’s (YWKW) innovative employment training program, In Her Shoes, has partnered with McMaster University Continuing Education to offer its YWCA Reskilling Uplift in Specialized Technology initiative. Uplift is a virtual program whereby learners receive a Certificate of Professional Learning in Data Analytics from McMaster University Continuing Education. The first cohort of classes is set to begin on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 and will run on a part-time basis until July 2022. 

The ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the pre-existing inequalities that impact a large sector of our society. During the pandemic, women have been laid off, furloughed and underemployed at far greater numbers than men. Additionally, many women have had to reduce their working hours or leave jobs to meet increased caregiving responsibilities at home. Meanwhile, the Canadian tech sector is struggling to recruit and retain qualified and diverse talent. The YWCA’s Reskilling Uplift initiative will advance the skills and knowledge of women and gender-diverse people and help them stand out in today’s competitive job market in tech adjacent roles within in-demand industries.

“Finding strength in the face of difficulty takes courage, motivation, and ambition. At In Her Shoes: YW Kitchener-Waterloo, we see the potential in women and gender-diverse people and support them to build their future with employment and entrepreneurial training,” says Heather Cowan, Coordinator of Training and Employment Services, YW Kitchener-Waterloo. “Our goal is to create a supportive network of solution-focused services for women and gender-diverse people, their families and broader communities by providing career and community resources, interactive workshops and experiences which enhance learning in personal and professional areas of their lives."

Both YWKW and McMaster Continuing Education believe in the potential of all women and gender-diverse members of the community. In creating a collaborative and supportive virtual learning environment and providing supports and guidance on networking and mentorship, the YWKW and McMaster Continuing Education are pleased to provide willing learners the opportunity to invest in their own personal and professional learning and growth.

“We’re proud to partner with the YWKW to provide foundational training in data analytics from leading practitioners,” says Lorraine Carter, Director, McMaster Continuing Education.“ Through this program that emphasizes hands-on skills that can be applied across multiple in-demand industries and roles, we’re humbled to play a role in building up and creating employment-ready women and gender-diverse people in our community, especially during today’s challenging times.”

This program was launched to support women and gender-diverse individuals in the Kitchener and Waterloo regions interested in gaining in-demand skills to pivot within their careers or rejoin a rapidly changing job market. As a funded initiative, the program reduces the financial stressors of post-secondary education and supports learners in landing tech adjacent roles that will utilize their new skills.

For more information about the Uplift -YWCA Reskilling in Specialized Technology, visit

About In Her Shoes YW Employment, Entrepreneurship and Reskilling Programs
In Her Shoes provides coaching, guidance, and helps to build self-confidence. Their programs support local women and gender-diverse people to discover their next opportunity and remove barriers to economic security.

About McMaster Continuing Education
McMaster University Continuing Education has inspired people to discover and achieve through lifelong learning since 1931. As one of Canada’s largest and leading providers of continuing education for adult learners, McMaster Continuing Education’s purpose is to develop and realize both individuals' and society’s potential by providing education to thrive in today’s dynamic world.

For media inquiries, please contact:

YW Kitchener-Waterloo
Shantal Otchere, Development & Communications Officer

McMaster University Continuing Education
Karen Hamilton, Assistant Director Marketing and Enrolment

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