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Showcasing women’s leadership in Canada’s advanced technology sectors: Strategies to grow Canadian technology-based firms

Canada’s average or, in some cases, below-average performance in the OECD’s latest survey of adult skills (known as the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC)) sparked some observers to call the quality of Canada’s education systems into question. The reason: the results appeared to contradict the prevailing notion that our education systems are among the best in the world. Closer analysis of the survey results, however, reveals the unique ways in which Canada’s skills profile is shaped not only by the experiences of those born and educated in the country but also by those of its sizable immigrant population. This paper highlights the full extent to which Canada’s education and immigration systems interact in developing the country’s human capital. It points to the importance of properly targeting interventions to improve skills proficiency, and of post-immigration programs to support the language skills and cultural capital that are also key to successful integration into the labour market