Indigenous-led software testing company receives $500K investment
The investment will be used to support expansion in Canada.
PLATO Testing Trains and Employs Members of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Communities As Software Testers Across the Country (CNW Group/PLATO Testing)
Canada’s sole Indigenous-led and staffed software testing company PLATO Testing has received a $500,000 investment from Raven Indigenous Capital Partners to support tech training and employment for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students. According to a press release, PLATO says the investment will help create jobs for Indigenous tech workers country-wide.
Since 2015, PLATO has held 15 programs, training 175 Indigenous students in software testing. Students who complete PLATO programs are guaranteed jobs within the organization, which works with corporate partners like Suncor. The company currently employs 30 full-time Indigenous software testers.
“Since inception, PLATO has demonstrated a singular commitment to lifting up Indigenous Peoples by providing low barrier pathways to skills development and careers in the technology sector,” Jeff Cyr, Managing Partner of Raven Indigenous Capital Partners, said in a statement.
“Raven is excited to support the next phase of PLATO’s growth and development as it scales across Canada.”
The Raven investment will be used to support PLATO’s expansion in Canada.
Indigenous participation in the tech sector remains low in Canada, according to a 2019 report by the Brookfield Institute.
Many individuals identifying as Indigenous tech workers are being paid less than their non-Indigenous colleagues, ranging from an average of $30,000 lower for people identifying as Inuit, to $3,400 lower for those identifying as Métis.
“As is the case for other demographic groups, Indigenous women working in tech occupations earned less than their male counterparts,” reads the reports
“Out of the 300 enumerated Inuit tech workers in 2016, there were no women identified.”
In 2016, there were about 13,000 people identifying as Indigenous working in the Canadian tech sector, and 921,000 people identifying as non-Indigenous, Brookfield says.
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