On Tuesday, the Black Professionals in Tech Network (BPTN) launched a three-year, $4.5 million partnership with RBC Future Launch designed to “create the largest pipeline of young, early-career Black tech talent in Canadian history.”

The collaboration will result in more than 1,000 early-career (defined as aged 29-years-old and under) Black tech professionals receiving full-time placement in Canadian companies over the next three years.

Funds will also be used to support BPTN’s ‘CULTIVATE‘ mentorship, connecting 350 Black early-career professionals with Canadian executives, and provide $200,000 in annual funding to Black-owned non-profits supporting youth STEM education in Canada.



Black Canadians account for about 3.5 per cent of the country’s total population and in the City of Toronto, Black Canadians represent about 7.5 per cent of the population, according to the 2016 census.

But a study conducted that same year finds Black professionals are underrepresented in the Canadian tech sector, accounting for about 2.6 per cent of the industry’s workforce. Black employees are among the lowest paid in the sector, the study found.

Mark Beckles, Vice President, Social Impact and Innovation, RBC, says the new BPTN partnership will work to level the playing field.

“Ensuring the leaders of tomorrow have equal opportunity today is critical to building more inclusive companies and communities that can achieve their greatest potential,” Beckles added.

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