Vancouver’s tech talent ranking climbs to No. 3 in Canada: report

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What happened: New scorecard sees Vancouver move into one of the top three tech hubs in the country

Why it matters: Despite the bump, the city’s male-to-female ratio is among the worst in the country

Vancouver’s reputation as a hub for tech talent in Canada got some reaffirmation after annual rankings saw the city climb one spot to No. 3.

But the report from real estate services firm CBRE Group Inc. highlighted some of the struggles facing the city, such as the lack of gender diversity within its ranks as well as strains caused by a low downtown office vacancy rate.

As Vancouver moved up one spot in the latest rankings from 2019 Scoring Canadian Tech Talent, Montreal found itself bumped from third to fifth.

Toronto and Ottawa ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.

Vancouver added 22,300 tech workers to the region over the past five years, growing 42.6% to a total of 74,700, according to the report.

But of those workers only 18% are women — the same ratio as Saskatoon.

That’s the second biggest gender disparity among the 20 Canadian ranked by CBRE.

Only Victoria — with a tech workforce composed of just 15% women — ranked worse.

That data was also highlighted earlier this year when CBRE released North America-wide rankings for tech hubs.

Even when measured against the entire continent, Vancouver ranked last in terms of the male-to-female ratio in the tech sector.

One other knock against Vancouver brought up in the latest report was the city’s low downtown office vacancy rate.

At 2.6%, it’s the second-lowest in North America — beaten out by Toronto for the No. 1 spot at 2.4%.

But CBRE showcased Vancouver for its number of tech degree completions as of 2017 with 2,516 people securing degrees that year.

Educational attainment was fourth in Canada at 34.8% of workers 25-64 years old holding a bachelor’s degree or higher compared with the Canadian average of 26.9%.

As for wages, Vancouver employers are paying a premium for top talent.

The report pegged the upper 5% of wages for software developers at an average of $155,002 — the highest in Canada.

The average wage for a regular software developer in the city was $83,261.

torton@biv.com

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