When Mary Hailu learned she was being laid off from her executive assistant job at Toronto auto sales startup Clutch in June, all she could think about was her eight-year-old daughter.
“I’m a single mom. I’m the only income in my family, in my household,” said Hailu, who quit a stable engineering job to join the tech sector in 2021.
“I was feeling very anxious, very worried about the future. I think I probably cried for two weeks and I still cry now, when I think about it.”
Four years after the University of Ottawa opened its first satellite campus in Kanata North, the university is expanding its presence in the tech park.
The research won’t just improve surgery in Ottawa, but also help people avoid it altogether by simulating injury patterns to find a way to prevent them.
Hailu’s experience places her in a growing group of tech workers that have experienced a layoff this year as investor exuberance around the sector fades and companies re-examine payroll costs in preparation for a potential recession.
Despite the apparent downturn, tech workers like Hailu aren’t fleeing the industry. A month after her layoff, Hailu was settling into a new role at a software startup.
“People in the tech industry are committed to the craft and they really are quite eager and quite motivated by what the industry has to offer,” said Abdullah Snobar, executive director of the DMZ tech hub in Toronto.
“Although many are getting laid off, they’re able to find new jobs quite quickly.”