The Pythia Program

The Pythia program is about finding, retaining and advancing the top female minds in tech to increase the diversity of our talent base. In 2015 Pythian also introduced The Pythia Index, an important metric that measures the number of female leaders in an organization.

The Pythia Program focuses on:

  • Increasing the percentage of talented women who work and thrive at Pythian, especially in tech roles
  • Encouraging and supporting the participation of girls and women in STEM fields to ensure a growing pipeline of talent

The Pythia Program is attracting and retaining top female talent because:

  • Pythian offers a female-friendly workplace with flexible hours, and work-from-home options
  • In-house role models and mentors actively offer ongoing support and encouragement
  • Pythian’s CEO, a self-identified feminist, leads the diversity charge
  • Our hiring practices support diversity with non-biased job descriptions and anonymized CVs and evaluations during hiring
  • We invest in ongoing education to eliminate unconscious bias in our practices.

“The Pythia program is central to how we realize the best possible talent mix. By acknowledging and strengthening our deliberate talent blending practices, we hope not only to garner interest from potential employees, but to encourage other businesses to set similar diversity goals. This is not just good corporate social responsibility. It’s good for business. And it’s good for the technology sector.” – Paul Vallee, CEO Pythian and Pythia Program Executive Sponsor

Community involvement

Pythian’s Love Your Community program is proud to support the active community participation of our employees through our Volunteer Day and Employee Sponsorship programs. Our employees donate their time as coaches, mentors, volunteers and board members by contributing to fundraising initiatives and lending their skills and talent to local community and industry organizations. To recognize the importance of giving back to the community, Pythian grants employees one paid volunteer day per calendar year to participate in a community event with a charity or non-profit organization of their choice, and we sponsor individual and group participation in a variety of community-based events. The aim of this program is to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to helping our employees make their local communities safer, stronger and better places to live and work.   Pythian is proud to share that in 2015, 27 employees used their volunteer day and 9 Employee Sponsorship Benefits were provided through the program. In addition to supporting individual contributions to the community, Pythian also:

  • Supports a number of team-based community initiatives throughout the year.
  • Participates in the cooperative education programs of local colleges and universities by providing placements for students each semester.
  • Sits on local councils. Pythian founder, Paul Vallee, forms part of Hire Immigrants Ottawa’s ‘Employer Council of Champions’ (ECC), which features leading local employers who are committed to championing the issue of skilled immigrant employment.
  • Works with Hire Immigrants Ottawa and is a member of the Information Technology Sector Working Group. We work with a team of professionals attempting to tackle barriers and systemic challenges that employers face in their efforts to hire and integrate internationally trained professionals into the workplace.
  • Builds relationships and supports the services of organizations, such as World Skills (Ottawa Job Match Network), Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre, the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization and ITO.

Ethical labor practices

Pythian is an equal opportunity employer. We hire global talent, and we focus on the expertise and experience a candidate brings, not where they gained it. We have always supported the inclusion of skilled immigrants in our talent pool. It allows us to engage and retain top industry talent and diversify our workforce (both culturally and technically). Pythian is proud to have employees in over 35 countries and in the Ottawa office alone, Pythian team members speak over 34 languages.

  • We provide generous annual leave to all Pythian employees, including vacation and sick leave. When employees welcome new additions to their family we provide them with extended parental vacation leave. We also provide generous bereavement leave for those employees dealing with the difficult loss of a family member.
  • Pythian recognizes that the continued success of our company is dependent on the knowledge, skills, experience and expertise of our employees. Through our Organization Development programs, employees have access to extensive learning opportunities both internally and externally.


As a global organization, it is important that Pythian continues to minimize its environmental impact. Currently, Pythian employees use laptop computers (a typical laptop uses 20–90 watts, compared to 100–800 watts for desktops) and over 50% of Pythian employees telecommute 100% of the time.

  • Pythian encourages telecommuting by conducting, where possible, virtual meetings with colleagues and clients, through Google Connect, Slack, GoToMeeting, etc. When possible, Pythian conducts meetings, and on-boards employees remotely to reduce emissions from traveling to headquarters.
  • We support international environmental awareness events, such as Earth Hour, and attempt to work with suppliers and vendors who are committed to sustainability.
  • Pythian’s new Ottawa Headquarter office (located in Ottawa, Ontario) is in a Westboro Connection facility which has been designed for LEED-Silver Certification, incorporating such building features as secure bicycle storage, shower facilities and high efficiency building systems.