Research consistently shows that women in the workforce, whether they be employees, business-owners or entrepreneurs, have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Canadian Chamber’s Council for Women’s Advocacy (CWA) aims to reverse that trend.
“As Canada begins planning its recovery from COVID-19, widespread job creation and sustained economic growth will require nothing less than the full participation of women in the workforce. This is not a women’s issue, it is an economic issue,” said Penny Wise, President, 3M Canada Company, and CWA co-chair.
“Through this evolving pandemic situation women have been at the forefront and burden of this change, affected across every aspect of their lives, from extended work hours to home-schooling to frontline caregiving,” said Kevin McCreadie, CEO and Chief Investment Officer, AGF Management Limited, and CWA co-chair. “We are at an inflection point in our re-openings where funding is needed now to create significant opportunities to foster an inclusive recovery. The actions we take today will help avoid worst case scenarios in the near future.”
The CWA was created to be a unifying national voice of the business community to drive action. It is focusing its initial efforts on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in three key areas for the short-term: facilitating safe, reliable and affordable childcare; supporting women’s entrepreneurship; and supporting job pivots for women.
The CWA is calling on the federal government to immediately realize the following five recommendations to support women, foster inclusive recovery and ensure sustained economic growth:
There are several programs specific to women entrepreneurs and those interested in starting their own business:
Women Breaking Barriers
Innovation Cluster - Peterborough and the Kawarthas
Program: Two cohorts of 10 women aged 18 or older through six months (per cohort) of fast-tracked
programming and mentorship to reduce barriers for female founders to grow and scale their businesses.
Program: One-time, performance-based, and non-repayable funding of up to $5,000 for PPE, workspace reconfiguration & hardware/software upgrades