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Canada’s Feminist Recovery and Target Gender Equality

Canada’s Feminist Recovery and Target Gender Equality

Global Compact Network Canada looks forward to the month of March every year because International Women’s Day, celebrated annually on March 8th, brings with it an increase in dialogue, events, and initiatives related to advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment.

During this month, many companies across Canada take time to announce strategic initiatives designed to advance gender equality, reflect on current progress, and illuminate the contributions of women workers because they understand that, as employers, they are responsible for reducing inequality and fostering inclusion, especially in the wake of COVID-19. These are important developments because, while many Canadians enjoy distinct employment rights today, it wasn’t that long ago that women faced a number of deeply discriminatory practices that fundamentally impeded their ability to participate in the labour market. Significant progress has been made but women and other underrepresented groups still face a number of challenges related to equal remuneration, bias, lack of inclusive policies or practices, and systemic barriers that prevent equality of opportunity.

These persistent challenges have also been made substantially worse by COVID-19. RBC Economics released a report at the beginning of the month that describes how approximately 500,000 women who lost their jobs due to the pandemic remain unemployed, and that almost 100,000 women have exited the labour market fully compared to fewer than 10,000 men. As these types of studies demonstrate, modest gains made to advance gender equality in the private sector over the years have been stunted and this lack of progress will have a negative impact on everyone, regardless of their gender identity, as well as Canada’s economy. It’s fitting that Canada’s theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #FeministRecovery. More than ever, Canada needs to build back better by engaging the talents and perspectives of women of all backgrounds and developing new policies and practices or revamping those already in place to explicitly support underrepresented groups.

With this in mind, Global Compact Network Canada is proud to launch a new Global Impact Initiative, Target Gender Equality. Target Gender Equality is a year-long gender equality accelerator program designed for participating companies of the UN Global Compact to set and reach ambitious corporate targets for women’s representation and leadership. Participating in this program is one fundamental way that companies can demonstrate leadership and take concrete action to ensure that they are dismantling structures that prevent or limit women’s ability to reach executive or key decision-making positions.

Learn more about Target Gender Equality and what benefits your company can gain from joining the program by tuning in to our free Informational Webinar on March 30th from 1-2pm EDT. Register here.

For more information, reach out to Brittany Gataveckas at brittany@globalcompact.ca.