In July, the Honourable Dr. Kellie, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, announced Government of Canada support for a new project that will strengthen leadership opportunities for women in Toronto, and Ms. Susan Truppe, Parliamentary Secretary for Status of Women, hosted a roundtable to discuss women in non-traditional occupations and the federal government’s commitment to increasing economic opportunities for women.
“Our Government is focused on what matters to Canadians – creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity,” said Minister Leitch. “Women are key to Canada’s economic success, and we are committed to increasing leadership opportunities for Canadian women.”
Working for Change is receiving $266,630 in funding from the Government of Canada for a 36-month project entitled “Roots/Routes to Women’s Leadership and Empowerment: Best Practices”. This project will promote leadership through economic empowerment for women in Toronto. Participants will receive leadership training and mentorship that will help strengthen their skills and confidence, and assist them in taking on leadership roles in their communities. The project will create a best-practices model that can be shared across the country.
“The number one priority of our Government is jobs, growth and long-term prosperity, and women are critical to Canada’s economic success,” said Ms. Truppe. “That is why the federal government is creating greater economic opportunities for women in many sectors, including in non-traditional occupations.”
Economic Action Plan 2013 announced a number of measures to better connect Canadians with job opportunities. These measures will contribute to increased representation of women in all occupations, including skilled trades and other non-traditional occupations, many of which are experiencing skills shortages.
“Empowering more women to succeed in non-traditional careers makes sense for Canadian women and for Canada’s economy,” said Minister Leitch. “It will also help to break down barriers and inspire young women and girls to pursue a wide variety of career options.”
Susan Truppe is hosting a series of roundtables, as well as meetings with representatives from various non-traditional sectors for women including, mining, engineering, and construction trades.
“As one of Canada’s leading polytechnics, NAIT is pleased to host this Status of Women roundtable,” said Dr. Glenn Feltham, president and CEO of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. “This event helps to bring greater focus on the career choices student have through NAIT’s hands-on, industry driven programs in science and technology, trades, health and business.”
Women now represent nearly half the Canadian workforce, yet continue to be under-represented in areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In 2009, women represented just 22.3% of Canadians with occupations in engineering, mathematics and natural sciences. In 2012, women represented only 4% of those working in construction trades, and 20% of those working in primary industries such as forestry, mining, oil and gas.
The Government of Canada is committed to supporting projects that yield concrete results for women and girls in Canada while strengthening families, communities and the country. The government’s support through Status of Women Canada for community-based projects has nearly doubled since 2006-2007, from $10.8 million to close to $19 million, its highest level ever. Since 2007, more than $6 million had been approved through Status of Women Canada for projects that support women in non-traditional occupations.