Harper Government supports economic opportunities for women in communications and technology sectors

TORONTO, June 3, 2015 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, announced Government of Canada funding for a new project to increase economic opportunities for women in communications and technology careers during the Canadian Telecom Summit in Toronto. The Minister also highlighted measures in Economic Action Plan 2015 that will increase economic opportunities for women.

The Information and Communications Technology Council of Canada (ICTC) is receiving $460,014 for a project to increase retention and advancement opportunities for women in information and communication technology careers within four fields: construction, manufacturing, natural resources, and skilled trades. A national advisory committee with champions representing four sectors will be developed, along with virtual working groups (including CEOs, senior managers, men and women) to review human resource policies and procedures of companies in each sector. The organization will also facilitate ongoing knowledge sharing by identifying and adapting best practices and existing tools from leading Canadian organizations into a virtual "Women in Information and Communications Technology Information Centre".          

Minister Leitch also highlighted the Economic Action Plan 2015 commitment to an Action Plan for Women Entrepreneursto help connect women with the tools they need to succeed in business. This Action Plan includes a series of initiatives including mentorship, networking opportunities, and increased access to financing and international markets. Economic Action Plan 2015 also commits to modernizing Canada's corporate governance framework. This will include proposed amendments to the Canada Business Corporations Actto promote gender diversity among public companies using the "comply or explain" model of disclosure.

The project announced today was selected through the Government of Canada's call for proposals entitled Increasing Economic Prosperity for Women.

Quick Facts

  • On April 16, 2015, Minister Leitch announced a new campaign entitled It Starts with One — Be Her Champion. This campaign challenges leaders in all fields to make a difference in a woman's career by becoming her champion or mentor. Canadians can pledge to join the campaign at women.gc.ca/startswithone.
  • Through Status of Women Canada, the Government of Canada is funding a number of projects to advance women in the Canadian digital economy. Through the Women in Technology Projects initiative, the Government of Canada has provided more than $1.76 million in funding in support of six projects that create opportunities for women in the ICT sector.
  • Status of Women Canada is funding a project with Communications and Technology (CWCT) to increase the number of women in senior executive positions and on the boards of companies in the communications, media, and technical sectors across Canada.
  • Since 2007, the Government of Canada has invested over $162 million through Status of Women Canada in support of more than 780 community-based projects across Canada.
  • Employment equity is a key element of the Government of Canada's mission to create safe, fair and inclusive workplaces. Through the Labour Program, the Government promotes equitable representation for women, people with disabilities, Aboriginal people, and members of visible minorities, by encouraging employers in federally regulated workplaces to diversify their workforce and draw from all available talents.
  • The representation of women in senior management positions within the federally regulated private sector, has increased by over 4 percent since 2001. While this progress is significant, more needs to done. At 41.6 percent, the representation of women employees remains 6.6 percent below their labour market availability, and their progress in semi‑professional, technical, and trades occupations is limited.
  • Through the Labour Program, the Government of Canada recently launched the Workplace Opportunities: Removing Barriers to Equity initiative. It provides up to $500,000 annually for projects that aim to improve the representation of women, people with disabilities, Aboriginal people, and members of visible minorities, in federally regulated workplaces.

 

Quotes

"Our Government is demonstrating strong leadership through a balanced budget, and a low-tax plan for jobs, growth and security. The actions we have taken to support the participation of women in Canada's digital economy highlight what we know – that when women succeed, Canada succeeds."

The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, P.C., O.Ont., M.P.
Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women

"We welcome the opportunity to partner with the Government of Canada on this project to increase retention and advancement opportunities for women in information and communication technology career, and to strengthen the role of women in Canada's digital economy."

Namir Anani, President and CEO
Information and Communications Technology Council of Canada

 

SOURCE Status of Women Canada

For further information: For media inquiries only: Andrew McGrath, Director of Communications, Office of the Hon. Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, P.C., O.Ont., M.P., Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, Tel: 819-953-5646, andrew.mcgrath@labour-travail.gc.ca; For all other inquiries: Nanci-Jean Waugh, Director General, Communications and Public Affairs, Status of Women Canada, Tel: 819-420-6810


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