Status of Women minister highlights government of Canada actions to promote the participation of women in the Canadian economy
AJAX, ON, Sept.3, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, accompanied by the Honourable Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and Member of Parliament for Ajax-Pickering, spoke today to the Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade about the important contribution of women in the economy and Government of Canada measures to support women in business.
Specifically, the Minister highlighted federal actions that support women entrepreneurs. For example, the Government of Canada, through Status of Women Canada, supports community-based projects across the country that focus on helping women entrepreneurs succeed. In addition, Economic Action Plan 2014 committed to increasing mentorship among women entrepreneurs. As part of this commitment, the Minister of Status of Women is consulting with Canadians on how to increase the number of women entering into and succeeding in business.
Minister Leitch also spoke about the Government of Canada's commitment to increase the participation of women on corporate boards. Referring to the recently released report by the federal Advisory Council for Promoting Women on Boards, Minister Leitch urged business leaders to aspire to seeing women attain 30% of all board positions over the next five years.
- RBC Economics reports that, in 2011, majority-owned women's businesses contributed an estimated $148 billion to the Canadian economy.
- As of 2011, 15.6% of small and medium sized businesses in Canada were majority-owned by women.
- Women-owned businesses currently employ over 1.5 million Canadians, according to the BMO Financial Group.
- Women represent nearly half the Canadian workforce, yet only 15.9% of corporate board positions at FP500 companies are held by women in Canada today. Nearly 40% of FP500 companies and close to half of publicly traded companies have no women on their boards.
- Since 2007, the Government of Canada has provided over $54 million for projects that promote women's economic security and prosperity. Of this amount, more than $9 million has gone to projects that support women in entrepreneurship. An additional $21 million has been provided for projects that promote women in leadership and democratic decision-making roles.
"Women play a vital role in strengthening our economy and creating prosperity for all Canadians. We all benefit when women succeed, whether it be as an entrepreneur or as a corporate leader. These successes create jobs and growth in communities across the country, while inspiring other women and girls through their example. Simply put, when women succeed, Canada prospers. It's good for women, good for the economy, and good for Canada."
The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch
Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women
"I am pleased to represent the people of Ajax-Pickering – a community that continues to prosper as a result of the tremendous contributions of our local businesswomen, entrepreneurs and community leaders. Our Government's efforts to expand economic opportunities for businesswomen across Canada will strengthen local economies, creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity, including here in Ajax-Pickering."
The Honourable Chris Alexander
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and
Member of Parliament for Ajax-Pickering
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Photos of Minister Leitch are available.
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For news releases and information on Status of Women Canada, go to women.gc.ca.
SOURCE: Status of Women Canada
For further information: For media inquiries only: Andrew McGrath, Acting 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, firstname.lastname@example.org; For all other inquiries: Nanci-Jean Waugh, Director General, Communications and Public Affairs, Status of Women Canada, Tel: 819-420-6810