Minister Leitch releases report of the Expert Panel on Championing and Mentorship for Women

Government of Canada taking further action to advance women in the economy

OTTAWA, July 31, 2015 /CNW/ -Today, the Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Canada's Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, released the report of the Government of Canada's Expert Panel on Championing and Mentorship for Women Entrepreneurs, which demonstrates the federal government's ongoing efforts to consult Canadians on how best to increase the number of women entering into and succeeding in business. Minister Leitch released the report at the 2015 Mary Kay seminar in Montreal.

The Expert Panel on Championing and Mentorship for Women Entrepreneurs focused on identifying key strategies to support women entrepreneurs in Canada, in an effort to help them improve their business survival rates and subsequent growth opportunities, with an emphasis on high-risk, high-growth enterprises. The report released today includes recommendations aimed at providing Canadian women with mechanisms for championing and mentorship, as well as the financial tools to help them succeed through different stages of business development.

Minister Leitch expressed her gratitude to the Expert Panel members for all of their time and dedicated efforts consulting Canadians, and developing this report. The members are:  Arlene Dickinson (Chair), Carolyn Cross, Sandra Bosela, Marissa McTasney, and Ron Close.

The report being released today builds on the Government of Canada's efforts to increase opportunities for women in Canada's economy, from skilled trades and technical professions to corporate boards. This includes the recent commitment in Economic Action Plan 2015 to an Action Plan for Women Entrepreneurs that will help connect women with the tools they need to succeed in business. This Action Plan includes a series of initiatives such as mentorship, networking opportunities, and increased access to financing and international markets.

Quick Facts

  • Economic Action Plan 2014 outlined the Government of Canada's commitment to increasing mentorship for women looking to become entrepreneurs, and start their own businesses. The Expert Panel on Championing and Mentorship for Women Entrepreneurs was established as part of this commitment, with the goal of providing advice on the best practices for championing and mentoring women entrepreneurs.
  • The Expert Panel conducted significant outreach to Canadians in the course of its work. Over 400 entrepreneurs from across Canada – women and men – as well as organizations representing women entrepreneurs, offered timely and valuable insights.
  • According to the BMO Financial Group, women-owned businesses employ over 1.5 million Canadians. RBC Economics reports that as of 2011, businesses majority-owned by women contribute an estimated $148 billion to the Canadian economy.
  • In April, 2015, Minister Leitch announced a new campaign called 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
  • Economic Action Plan 2015 committed to modernizing Canada's corporate governance framework. This would include proposed amendments to the Canada Business Corporations Act to promote gender diversity among public companies using the "comply or explain" model of disclosure.
  • 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. This includes over $14 million for projects that support women entrepreneurs.


"Our Government is demonstrating strong leadership through a balanced budget, and a low-tax plan for jobs, growth and security. The Expert Panel report we are releasing today will help guide our actions as we increase our support for women entrepreneurs across the country. It also underscores our commitment to creating new opportunities for women throughout Canada's economy, from skilled trades and technical professions to corporate boards."

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

"I am proud of the work done by the Expert Panel and each of our members during the outreach we did with Canadians. I am also confident that this Report and its recommendations for championing, mentorship, and the financial tools to succeed and grow, will make a tremendous difference for women-owned businesses."

Arlene Dickinson
Chair - Expert Panel
CEO of Venture Communications and

Related Products

  • Report: Expert Panel on Championing and Mentorship for Women Entrepreneurs

Additional Links

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,; 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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