2021-22 DP Gender-based analysis plus

Institutional GBA+ Capacity

The Agency’s core responsibility is to support Atlantic Canada’s economic growth, wealth creation and economic prosperity through inclusive and clean growth. This is why the Agency will continue to integrate GBA+ into its various activities as part of its implementation strategy. To ensure accountability, the Agency will use a GBA+ responsibility centre and working groups led by an executive-level GBA+ champion to support and monitor the implementation of GBA+ throughout the Agency, and liaise with the broader Government of Canada GBA+ network. ACOA will implement inclusion as one of its four strategic lenses to focus the Agency’s work. This lens will aim to advance the inclusion of under-represented groups and direct specific attention on Indigenous peoples, newcomers, international students, women and youth. This is in addition to other traditionally under-represented groups already examined by the Agency such as visible minorities and rural populations. Below are a few examples of major initiatives the Agency will advance and implement to achieve departmental capacity.

Diversity and inclusion in ACOA’s workforce

The Agency will continue to implement its new Employment Equity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism Action Plan 2020-2022, which aims to increase representativeness and foster an inclusive workplace by focusing on recruitment, governance, talent management, and diversity and inclusion competencies and training. A flagship initiative is the creation of the Office of Inclusion, Equity and Anti-Racism (IEAR) at ACOA. The IEAR is a neutral entity that provides leadership, strategic direction, policy advice, professional development and expertise with respect to inclusion, equity and anti-racism. The Office also engages external stakeholders in supporting corporate inclusion initiatives to remove systemic barriers.

Inclusion lens and GBA+ in support of inclusive programming for Canadians, including COVID-19 support

As part of the Government of Canada’s Fall Economic Statement, ACOA was identified as a delivery partner for a number of national and regional initiatives, many of which are relevant to ACOA’s mandate that covers a highly rural part of Canada and target under-represented groups in Atlantic Canada’s economy, such as the Black Entrepreneurship Program’s Ecosystem Fund and the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy’s Ecosystem Fund. For those initiatives, ACOA conducted GBA+ analyses for various Memoranda to Cabinet, Treasury Board submissions and internal documents. The Agency will continue to implement these measures with an inclusion lens described previously, ensuring that GBA+ aspects are part of performance measurement strategies. Finally, ACOA will examine the implementation of GBA+ in three recent program evaluations to identify overarching findings and conclusions.

Systems update

In 2019-20, ACOA updated its internal system to capture microdata on GBA+ elements in order to facilitate monitoring and reporting. This will enable ACOA to carry out analyses on its programs using new and existing administrative data available. This will help the Agency take stock of the GBA+ elements of ACOA’s programs, look at trends, and provide insight into areas that may be improved upon to strengthen inclusivity.

Highlights of GBA+ Results Reporting Capacity by Program

Program Inventory: Inclusive Communities

This program has impacts that support the pillars and goals of the Gender Results Framework (GRF), mainly the goals of equal and full participation in the economy (i.e., increased labour market opportunities for women, especially women in under-represented groups) and gender equality in leadership roles and at all levels of decision-making (i.e., increased opportunities for women to start and grow their businesses, and succeed on a global scale). For an economically diversified Atlantic Canada, communities must have the capacity and resources to be more inclusive; and for sustainable growth, entrepreneurs must be equipped to be competitive on the global market. This program targets groups such as youth, women, Indigenous peoples, visible minorities and immigrants, including international students.

There are sufficient data to enable ACOA to monitor and report program impacts by gender and diversity. The Agency tracks three indicators related to GBA+ for this program: the percentage of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Atlantic Canada majority-owned by women, Indigenous peoples, youth, visible minorities and persons with disabilities; the percentage of ACOA-assisted firms that are majority owned by women; and the percentage points by which the business survival rate of Community Business Development Corporation (CBDC)-assisted clients exceeds that of comparable firms not assisted by CBDCs, including disaggregated data by women and age. They support businesses in rural and remote communities that are typically under-served by traditional financial institutions.

Program Inventory: Diversified Communities

This program has impacts that support the pillars and goals of the GRF, mainly the goals of equal and full participation in the economy (i.e., increased labour market opportunities for women, especially women in under-represented groups) and gender equality in leadership roles and at all levels of decision making (i.e., increased opportunities for women to start and grow their businesses, and succeed on a global scale). This program supports projects to revitalize and strengthen rural community infrastructure that will lead to diversified communities. Economic development in rural areas continues to be a challenge in light of the declining traditional industries, population shifts and infrastructure issues.

There are sufficient data to enable ACOA to monitor and report program impacts by gender and diversity. The Agency tracks one indicator related to GBA+ for this program: the percentage of SMEs in Atlantic Canada majority-owned by women, Indigenous peoples, youth, visible minorities and persons with disabilities.

Program Inventory: Research and Development, and Commercialization

This program has impacts that support the pillars and goals of the GRF, mainly the goals of equal and full participation in the economy (i.e., increased labour market opportunities for women, especially women in under-represented groups) and gender equality in leadership roles and at all levels of decision making (.i.e., increased opportunities for women to start and grow their businesses, and succeed on a global scale). ACOA plays an important role in ensuring that Atlantic Canada continues to maximize benefits from national research and development (R&D) programs and builds on the momentum of rising business expenditures in R&D in the region. Projects in this program support these objectives for businesses owned by under-represented groups (e.g., women, Indigenous peoples, youth, persons with disabilities, immigrants).

There are sufficient data to enable ACOA to monitor and report program impacts by gender and diversity. Although there are no Performance Information Profiles specifically targeting GBA+, new tags will enhance administrative data to include women-led and women-owned businesses, people living with disabilities, Indigenous groups, recent immigrants, visible minorities, official language minority communities, and people in rural or remote regions, when available and possible.

Program Inventory: Innovation Ecosystem

This program has impacts that support the pillars and goals of the GRF, mainly the goals of equal and full participation in the economy (i.e., increased labour market opportunities for women, especially women in under-represented groups) and gender equality in leadership roles and at all levels of decision making (i.e., increased opportunities for women to start and grow their businesses, and succeed on a global scale). ACOA develops and facilitates strategic networks, partnerships and initiatives to develop an innovation ecosystem. This program supports projects that are key to this ecosystem, including networking, engagement and coordination activities to foster collaboration with various stakeholders, including under-represented groups such as Black entrepreneurs, women entrepreneurs and people in rural areas.

There are sufficient data to enable ACOA to monitor and report program impacts by gender and diversity. Although there are no Performance Information Profiles specifically targeting GBA+, new tags will enhance administrative data to include women-led and women-owned businesses, people living with disabilities, Indigenous groups, recent immigrants, visible minorities, official language minority communities, and people in rural or remote regions, when available and possible.

Program Inventory: Business Growth

This program has impacts that support the pillars and goals of the GRF, mainly the goals of equal and full participation in the economy (i.e., increased labour market opportunities for women, especially women in under-represented groups) and gender equality in leadership roles and at all levels of decision making (i.e., increased opportunities for women to start and grow their businesses, and succeed on a global scale). ACOA invests in business growth to enhance Atlantic Canadians’ access to the information and financing they need to grow a business. This enables businesses to become more innovative, productive and grow, which generates wealth and jobs. Efforts are made to support businesses owned by under-represented groups (e.g., women, Indigenous peoples, youth, persons with disabilities, immigrants).

There are sufficient data to enable ACOA to monitor and report program impacts by gender and diversity. Although there are no Performance Information Profiles specifically targeting GBA+, new tags will enhance administrative data to include women-led and women-owned businesses, people living with disabilities, indigenous groups, recent immigrants, visible minorities, official language minority communities, and people in rural or remote regions, when available and possible.

Program Inventory: Trade and Investment

This program has impacts that support the pillars and goals of the GRF, mainly the goals of equal and full participation in the economy (i.e., increased labour market opportunities for women, especially women in under-represented groups) and gender equality in leadership roles and at all levels of decision making (i.e., increased opportunities for women to start and grow their businesses, and succeed on a global scale). ACOA pursues trade and investment opportunities with a view to increase the number of exporters and the volume of export sales, attract foreign direct investment and support the commercialization of technology. ACOA also strives to build a foundation for long-term growth through global competitiveness thanks to its tourism work, primarily through the commercial and non-commercial elements of the Business Development Program.

There are sufficient data to enable ACOA to monitor and report program impacts by gender and diversity. Although there are no Performance Information Profiles specifically targeting GBA+, new tags will enhance administrative data to include women-led and women-owned businesses, people living with disabilities, Indigenous groups, recent immigrants, visible minorities, official language minority communities, and people in rural or remote regions, when available and possible.

Program Inventory: Policy Research and Engagement

This program has impacts that support the pillars and goals of the GRF, mainly the goals of equal and full participation in the economy (i.e., increased labour market opportunities for women, especially women in under-represented groups) and gender equality in leadership roles and at all levels of decision making (i.e., increased opportunities for women to start and grow their businesses, and succeed on a global scale). The Policy Research and Engagement (PRE) Program is central to identifying and effectively responding to opportunities and challenges facing the regional economy. It provides intelligence, analysis and well-grounded advice to support decision making on a broad range of issues and topics, including economic development and performance as it relates to GBA+ characteristics such as gender, immigrant and Indigenous status, and geography. Given the research focus of this program, its products will continue to analyze the impacts of ACOA’s economic development programming on diverse groups of Atlantic Canadians.

Program Inventory: Internal Services

The Agency drafted a new Employment Equity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism Action Plan 2020-2022, which aims to increase representativeness and foster an inclusive workplace by focusing on recruitment, governance, talent management, and diversity and inclusion competencies and training. As part of its Evaluation and Advisory Services, the Agency publishes on its website all evaluation findings related to inclusive growth and GBA+. These efforts will also contribute to more inclusive service delivery to ACOA clients.

There are sufficient data to enable the Agency to monitor and report program impacts by gender and diversity, notably the diversity and inclusiveness of its workforce.

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