Summary of Notes: Roundtable on Advancing Equity for Women, Non-Binary People and LGBTQ2+
The purpose of the summary of notes is to document key takeaways from the discussion on advancing equity for women, non-binary people and LGBTQ2+ communities held on October 5, 2020. This roundtable was comprised of approximately 9 representatives from major associations and groups with representation across different disciplines, regions and intersectional identity communities. The goals of the roundtable were to:
- Ensure various stakeholders representing different sectors and industries have an opportunity to express their vision of the recovery.
- Understand on-the-ground impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic for sectors and organizations.
At the start of the roundtable, the representatives shared their general experience of how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted them in terms of advancing inclusivity, particularly as it relates to women, non-binary people, and members of LGBTQ2+ communities, as well as in the arts, culture, heritage and sport sectors. The introduction was followed by an open discussion which touched on two themes:
- Current Efforts and Barriers; and
- Opportunities for the Sectors.
Current efforts and barriers
To initiate a discussion, the question asked was: What efforts were you, or are you currently doing to advance inclusivity in the arts/culture/heritage/sport world, and what barriers do you face?
Key ideas and takeaways included:
- Current efforts include collaboration with and amongst key stakeholders (e.g. sports and physical activity organizations) to embed gender-inclusive policies and practices in mainstream organizations.
- The pandemic has eroded some of the hard-earned gains for gender equality as many in the sectors go back to old patterns of behaviour when faced with fewer resources. There is a need to create and implement more permanent political and public service structures to better protect those gains.
- Not all emergency measures and programs in response to the pandemic have gender-inclusive provisions in them.
- Women- or LGBTQ2+-focussed organizations and groups have more challenges in fundraising and accessing space to develop and perform their skills and work.
- There is a need for investment in leadership initiatives and opportunities for women.
- There is a need to ensure that industry- and government-led solutions and practices adequately consider women and LGBTQ2+ groups before implementation.
- There is a need to raise awareness of the inequalities and challenges that women and LGBTQ2+ face.
- There is not enough data collected on women and LGBTQ2+ issues that can provide information on how to appropriately address those issues.
- The pandemic has further isolated LGBTQ2+ people in more rural or remote places. LGBTQ2+ events that usually tour across the country give LGBTQ2+ people a chance to gather. These points of connection are on hold because of the pandemic.
- During the pandemic when people are told to stay home, a lack of community-specific safety measures can prevent people from seeking help or receiving other services they need (e.g. anonymous helplines are good, but are not completely safe if people do not have access to private space to make a call).
- The use of digital technology to replace in-person meetings for work or personal purposes during the pandemic presents safety issues for LGBTQ2+ people (e.g. digital meeting spaces do not currently provide guarantees of privacy to ensure that people are not outed).
Opportunities for the sectors
To stimulate the discussion in the second segment, the following question was asked: What opportunities can be leveraged from the present circumstances to better support women and members of LGBTQ2+ communities in the arts/culture/heritage/sport sectors, and what role should the Government of Canada play?
Key ideas and takeaways included:
- Ensure that the strategic recovery plan will include a long-term vision, and resources and tools that will help measure progress for gender and LGBTQ2+ inclusion.
- Simplify and streamline the program funding application process to increase funding accessibility for organizations of all sizes (e.g. modernize funding program application using online portals and ensure that digital forms are working appropriately, review the application to ensure only the most relevant questions are being asked, extend application deadlines).
- Dedicate funding for organizations with limited resources and capacity.
- Increase the flexibility of charitable funding criteria so funding can assist more applicants.
- Provide funding or grant programs that will help organizations hire specialized personnel (e.g. copyright experts, experts familiar with the funding program application process).
- Create a program to facilitate the access to useful information and knowledge that will help organizations in their funding program application process.
- Include the building of core competencies in requirements for funding programs.
- Review and modernize existing funds to be more inclusive towards women and LGBTQ2+ people.
- Provide financial support (e.g. funding programs) specifically designated for women and LGBTQ2+ people.
- Support measures that raise the public’s awareness of the importance of equity and inclusion.
- Include gender equity clauses in funding programs and in the mandates of rules governing organizations.
- Include equity rules and measures, from the start, at every organizational level (e.g. development, production, broadcasting).
- Leverage the Government’s GBA+ framework and help embed the use of that tool in organizations that want to be more inclusive.
- Require organizations (e.g. Sport Canada) to apply a gender lens to standards, policies and operations (e.g. perform GBA+ analysis) in order to receive government funding.
- Collect data that speak to diversity and inclusion to gain a better understanding of the current situation and plan accordingly.
- Monitor measures related to achieving equality for gender and LGBTQ2+ communities to monitor and evaluate government policies and standards so they can be adjusted as needed.
- Disseminate information and initiatives to raise awareness about female talent (e.g. websites showcasing female talent, accessible database with female talent information, presentations to young people in schools).
- Support initiatives that recognize work accomplished by women.
- Provide funding to create a database with female talent information for which users can search and hire female talents.
- Assistance from the Government is needed to help smaller organizations navigate the cultural industries ecosystem, market their work, and negotiate agreements with mainstream producers.
- Provide networking opportunities such as roundtables to discuss women and LGBTQ2+ challenges and ways to address those challenges.
- Support funded organizations to gain better access to technology and develop the knowledge and skills on how to manage digital platforms.
- Implement wellness and living standard budgets similar to New Zealand’s framework.
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