G20 ministers meet on building more inclusive and diverse workforces

News Release

Canada presents a vision for investing in people and their skills, with more women and newcomers in the workforce

May 19, 2017                Bad Neuenahr, Germany               Employment and Social Development Canada

When more women and newcomers can be part of Canada’s educated, skilled workforce, our middle class and our economy grow stronger.

Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, discussed these key Canadian priorities at the G20 Labour and Employment Ministers Meeting, Towards an Inclusive Future – Shaping the World of Work, in Bad Neuenahr, Germany.

Minister Hajdu highlighted Canada’s leadership in closing the gender gap in our workforce through more affordable and accessible education; proactive pay equity; better access to childcare; recruiting more women to corporate boards; and targeted programs to help increase the representation of women in high-demand sectors including sciences, technology, engineering and math. Canada’s vision for a more inclusive society, in which women’s contributions are recognized and valued, sparked discussion about how Canada, and other G20 members, can do more to close the gap.

Minister Hajdu also made a presentation on the Canadian government’s successful integration of immigrants and refugees into the workforce. Through Canada’s long history of welcoming newcomers, and through modern achievements like the resettlement of over 40,000 Syrian refugees, many of whom are already in the workforce, Canadians have much to be proud of. With the right support, immigrants and refugees who come to Canada can build better lives, find good jobs, and contribute to Canadian society. The Government’s new investments in Budget 2017, like the Foreign Credential Recognition Program, will help even more newcomers succeed.

Minister Hajdu also toured and studied apprenticeship programs at a major German steel packaging company, observing best practices that can be applied to help Canada’s own apprentices get the best possible education.

The Minister and her G20 colleagues were hosted by German Federal Labour Minister Andrea Nahles. Minister Hajdu also met with United States Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta‎ to discuss the importance of trade to good middle class jobs on both sides of the Canada-US border. 


“The G20 promotes strong, sustainable and inclusive global growth and prosperity. I’m proud to have been able to highlight Canada’s leadership in building a strong middle class through inclusiveness and diversity, and to have been able to learn from our partner countries from around the world.”
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

Quick Facts

  • In 2016, the labour force participation rate for women aged 15 to 64 was 74.4 percent, while for men it was 81.8 percent.

  • If women’s employment would increase to the same rate as men’s‎, Canada’s GDP could increase by as much as three percent.

  • Today, immigrants represent one in five people in Canada. Since 1990, 76 percent of national population growth has come through immigration.

  • In 2016, Canada welcomed nearly 300,000 immigrants and refugees as new permanent residents.

  • Canada has welcomed over 40,000 Syrian refugees through government and private sponsorship.

Associated Links


Matt Pascuzzo
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada

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