2019-20 Gender and diversity: Impacts of programs

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Gender-based analysis plus (GBA Plus) in federal programs

GBA Plus is an analytical process for assessing systemic inequalities in how different groups may experience government policies, programs and initiatives. GBA Plus may consider gender or other identity factors, such as race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, education, income, geography, language, age, and mental or physical disability.

GBA Plus is grounded in the idea that all people should have access to quality programs, services, facilities, places, spaces and opportunities that improve their lives. It applies not only to the development of initiatives, but also to their implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

The Government of Canada applies GBA Plus as part of an overall commitment to evidence-based decision-making.

Reporting the impact of programs on gender and diversity

The 2018 Canadian Gender Budgeting Act enshrined gender budgeting in the federal government’s budgetary and financial management process. Gender budgeting is supported by guidance, best practices and expertise provided by the Minister for Women and Gender Equality.

The act requires that the President of the Treasury Board make available to the public an annual analysis of the impacts of existing Government of Canada expenditure programs on gender and diversity. Each year, federal organizations are required to report this information in a special GBA Plus Supplementary Information Table that is released as a supplement to their Departmental Results Reports.

The following are examples of federal programs that affect different groups of citizens:

The Minister of Finance has separate reporting requirements under the Canadian Gender Budgeting Act. These requirements include tabling a report before Parliament on the gender and diversity impact of all new budget and fiscal update measures. Examples of previous gender and diversity impact reports tabled by the Minister of Finance include the following:

The Minister of Finance is also required to make publicly available an annual analysis of the impacts of tax expenditures on gender and diversity, such as tax exemptions, deductions or credits. This requirement is met through the publication of the annual Report on Federal Tax Expenditures. The GBA Plus analysis in the 2020 report is available online.

How GBA Plus is helping to improve outcomes for Canadians

The following example shows how the integration of GBA Plus into decision-making can help ensure that programs better serve all Canadians.

Science and Technology Internship Program, part of the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy

Natural Resources Canada, Departmental Results Report 2019–20

The Science and Technology Internship Program helps youth between the ages of 15 and 30 (inclusive) gain the practical experience and skills needed to successfully join the workforce and contribute to positive environmental outcomes in the natural resources sector. Data received through this program is used to assess its impact on the youth and employers it aims to serve. For example, in 2018-19, the program identified a gap in the participation of Indigenous, northern and remote youth. As a result, the program engaged with Indigenous and northern youth to identify what barriers they experience with regard to accessing employment opportunities in general and in the natural resources sectors.

Based on the barriers identified, the program was adjusted in the 2019–20 fiscal year to:

  • remove any education requirement, allowing for employers to set their own eligibility criteria
  • increase wage subsidies for youth in northern, rural and remote communities to account for the higher cost of living
  • allow training as an eligible expense to provide youth with the professional training necessary to find employment opportunities in the natural resources sector

Data shows that addressing these systemic barriers has contributed to increased labour market opportunities and participation, including an increase in the participation of Indigenous and northern youth from 6% in 2017-18 to 22% in 2020-21 and maintaining over 60% participation from Employment Equity groups in the last four years.

Other GBA Plus reporting on impacts of programs

Federal departments and agencies produce other GBA Plus reports and analyses to meet a variety of purposes. Some examples are highlighted below.

Diversity in the artistic community

Department: Canadian Heritage

In 2019–20, the Arts Branch of Canadian Heritage and partners funded two research reports using Statistics Canada Census data to provide valuable GBA Plus data and analysis about artists in Canada:

Diversity in the public service of Canada

Department: Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada

The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s diversity and inclusion statistics provide information on the people who comprise the public service to help the government work toward having a workforce that is more representative, diverse and inclusive.

Strengthening future GBA Plus reporting capacity

Canada is recognized by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development as being among the global leaders in gender analysis and gender budgeting. Canada is building on this success. For example, Budget 2021 announced $172 million of funding to Statistics Canada, over five years, to implement a Disaggregated Data Action Plan that will fill data and knowledge gaps. This funding will:

  • support more representative data collection
  • enhance statistics on diverse populations
  • support the government’s efforts to address systemic racism and gender gaps, including the power gaps between men and women
  • bring fairness and inclusion considerations into decision-making

The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat requires federal government programs to report on the actions they are taking to improve their reporting capacity in order to measure and assess gender and diversity impacts. This information is included in the GBA Plus Supplementary Information Tables that are published as part of Departmental Results Reports.

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