Canada benefits when more women reach the highest levels of achievement

News Release

Innovation Minister celebrates diversity and openness on International Women’s Day 

March 8, 2017 – Ottawa – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada 

Canada needs more women to reach the highest levels of achievement because an open society that values a diversity of ideas and perspectives is good for business. It’s also good for innovation, which is Canada’s path to economic growth.

This was the message that the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, delivered to students and academics at a reception celebrating International Women’s Day co-hosted by the Canada–India Centre for Excellence and Carleton University. 

Minister Bains outlined the measures proposed in Bill C-25 to encourage Canada’s publicly traded companies to recruit more women and other under-represented groups on their corporate boards and in their senior management ranks. A growing body of research shows that businesses benefit from better performance and stronger balance sheets as a result of having senior leaders from a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives. 

He highlighted the Government of Canada’s efforts to encourage girls and young women to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and math, as well as outlined ways the Government is supporting women who start their own businesses. 

Minister Bains also drew on his recent trip to India, during which he promoted trade and stronger ties, to highlight the economic impact of openness and diversity in both countries.


“Diversity is Canada’s strength. In the boardroom, as in life, multiple perspectives lead to innovative thinking and better performance. Today on International Women’s Day, we honour the significant contributions of women from all walks of life and rededicate ourselves to the continued advancement of women in Canada and around the world. I am proud to serve a government that has done so much to support women’s progress as entrepreneurs, researchers and business leaders. I want my daughters to grow up seeing more women and other under-represented groups reaching the highest levels of achievement.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“At Carleton University we are delighted to celebrate International Women’s Day with Minister Bains and a conversation on the empowerment of women and our commitment to gender equality. We are privileged to work with the Government of Canada to ensure a bright future for the next generations of Canadians.”

– Dr. Roseann O’Reilly Runte, President and Vice-Chancellor, Carleton University

Quick Facts

  • Bill C-25 aims to update Canada’s corporate framework laws to better reflect modern ways of doing business, including through encouraging the promotion of diversity on corporate boards, and make it easier for companies to harness innovation to grow and succeed.

  • International Women’s Day recognizes women’s achievements and acknowledges the challenges they face in the quest for gender equality.

  • The Canada–India Centre for Excellence was initiated in 2010 by Carleton University and leaders from the Indo-Canadian community in collaboration with the High Commission of India. Through events, research and partnerships, the Centre expands perspectives, builds stronger ties and leverages great ideas to spark economic engines.

  • Canada and the U.S. have struck a joint task force, the Canada–United States Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders, to promote women-owned enterprises and boost economic growth.

Associated Links


Follow Minister Bains on Twitter: @MinisterISED

Nilani Logeswaran
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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