Government of Canada launches two initiatives in support of the 50 – 30 Challenge

News release

Over 1,200 participating organizations will have access to resources and tailored support to meet their diversity objectives

June 7, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario

As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada is working to build a more inclusive, more resilient and more competitive economy that benefits everyone. This includes breaking down existing barriers to full economic participation for all Canadians. In December 2020, the Government of Canada launched the 50 – 30 Challenge, which asks Canadian companies, not-for-profit organizations and post-secondary institutions to commit to achieving gender parity (50%) and significant representation (30%) of other under-represented groups—including racialized persons, Indigenous people, people living with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ2+ community—on corporate boards and in senior management positions.

Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, launched two initiatives that will help Canadian businesses and organizations that have signed on to the 50 – 30 Challenge quickly and effectively adopt diversity and inclusion best practices and policies in support of their 50 – 30 Challenge commitments.

Organizations are invited to respond to the request for proposals on Canada’s Buy and Sell website for the development of the What Works Toolkit. The successful applicant will be responsible for building a toolkit of resources to support 50 – 30 Challenge participants in meeting their diversity objectives. This includes resources to support the recruitment and mentorship of board members and senior managers from under-represented groups, as well as tools to support the development of anti-racism, anti-harassment and inclusive workplace strategies, and more. The What Works Toolkit will be publicly available to encourage the development and adoption of diversity and inclusion strategies by all Canadian businesses and organizations.

A call for applications for the 50 – 30 Challenge Ecosystem Fund is also being launched on Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s website. Through this process, the government will provide funding to select diversity-serving organizations, which will work directly with Challenge participants to provide guidance, tools and other diversity supports specific to participants’ unique needs.

The request for proposals will close on July 12, 2021, and the call for applications will close on July 19, 2021. The What Works Toolkit will be published in 2022.


“We know that our economy and society cannot fully succeed if some of us are being left behind. We’ve made progress on improving equity and inclusion overall, but more needs to be done to ensure that leadership in Canada is representative of everyone who lives and works in Canada. That is why we are bringing diversity experts and organizations together to develop resources and best practices and to provide support for 50 – 30 participants to meaningfully and tangibly improve diversity and inclusion in positions of influence across their organizations. I look forward to seeing participants make meaningful progress toward the 50 – 30 Challenge objectives—not just because it’s the right thing to do but also because it’s the smart thing to do.”
- The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“When we give women and under-represented groups a voice at corporate decision-making tables, we build more successful and innovative businesses and a stronger economy. The initiatives announced today will bring together proven best practices and resources, helping 50 – 30 Challenge participants embrace gender parity and diversity. It is with initiatives like these that we will watch corporate Canada evolve into an inclusive, equal and diverse workforce for years to come.”
- The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development

“In Canada, diversity is one of our greatest strengths, yet we know that a multicultural society—one that is truly open and inclusive—is always a work in progress. It demands our effort, our attention and our care. Supporting businesses and organizations through these two new initiatives is another concrete step toward making sure that they have the tools and funds necessary to create an environment that is truly inclusive and reflective of the diversity found across the country. As we build back even better and consciously more inclusive, the 50 – 30 Challenge will help us ensure that equity-seeking communities can contribute meaningfully to all aspects of society.”
- The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth

Quick facts

  • Launched in December 2020, the 50 – 30 Challenge is a voluntary pledge by Canadian organizations to increase the representation and inclusion of diverse groups within their workplace. Organizations participating in the Challenge aspire to two goals: gender parity (50%) and significant representation (30%) of equity-seeking groups—specifically Black Canadians and other racialized people, Indigenous people, persons living with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ2+ community—on corporate boards and in senior management.

  • Over 1,200 organizations across Canada have now joined the 50 – 30 Challenge.

  • The 50 – 30 Challenge builds on the 2018 amendments to the Canada Business Corporations Act that require distributing corporations to report on their board and senior management diversity.

  • The 2020 Fall Economic Statement committed $33 million in support of the 50 – 30 Challenge. This includes funding for the development of an online toolkit and grants to diversity-serving groups to enable them to provide services and resources to Challenge participants.

Associated links


John Power
A/ Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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