Minister Monsef highlights Government of Canada actions to advance gender equality

News Release

January 31, 2018 – New York City, New York – Status of Women Canada

Canadians believe in gender equality, but we must continue taking bold actions that will bring it closer to reality.

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women, participated today at the Women in Corporate Leadership Initiative event in New York City. Canada’s participation in this event along with the U.S. and France reflected the collaboration of these three G7 countries on gender issues. The Minister joined decision-makers and experts from a variety of backgrounds, including the private sector, government, corporate boards, and academia. Other Canadians in attendance included Phyllis Yaffe, Consul General of Canada in New York, Katie Telford, Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister of Canada, and executives such as Victor Dodig and Annette Verschuren. Major companies were also represented, such as CIBC, Macy's, L'Oréal USA, IBM and others. All those who gathered recognize that progress is needed to improve the number of women leaders in senior corporate leadership roles globally, and at today's event they shared success stories and strategies for increasing the representation of women executives.

During her remarks, Minister Monsef described a range of important initiatives the federal government is working on to better support the middle class, generate inclusive economic growth, and create more opportunities for women and girls. Among these is the Government’s decision to name the advancement of gender equality and women’s economic empowerment as one of the key themes during Canada’s G7 Presidency this year, pursuing a progressive trade agenda designed to help ensure all segments of society can benefit from the opportunities that flow from trade and investment, appointing more women into senior positions, and introducing reforms to promote greater corporate diversity.

The Minister was proud to join Canadian business leaders and was pleased to highlight some of the Government of Canada’s actions to date, such as introducing legislation to help women feel more welcome and secure in the workplace, as well as legislation to encourage the inclusion of greater diversity in company boards, and funding organizations which aim to break down the barriers to women’s access to leadership positions. The ideas discussed at today’s event will help result in new ways to advance gender equality at home and abroad.    


“It is important for those who are in decision-making positions to listen, learn, and ultimately lead with our actions. That’s why I welcome the opportunity to share with this gathering of women and men some of the important ways that Canada is working to support women’s economic security and prosperity, as part of an agenda for inclusive economic growth. The single greatest action we can take is to hire, promote, and retain more women in the workforce. Not just because it’s the right thing, but because it’s the smart thing to do. I invite Canadians to join this conversation using the #WomenLeaders hashtag.

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Status of Women

“Our Government is committed to a progressive trade agenda, one that creates more opportunities for everyone, including women and Indigenous peoples, to benefit from the economy. It is time to formally acknowledge the important relationship between trade and gender. It is not only the right thing to do, it just makes economic sense and is long overdue.”

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, P.C., M.P.
Minister of International Trade

Quick Facts

  • Status of Women Canada works to address systemic barriers to the full participation of women in all aspects of Canadian life with a focus on three priorities: increasing women's economic security and prosperity; encouraging women in leadership and decision-making roles; and, ending violence against women and girls. 

  • Today, 27% of the Members of Parliament in Canada are women – the highest it has ever been. 

  • Since 2015, the percentage of women appointed by the federal Cabinet to senior positions has increased to over 40%.

  • Women hold just under 23% of corporate board seats, which is why the government introduced Bill C-25, which will amend the Canada Business Corporations Act to require corporations to disclose diversity information to their shareholders and encourage the appointment of more women to corporate boards.


Célia Canon
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Status of Women

Nanci-Jean Waugh
Director General
Status of Women Canada

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