Backgrounder - New federal investment will help improve women’s economic security in Québec’s Outaouais region


Status of Women Canada – Women’s Program

One of the ways Status of Women Canada advances gender equality in Canada is by providing funding to eligible organizations through the Women’s Program. Projects are selected via calls for proposals on specific themes, as well as through a continuous intake process that allows the Women’s Program to address emerging issues as they arise.

 The Women’s Program funds projects that address systemic barriers to women’s equality in three priority areas: ending violence against women and girls; improving the economic security and prosperity of women and girls; and encouraging women and girls in leadership roles. 

Calls for Proposals – Support for Women’s Economic Security and Addressing the Economic Security and Prosperity of Indigenous Women

On October 2, 2017, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women, launched two calls for proposals. The first call, entitled Support for Women’s Economic Security, invited organizations to apply for funding for projects to address the economic security of women and help advance gender equality in Canada. More than 30 projects will receive a total of $10 million in funding through this call for proposals. 

This call for proposals is divided into two themes; the first is Building Partnerships to Address Systemic Barriers, which provides funding to address major barriers that limit women’s economic security, including, but not limited to, the accessibility of childcare, the gender wage gap and pay inequity. 

The second theme, Increasing Private Sector Leadership and Investments in Women, encourages organizations to partner with the private sector to find innovative solutions that will help advance women’s economic security. 

The second call for proposals, entitled Addressing the Economic Security and Prosperity of Indigenous Women, invited organizations to foster collaboration between Indigenous women, Indigenous organizations, their communities, and the private sector to support the economic security and prosperity of Indigenous women across Canada. Fifteen projects across the country will receive nearly $5 million in funding through this call for proposals. 

Funded Project

Option Femmes Emploi is a regional organization that works to achieve women’s economic autonomy and the recognition of women as valuable members of the labour market. The organization provides professional development services and supports for female entrepreneurs and for women who are looking to access well-paying jobs in non-traditional occupations and sectors. 

Project Description

The Government of Canada will provide $274,285 in funding for a 36-month project to Option Femmes Emploi entitled Women’s access to the automotive sector which seeks to increase women’s economic security through increased participation and retention in the automotive industry by improving the work environment. 

The organization will work to identify the biggest barriers and gaps to women’s recruitment and retention in the sector. The project will establish an advisory committee composed of local women, businesses, community organizations and unions, and seek to develop a regional action plan to train businesses in the Outaouais on best practices in an effort to create more inclusive workplaces. It is anticipated that this project will result in improving the working environment and women’s knowledge of the automotive sector leading to greater gender equality in this sector. 

Provincial Statistics – Women’s Economic Security 

  • In 2017, women in Québec earned $0.90 for every dollar earned by men on an average hourly basis. Said differently, in 2017 there was a gender wage gap in Québec of $0.10. 
  • In 2017, the employment rate was 57.4% among women and 64.5% among men in Québec. 
  • In 2017, 25.3% of employed women and 13.8% of employed men in Québec worked part-time. 

National Statistics – Women’s Economic Security

  • In 2015, 82.0% of women in the core working ages of 25 to 54 years (6 million) participated in the labour market. 
  • In 2015, women represented 47.2% of the labour force, up from 45.7% in 1999 and 37.1% in 1976. 
  • In 2015, the national employment rate for women was 77.5% compared to 85.3% for men. 
  • On average women work 5.6 hours per week less than men (35.5 hours/week compared to 41.1 hours/week). 
  • The average net worth of lone mothers was less than half of that of lone fathers: $240,000 versus $540,000. Unattached women and men had similar average net worth at $250,000 and $230,000, respectively. 
  • Lone mothers had the lowest average adjusted income ($25,300), followed by those who were unattached ($33,700). The average adjusted incomes of lone fathers and unattached men were similar (around $40,300). Notably, the average adjusted income of lone mothers was $15,000 less than that of lone fathers.

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