Backgrounder - New federal investment will help boost number of women in Canada’s forestry sector

Backgrounder

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

Established in 1908the Canadian Institute of Forestry (CIF) is the oldest forest society in Canada. The CIF serves as the voice of forest practitioners representing foresters, forest technologists and technicians, ecologists, biologists, educators and many others with a professional interest in forestry. The CIF is dedicated to providing national leadership in forestry, promoting competency among forestry professionals, and fostering public awareness of forestry issues.

Project Description

The CIF will receive $467,000 for a 36-month project entitled “Gender Equality in Forestry National Action Plan” that will work to remove the barriers that prevent or discourage women from pursing rewarding middle class jobs and careers in the forestry industry. These obstacles include pay equity issues and child care, unequal access to training and trades, lack of management opportunities and misconceptions about the sector in general.

The project will bring women already working in different areas in the forestry sector together with industry stakeholders, including FPInnovations, the Council of Forest Industries, EACOM, TOLKO, Resolute Forest Products, National Aboriginal Forestry Association, the University of British Columbia, the University of Toronto, the City of Ottawa Forestry Services, Association of BC Forest Professionals, FedNor, Northern Ontario Heritage Fund, Women in Wood, Lakehead University, the University of Saskatchewan, and the Centre for Social Intelligence. The CIF will also work with Forestry Products Association Canada, as partners in a Gender Equality in Forestry Steering Committee, to develop a series of pilot projects to enhance opportunities for women which can then be improved and replicated across Canada.

A Gender-based Analysis Plus will be applied to identify gaps in existing policies, programs and services, and with the identification of gaps, industry partners will propose needed reforms in the forestry industry. Five sector-specific action plans (public, private, not-for-profit, academic, and Indigenous) will be developed and piloted in various locations by stakeholders, and will be reviewed and revised on an ongoing basis.

National Statistics – Women’s Economic Security

  • In 2016, only 17% of people employed in the forest industry were women. Of the total percentage of women who worked in the forestry sector, 23% worked in the forest—in logging, forestry, and forestry support activities, while 77% of women worked in wood product manufacturing, and the pulp and paper industry.
  • 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).
  • Currently, 19% of employed women work part-time (compared with 5.5% of employed men).
  • 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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