Government of Canada invests more than $1.3 million to support Black women and girls

News release

February 23, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario – Women and Gender Equality Canada

Black women and girls are an important part of the fabric of Canadian society and have made invaluable contributions across all aspects of society, including culture, STEM, sports, and business. The Government of Canada continues to invest in projects that help eliminate the inequalities facing Black women and girls and provide them with the resources they need to succeed.

Today, the Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, announced more than $1.3 million for three projects that will promote the empowerment of Black women and girls across Canada.

The following projects will build on ongoing efforts to facilitate the inclusion of Black women and girls to participate in all aspects of society:

  • Black Canadian Women in Action is receiving $474,095 to develop a toolkit that will enable community organizations to strengthen cultural sensitivity training.
  • Future Black Female is receiving $412,180 to develop tools and resources to address the unique challenges experienced by Black women and create career opportunities for Black women.
  • Black Women Business Network is receiving $489,850 to identify the root causes of the systemic barriers limiting Black women from participating in specific fields of employment.

Through the development of projects like these, Canada is better equipped to address the systemic barriers to gender equality – bringing us all one step closer to a better and more inclusive Canada for everyone.


“When we empower Black women to be leaders in their fields, we build a more equitable country and inspire the next generation of young girls. The three incredible projects announced today will strengthen cultural sensitivity, create career opportunities, and address long-standing systemic barriers. I applaud the advocates and volunteers who do this important work in their communities to help build a brighter future for Black women and girls in Canada.”

The Honourable Marci Ien, P.C., M.P., Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth

“Any work we do, any programs we run, any resources and time spent have to be culturally relevant and responsive to the Black girls and women we serve. We begin by acknowledging and celebrating the strengths Black girls and women in Canada have already demonstrated. Then we lean into the resources and assets within our networks of Black women. We know as Black women that we are required to be so many things for everybody else. Future Black Female is about what we can be for ourselves with the support of WAGE and the extended governments - federal and provincial - and our diverse communities. Hence our program: Providing Culturally Relevant and Responsive Career Pathways for Black Women in Ontario.

Dr. Tapo Chimbganda, Founder and Executive Director, Future Black Female 

“Black Canadian Women (BCW) in Action is dedicated to the empowerment of Black Canadian women, girls, and families in all sectors of society. With a commitment to increase best practices and advance awareness and education around racism in our society, BCW in Action is creating and implementing an anti-racism toolkit to work with agencies, organizations, and the community to enhance knowledge, and to build capacity and skills for more inclusive communities. Thanks to the funding from Women and Gender Equality Canada as they support BCW's initiative in championing women's empowerment and equality in Western Canada.”

Jeanne Lehman, Founder and Executive Director, Black Canadian Women in Action 

This project will contribute to empowering Black women and girls to confidently pursue tech education and careers and remain and advance in them while enabling tech employment stakeholders to support the attraction, recruitment, retention, and advancement of Black women in tech. It will contribute to increasing the economic security and prosperity for Black women in Canada due to their increased representation in high-paying tech jobs in a post-pandemic digital economy. We appreciate the funding support from Women and Gender Equality Canada to implement this project.”

Pasima Sule, Founder and Executive Director, Black Women Business Network

Quick facts

  • In 2016, close to 1.2 million people in Canada – or 3.5% of Canadians – reported being Black, and nearly 620,000 of them were women or girls.

  • In 2021, Black women workers were mostly employed by the health care and social assistance sectors. Nearly 1 in 3 had a job in these sectors, more than the rest of the employed women population. 

  • In 2020, 89% of 48 of Canada’s largest organizations reported that they had zero Black women in the pipeline to fill executive officer roles.  

  • The Government of Canada has taken concrete action to help empower Black communities across the country. This includes funding projects in support of Black and racialized women, launching the first-ever Black Entrepreneurship Program, and working to achieve equality through Canada’s Anti‑Racism Strategy.

Associated links


Johise Namwira
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth

Media Relations
Women and Gender Equality Canada

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