Minister Marci Ien announces funding for women’s organizations on International Women’s Day

News release

March 8, 2023 – Toronto, Ontario – Amazing women and girls are all around us, making a difference in business, science, public service, medicine, the arts, and beyond.  Every woman, in every walk of life, has an important place in the story of Canada.

Today, on International Women’s Day, the Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, announced over $2.5 million to support three important projects from women’s organizations that are committed to improve economic security and prosperity. They also encourage and support women to undertake leadership and decision-making roles.

The following projects will increase the capacity of women’s and equality seeking organizations whose initiatives contribute to advance gender equality in Canada:

  • Dress for Success Canada Foundation – Helping Women Now: navigating support programs for COVID relief and beyond, $500,000
    • Online workshops will help to guide underserved and vulnerable women who are trying to navigate the wide variety of economic supports and services available to them. The project will support and guide women through the application process to access available resources, referrals to nearby food banks, women’s shelters and other supports, including one-on-one peer support. 
  • Information and Communications Technology Council of Canada – Ambassador Program, $999,000
    • The creation of an ambassador program, comprised of key champions from the information and communications technology industry across Canada, will help guide private and public organizations to design and implement business plans and best practices within the digital economy.
  • A Conscious Economics – HeARTwork: Advancing the Inclusive Economy: Empowering Women in the Workforce to Lead, $1,004,565.
    • This project will increase young diverse feminine BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of colour) voices, as well as provide mentorship, and business skills designed for women by women. It will support and strengthen the Canadian economy through encouraging women’s economic participation, representation in the labour force and entry into leadership roles and representation on corporate boards.

Through this funding, the Government of Canada is creating opportunities where the success of women will lead to important benefits for everyone in Canada. It will increase economic participation, lead to greater health and happiness, and uphold fairness and justice in our society. This announcement builds on investments made since November 2015 to ensure that everyone can feel safe and fully participate in Canadian society, including more than $549 million for over 1,200 projects. 


“Today, we celebrate the successful women around us, reminding today’s youth and girls that their dream is within reach. I am in constant admiration of the vital work of women’s organizations. By investing in important projects, such as the ones we announced today, we are addressing long-standing systemic barriers that have prevented women and girls from achieving their dreams. Together, we are creating greater gender equality by empowering women and girls and building the foundation of a strong and sustainable future for everyone.”

The Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth

Quick facts

  • Women are less likely than men to participate in the labour force, which can contribute to their economic insecurity into their senior years. The employment rate of core-aged women (25-54) was 81.0% for the year 2022, compared with 87.9% among same-aged men. Male workers accounted for 59% of the gains in areas such as accounting, computer systems design and scientific research.   

  • The gender pay gap between women and men persists. When comparing median hourly wages of women and men (aged 15+) working only full-time in 2022, women earned 89 cents for every dollar earned by men, suggesting a gap of 11%. 

  • The number of women elected to Parliament climbed from 20% in 1997 to 30.6% in 2022 – a record in Canadian federal politics.  

  • According to the 2022 World Economic Forum’s annual Global Gender Gap Report, Canada ranked 43rd in economic participation, with 73.6% of the gender-based gap closed. This means that as a country, seeing full gender representation that was once estimated to take 100 years will now take 132 years post-pandemic.

Associated links


Riyadh Nazerally
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth

Media Relations
Women and Gender Equality Canada

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