For Immediate Release
September 9, 2020
Support for Women Critical to Canada’s Economic Recovery
Ontario Chamber Network’s latest report offers timely solutions to confront the most pressing challenges currently faced by women
Sault Ste. Marie – Today, the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce joined the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Chamber network in the release of The She-Covery Project: Confronting the Gendered Economic Impacts of COVID-19 in Ontario. This policy brief lays out a path to Ontario’s economic recovery offering practical recommendations to confront both immediate and longer-term challenges faced by women.
“With women’s labour force participation at a record low, decades of progress towards gender equality are at stake,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “This is not only a watershed moment for women but for Ontario’s economy and society more broadly, as women’s participation in the labour market is a precondition to its fulsome economic recovery and future prosperity.”
“The economic impacts of the pandemic were direct and immediate for women in Ontario,” said Rory Ring, CEO of the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber “Temporary business shutdowns during the state of emergency most severely affected sectors that predominantly employ women. Restrictions on schools and paid child care facilities have shifted additional hours of unpaid family care onto parents, and this work has largely been taken up by mothers.”
Major takeaways from the report include:
Leadership and accountability begin with a commitment from stakeholders to set collective targets, reward diversity, include women in decision-making bodies, and apply a gender and diversity lens to their strategies, policies, and programs for recovery.
Child care requires a short-term strategy to weather the pandemic and longer-term, system-wide reforms to improve accessibility and affordability.
Workforce development initiatives should focus on defining critical skills, accelerating women’s reskilling, and ensuring their skills are utilized – with a focus on increasing their participation in skilled trade, technology, and engineering roles in fast-growing sectors.
Entrepreneurship should be understood as a pathway to economic growth, and an inclusive ecosystem is critical to supporting women entrepreneurs.
Flexible work arrangements are one way to level the playing field for women and improve organizational outcomes.
The full report, The She-Covery Project: Confronting the Gendered Economic Impacts of COVID-19 in Ontario, can be read HERE.
About the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce
The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit organization comprised of 700 plus businesses and agencies in Sault Ste. Marie and has been serving the needs of this community since 1889. The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce will lead the way as the voice of business, advancing economic prosperity for its membership and the business community. Learn more about the SSMCOC at www.ssmcoc.com
About the Ontario Chamber of Commerce
For more than a century, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has been the independent, non-partisan, indispensable partner of Ontario business. The OCC’s mission is to support economic growth in Ontario by defending business priorities at Queen’s Park on behalf of its network’s diverse 60,000 members.