Any country hoping to grow its economy through strong leadership and a boom in the workforce must take action to help women achieve economic success. The government of Canada recognizes the importance of having women hold positions of leadership in business, as well as having skilled women fill positions in a wide variety of sectors.
The Honourable K. Kellie Leitch is propelling the issue of providing support for women seeking economic success as the Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women. Minister Leitch, during the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, spoke about the vital importance of empowering women to join the workforce and to hold positions of influence.
Minister Leitch reminded listeners that: “creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity is still the number one priority of our Government. That is why we support increasing opportunities for women throughout Canada's economy, from skilled trades to corporate boards. It makes sense for Canadian women, and for Canada's economy.”
With a strong record of proactively promoting and supporting efforts to help women succeed economically, the Minister is proud of the work of the Canadian government. Well-known for her passion and drive for the prosperity of Canada and for women’s involvement in the process, the Minister had several important points to make.
First, the Minister highlighted how supportive the government of Canada is of women’s economic success. She cited, for instance, that,b> the government has given over $146 million in funding supporting over 720 projects. This was through Status of Women Canada and has occurred since 2007.
Other important remarks made by the Minister include:
- A commitment by the government to increase mentorship for women. This commitment comes as a part of the 2014 Economic Action Plan. The mentorship focuses largely on women who hope to create and start their own businesses, such as purchasing and operating a franchise.
- Another aspect of the Economic Action Plan includes discovering how women can best be prepared and encouraged to enter into business. The Minister explained that active consultation will shape how the Canadian government increases the number of women in the workforce.
- In response to a report of the Government of Canada's Advisory Council for Promoting Women on Boards, both public and private industries and sectors are being encouraged to include women in leadership positions. The five-year goal in response to this report is for 33 percent of board positions in the nation to be filled by qualified, equipped women.
- An investment of more than $54 million will be targeting programs and projects that enhance the security and prosperity of women’s economic achievements. $12 million of this fund will specifically contribute to supporting women who desire to become a part of technical professions and skilled trades.
- Profitable for both men and women, the government also plans to expand loan programs to make education for those seeking to participate in Red Seal trades. Over $100 million has been proposed as a part of the creation of more interest-free loans for apprentices, including women.
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