June 17, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario
As Canada works to finish the fight against COVID-19, a full economic recovery will require the participation of all Canadians, including women, Indigenous peoples and racialized communities.
Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, highlighted the Government of Canada’s commitment to creating a more inclusive economy during the Diversio and Rosenzweig & Company panel on improving racial and gender diversity in leadership.
Minister Ng spoke about the new investments proposed in Budget 2021 to help build a more inclusive economy, such as the additional $51.7 million for the Black Entrepreneurship Program and $146.9 million for the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, investments supporting Indigenous entrepreneurs, and up to $30 billion over the next five years for a national early learning and child care system.
Since 2015, the government has made historic investments to support women and children—from implementing paid parental leave to enhancing the Canada Child Benefit, which has lifted hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty.
Minister Ng highlighted the 50–30 Challenge and the barrier-breaking programs that the government is undertaking to foster change in Canada’s boardrooms and workforce.
The 50–30 Challenge is a framework to accelerate diversity actions already taking place in many Canadian organizations and encourage other Canadian organizations to adopt practices that improve equity. The challenge’s goal of balancing out organizational boards with 50% gender parity and 30% under-represented members is gaining traction, with over 1,200 companies and organizations having joined to date.
The panel agreed that an inclusive economy is not just about social justice; it’s also about investing in a competitive advantage. Minister Ng and fellow panellists pointed to research like the Rosenzweig Report that further illustrates how the power of diverse and inclusive leadership leads to more productive and successful companies.