By Chiara Corazza, Managing Director of the Women's Forum
In the latest Canadian national budget, gender is mentioned an average of nearly once per page over 367 pages. It includes a gender-based analysis of all of its aspects – looking closely at the way policy decisions impact men and women differently – which is a critical mechanism for understanding how policy helps or hinders gender parity.
This ‘gender-budget’ also provides funding in areas that will have the greatest impact on women’s economic empowerment and participation. New leave policies will allow two-parent families to share parental time off. The budget provides CA$1.4 billion to support women entrepreneurs, as well as CA$86 million over five years to fight gender-based violence. It also includes pay equity legislation aimed at reducing the gender wage gap in the public sector, and it strengthens Canada’s ground-breaking feminist international assistance policy that seeks to reduce poverty by supporting gender-based projects in the world’s poorest countries.
The budget is not a cure-all, and it certainly won’t create gender parity overnight, but it represents a step forward in advancing gender parity through policy. Canada is rightly being recognised for its global leadership, especially on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
The G7 is a laboratory for global action
The Canadian example is particularly significant for the Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society because we are holding our next meeting in Toronto ahead of the G7 Summit.
These leading economies have unprecedented potential to be laboratories for new policies, initiatives and best practices that can create influence and impact both within and beyond the economies of the bloc.
Under the theme of Bridging the gap: A call to the G7 for inclusive progress, we’ll address issues like inclusive growth, economic empowerment, climate action and shaping lives through technology.
It will challenge the G7 not just to take on the issue of gender equality, as Canada has done with its latest budget, but also to unlock the transformative potential of women’s leadership on a range of issues. Will the G7 dare to listen?
How the Women’s Forum builds the bridge to #PressForProgress
For nearly 15 years, the Women’s Forum has been highlighting women’s voices and perspectives on global issues. Today, we don’t need to justify why women’s leadership adds value. The latest McKinsey Delivering through Diversity study shows us that that most gender-diverse companies are 21% more likely to experience above average profitability. There are hundreds of other examples of how women leaders enhance performance and creativity at all types of organisations. When it comes to women’s leadership, the challenge is to go from asking ‘why’ to asking ‘how’?
At the Women’s Forum, we answer this ‘how’ by asking different groups to engage for impact on a range of issues. To take just one example, we bring together the chief executives from some of the world’s most influential global companies to share best practices and set ambitious targets for bolstering inclusion. They are the standard-setters for businesses worldwide.
By virtue of their global footprint and international workforces, their efforts and innovation have outsize impact on enhancing women’s leadership and transforming the business community through diversity.
We convene similar workgroups on issues from women in climate and financial inclusion to economic empowerment and the future of work. We’re pleased to be taking that conversation to the places where it will have the most impact – whether that’s to Canada in the context of the G7 meetings, to Singapore to focus on the ASEAN countries, or to our Global Meeting in Paris. In this way, we are focused on diversity as a means of solving the social, environmental and economic issues that are most pressing – not just for women – but for all of humanity.
Editor’s notes: This article is part of a LinkedIn series for International Women’s Day, demonstrating how leadership and partners of the Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society help to #PressForProgress.