The COVID-19 crisis is having a disproportionate economic impact on women, putting decades of progress towards gender equality are at stake. This is not only a watershed moment for women but for our economy and society more broadly.
The Ontario Chambers of Commerce’s latest policy report, “The She-Covery Project: Confronting the Gendered Economic Impacts of COVID-19 in Ontario,” outlines practical solutions to confront both immediate and longer-term challenges faced by working women in Ontario.
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.