The She-Covery Project: Confronting the Gendered Economic Impacts of COVID-19 in Ontario

The COVID-19 crisis is having a disproportionate economic impact on women, with women’s labour participation rate falling to its lowest level in 30 years. Existing systemic inequalities have been further exacerbated by recent shut-down measures, resulting in what some economists are calling a “she-cession,” as more women have lost their jobs and fewer women than men are re-gaining employment. As schools begin to reopen, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s latest report, The She-Covery Project: Confronting the Gendered Economic Impacts of COVID-19 in Ontario lays out a path to Ontario’s “she-covery” by offering practical recommendations to confront both immediate and longer-term challenges.

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 diverse women entrepreneurs.
  • Flexible work arrangements are one way to level the playing field for women and improve organizational outcomes.

This report is presented in collaboration with Ontario Power Generation, the Diversity Institute and the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub.

Read More
X
X