TORONTO, May,26, 2020 – As Canadians plan and implement economic recovery from COVID-19, a group of women leaders is launching The Prosperity Project (TPP), a new non-profit organization to advance the economic future of women in Canada. TPP was conceived by a diverse group of 64 female leaders from across the country – women who have historically made a difference and are committed to continuing to promote positive change as active participants in TPP. The organization was founded and is being led by Pamela Jeffery, founder of the Women’s Executive Network and Canadian Board Diversity Council.
“Recovery from COVID-19 will entail re-thinking many aspects of our economy – and this is the time to make further gains in gender equality,” Jeffery said. “We must build on the equality efforts over the last 20 years and be vigilant against these gains being displaced, ignored or put aside.”
While COVID-19 has had a profound impact on all Canadians, research indicates that the pandemic is disproportionately impacting women – in job losses, increased burdens for child and dependent care, and unpaid work. (Research shows that women are taking on 64% of unpaid work at home and represent 80% of single parent-led households.) This is putting at risk many of the equality gains seen in recent years. The Prosperity Project will take action to ensure that not only is this progress not erased, but that women continue to play an active, integral role at all levels in Canada’s economic future.
“The Prosperity Project fills an important need to explicitly link women and prosperity, underscoring the economic importance of gender equality during the COVID-19 pre-recovery, recovery and post-recovery periods, “Jeffery said. “More women in the workforce, greater opportunities for women and financial independence for women are all critical elements in Canada’s economic recovery, extending well beyond the current crisis.”
Diversity is an important tenet of The Prosperity Project, which will apply an intersectional identities and inclusivity lens to serve women who also identify as Indigenous, women of colour, refugees, persons with disabilities and/or LGBTQ2+. The Prosperity Project also recognizes that different approaches are required to meet the distinct needs of all Canadian women including First Nations, Inuit and Métis women. TPP acknowledges the unique needs of women of colour and will enlist this broad spectrum.
In its early stages, the Prosperity Project will focus on four key initiatives:
- Matching not-for-profit organizations with business expertise, to bolster these organizations’ in-house skills and expertise immediately.
- Prosperity Study / Canadian Household Purchasing Index, engaging women across Canada in an ongoing, long-term study to regularly answer questions on economic issues, and create a new Index to measure women’s confidence in the economy.
- Annual data tracking of the FP500, measuring the number of women in leadership and decision-making roles (and in the pipeline to these roles).
- Awareness campaign, modelled on the famous “Rosie the Riveter” campaign from World War II, to promote women’s workforce participation and advancement.
“We encourage men to join this cause, which will benefit all Canadians as women must be able to contribute to a strong economy. We will be proactively seeking volunteers and support from all demographics in all sectors across Canada,” Jeffery said.
A microsite for The Prosperity Project is now live, at www.canadianprosperityproject.ca.