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The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch Touts the Economic Benefits of Hiring and Promoting Women - Urges Greater Opportunities and Support for Women in Corporate Canada at Empire Club Event

TORONTO, Jan. 21, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, today spoke about the importance of hiring and promoting women in all sectors of the economy. Speaking at the Empire Club of Canada, the Minister encouraged business leaders to foster workplaces that support the retention and advancement of women. Research shows that increasing the number of women leaders within an organization, and particularly on its corporate board, can improve overall performance.

The Harper Government recognizes the economic benefits of supporting women leaders and has taken several measures to encourage more women to take on leadership roles. For example, Economic Action Plan 2012 created an Advisory Council of public and private sector leaders to promote the participation of women on corporate boards. The Government of Canada also provides funding, through Status of Women Canada, for community projects across the country that promote women's leadership and democratic participation, as well as their economic security and prosperity.

Quick Facts

  • Women comprise 48% of the Canadian Labour force1. However, in 2011, women held just 14.5% of board director positions among Canada's Financial Post 500 (FP500) companies. More than 40% of FP500 companies had no women directors. 2
  • Companies with the most women on their top management teams perform better financially than those with fewer women in senior management.3
  • Since 2007, funding has been approved in the following amounts through Status of Women Canada for community projects across Canada:
    • More than $53 million for projects that promote women's economic security and prosperity, including more than $12.7 million for projects that support women in non-traditional occupations.
    • More than $21 million for projects that promote women's leadership and democratic participation.


"Women are critical to Canada's economic growth and competitiveness. The benefits for the business community, and for all Canadians, only help grow our economy. Encouraging women to succeed yields benefits both for women and our economy."

The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch
Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women

Associated Links

1 Statistics Canada "Labour Force Characteristics by Sex and Age Group" (2012). Accessed September 4, 2013 at
2 Catalyst "2011 Catalyst Census: Financial Post 500 Women Board Directors" (2012). Accessed on January 14, 2014 at
3 Catalyst "The Bottom Line: Connecting Corporate Performance and Gender Diversity" (2004). Accessed on January 14, 2014 at

SOURCE Status of Women Canada

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