Addressing Canada’s Urban Post-Covid Gender Gap

Mind the Gap:

The Post-COVID Gender Gap in Canada’s Cities

Read CUI’s conversation primer, which provides a snapshot of what we know today about gender and COVID in Canada’s cities

Read Here

5 Key

A roundup of the most compelling ideas, themes and quotes from this candid conversation

Women are care providers: they deserve to be care receivers

Covid-19 has revealed many cracks in the foundations of our society, but none more plainly than the burden women, and disproportionately Black, Indigenous and women of colour, carry as providers of care in their communities without monetary reimbursement or structural support for their labour. Paulette Senior, president and CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation, points out that Canada’s care economy relies heavily on undervalued and often free time and work overwhelmingly put in by women. The time to completely reevaluate the societal importance and economic value of care is now. Women in these roles, officially and unofficially, need and deserve access to compensation and support for their caregiving.

To foster prosperity, think small

As the federal government pours billions into structural and infrastructural recovery from the pandemic, much more can be accomplished than the structure themselves by thinking about where the money goes and to whom. Community benefits agreements like the ones Rosemarie Powell’s Toronto Community Benefits Network advocates for ensure that infrastructure investment money stays in and enriches the communities around the projects. Powell believes that, “people need to have the chance to be able to participate in building up their own communities”, and community benefits agreements allow community members to take active roles in the local and national recovery process. Regional, community-focused efforts to bolster women’s involvement in projects like these have a ripple effect across the entire community. As women prosper, so does everyone around them.

The “greed economy” is made up. Let’s change it

The economy of Canada and the world at large is meant to serve all of us and the fact that it’s not, isn’t an unshakeable truth. The barriers that are built into our systems are increasingly obvious to see. Rethinking how we reshape our economy is needed and entrepreneurs are the people for the job. The pandemic has given entrepreneurs, particularly female entrepreneurs, a clear vision of what needs to be done away within the culture of business. This is the chance to “decolonize ourselves and to really interrogate the rules that we think we have”, says SheEO founder Vicki Saunders. Financial resources, social influence and cultural power can all be wielded by the people who start and control businesses to find who in our communities needs help or support and deliver that support, without sacrificing what it means to do good business.

Confront toxic capitalism to rearrange prosperity

There are around one million self-employed women in the Canadian economy, the vast majority of whom are the sole employees of their businesses or run companies of fewer than four. Unlike male entrepreneurs, many female entrepreneurs start their own businesses out of necessity, because “they’ve had trauma in the mainstream waged environment,” as entrepreneur Petra Kassin-Mutch explains, and want to change the fundamental climate of business rather than suffer it. Woman entrepreneurs can often fall through the cracks of aid and have been during the pandemic. What’s needed is not more loans and more debt, but networks of mutual aid, gendered innovations centers, and incubators that fund innovations by people doing business outside the mainstream path of venture capital. With supports such as these, equitable redistribution of prosperity will be possible in a way “normal” capitalism cannot offer.

Measure for change 

Panelists resoundingly agreed that going back to the way things were is not an acceptable plan of action, both because the “old normal” simply did not serve all Canadians and because there has never been such a clear opportunity to critically examine, take apart and rebuild. While this process must partially stem from the federal government, local communities will play an enormous role. Local governments and leaders addressing the crises faced by their citizens “are well-placed to apply a gender lens to their response, recovery planning and decision making”, mayor of Strathroy-Caradoc and president of the Federation of Canadian Counties Joanne Vanderheyden says. As the level of government closest to citizens, municipalities are best positioned to make an intersectional study of how the pandemic has affected Canadians and produce comprehensive data on the subject.

Full Panel

Note to readers: This video session was transcribed using auto-transcribing software. Manual editing was undertaken in an effort to improve readability and clarity. Questions or concerns with the transcription can be directed to with “transcription” in the subject line.

Kate Graham [00:00:53] OK, good morning, everyone, and thank you so much for taking the time to spend a bit of your morning or afternoon, depending on where you’re calling in. From with us at the Canadian Urban Institute today for what I know will be a thought provoking and important conversation ahead. My name is Kate and I am a part of the team at the Canadian Urban Institute. And I’m just delighted today to be your moderator filling in for our Mary Rowe usually leads these discussions, but delighted to be a part of the conversation that we have ahead. We always begin with a land acknowledgment, but of course today it feels especially important to stop and reflect on the land that we are privileged to occupy. I know that many of us are, we’ve got people calling in from all across the country, the lands of many indigenous peoples. I am joining you from the territory of the Anishnabeg, Haudenosaunee, Chippewa Lenai Lenape and Huron-Wendat peoples. And for all of us, we it is with sadness and a heavy heart that we reflect on not only the land where we sit, but also the tremendous amount of work that there is to do to address the colonial legacy of Canada and in particular the tragedies of the residential schools. So, it is in that spirit that we are gathered today. We are here to talk about the broader project of addressing systemic inequality and in particular thinking about the gender gap. And we have just a terrific panel here who I’ll introduce you to in just a moment. But first, just want to give a bit of context about where this conversation emerged. So, I know that many of us have been worried about the gender gap in Canada for a long time. We know that this existed long before the pandemic, but we also know that the pandemic has worsened it significantly. The World Economic Forum reports that the gender gap has grown by a generation over the last year to one hundred and thirty six years, which means that a baby born today will not live in a world with gender parity in their natural life. And I don’t know about you, but I find that totally unacceptable. And so a group of partners, including the Canadian Urban Institute, the Pay Equity Office of Ontario and generously supported by Libro Credit Union and our data partner and Vanness came together and said, let’s have some conversations not only about understanding what the gender gap looks like coming out of covid, but also what we can do about it. So, this conversation is just part of a day of reflection on these questions. We started by releasing a report, that I’m hoping we can, a colleague of mine can put into the chat and I’d encourage you to take a look. And it captures some of the less obvious gendered impacts of what we know about covid today, including things like people who identify as women, have experienced more sleepless nights or feel a greater sense of worry about their family members. They have more anxiety about the world opening up again. It includes some of those less obvious things we’ve seen over the last year, this conversation that you are here for. We are going to be unpacking this further. And we’ve got a terrific panel of experts who can speak to both those obvious and less obvious impacts about how the pandemic has widened our gender gap. And then if you wish to join us again at one o’clock, we’ve got to continue the conversation, although with different speakers and a different moderator to talk about solutions. We’ve got eight panelists, each of whom are going to present one big idea, a concrete policy solution, including things around reconciliation, transforming the workplace, and maternity leave, child care and a number of other solutions. So, it’ll be an important discussion to be here for as well. So, without any further ado, we will dive into the discussion. I know that many of you are already active in the chat. I would encourage you to be to say hello. First of all, let us know where you’re calling in from. But if you’ve got questions and thoughts throughout the discussion, please feel free to be an active part of the conversation. We’d love to hear from you. OK, so today, as I said, we’ve got just a terrific panel joining us and maybe it’s cheesy. I don’t know, maybe you can say hi when I introduce you, but we have Paulette Senior, who is the president and CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation. I know many of these faces are certainly not strangers to those of you who have followed city talks before. Rosemarie Powell, who is the executive director of the Toronto Community Benefits Network, Vicki Saunders, who is the founder of SheEO. Petra Kassin-Mutch who is an entrepreneur and she’s an author. And we are putting the full bios so you can read all about the impressive accomplishments of these women in the chat. And finally, Joanne Vanderheyden, who is the mayor of Strathroy-Caradoc and was recently elected as the president of the Federation of Canadian Counties. So, welcome to the panel and thank you to each of us, to each of you for being here. OK, so the first question is, is kind of the big one. And just as a heads up, maybe we’ll start with you, Paulette. But I would love to hear from the whole panel. I’d like to hear about what you observed over the last 15 months, about Covid and the gender impact. So we know that our experiences with Covid have been different, depending on who you are and where you live. But I’m interested in hearing some of the obvious, but also less obvious things that you’ve seen that will linger in Covids wake, that we need to be paying attention to. So let’s start with you Paulette, then we’ll go to you Vicki. What do you think?


Paulette Senior [00:06:18] Thank you so much Kate. Happy to be here, happy to be among these incredible woman panelists, and I am also joining you from the traditional church of the Mississauga’s Googol First Nation, welcomes the signatories of the Mississauga’s Chippawa Nations, aka Pickering. I also am happy to be here because of the and struggle and resistance of my ancestors such that we have survived to this time. So, we know that impacts have been on particular for women, especially those providing essential services and care, and fundamentally so for mothers. Particularly those working in front lines and the roles that they occupy in caregiving and health, especially for single moms. We also know that all of the burdens related to paid work, taking care of those children and elderly folks and loved ones, as well as staying safe and keeping others safe, has put tremendous strain on women and mother’s mental health. And for those folks, as we know, the barriers are more complex for mothers and caregivers who are Indigenous, black, racialized and newcomer’s. The circumstances they face have been all the more difficult by policy issues like lack of paid sick days, that we’ve heard in the news quite a bit over the past six months or more, and low pay for the vital, essential workers who are keeping the rest of us safe. So, at a women’s foundation, we did a survey back in May of this year that found almost four to six percent, so almost half of the mothers and caregivers surveyed were reaching their breaking point. And all of this is rooted, I think, in the fact that caregiving, both paid and unpaid, has been traditionally considered women’s work and therefore undervalued. The devastating consequences we’re seeing now are making it crystal clear that we have to fundamentally change our approach to the care economy in Canada. And an additional critical point that I must make is that the necessary social restrictions of the pandemic increase the risk of violence of those who are living in abusive or unhealthy relationships. What we’ve heard from the shelters to protect these women is that the conditions have created situations where it’s like the pressure cooker in the home with none of the usual safe, the safety valves. Even before the pandemic, it was difficult for those living in an abusive or unsafe situations to reach out for help. And now the barriers have multiplied. And so back in last year, we actually worked with a PR firm to pro bono to create a tool called The Signal for Help. I don’t know if folks have seen that, but it’s a signal that’s gone global and is being used in different countries around the world. But it really is a tool that can be used in a situation such as this today, where folks are working online and they need to be able to signal for help. And that means finding a safe way to actually reach out and see what kind of help they need. So, those are just some of the things that I wanted to share this for the opening question. Thank you.


Kate Graham [00:09:54] Thank you so much, Vicki. And then we’ll go to Rosemarie.


Vicki Saunders [00:09:58] Thank you, Paulette. And I’m coming to you today from Treaty 13 in Toronto. Wow. So many things. So, I’m going to commit this a little bit from the entrepreneur perspective, which I am founder of an organization and a community called SheEO about to change our name, excited about that. And we have this amazing community across five countries. But I’ll just speak specifically to Canada today, a community of radically generous women who are here working on the world’s To-Do list. Some of the major challenges we’re facing and what I’ve seen during Covid is permission to create the world you want to live in. This is one of the sort of like I’m already sort of going to the future around these things. But, it was just it’s been so obvious all the things that aren’t working during Covid. So, maybe the challenge is how we are serving the economy versus the economy supposed to service the reckoning around the economy we have entrepreneurs who are actually building the businesses of the future that pay attention to a lot of these barriers in our systems. And so, what I’m going to come at this from the what this is enabling is, you are an entrepreneur. Everything in this world is made up. We can change it, if you, if it’s untenable for you to be running your business at this time with all the things that are going on during covid, caring for elders, caring for children, et cetera. Change it. Make up your own rules, who has to work eight hours a day? It’s not a thing like it’s a made up thing. Right? And so I’m talking about this totally from a privileged perspective of those entrepreneurs, but also from this community that sharing its resources. One of the things that we’ve seen is we have taken the resources, and by that I mean the financial resources, but also our influence and our power and our expertize and our skills and put those towards the highest and best use of what our community needs. So we do a regular red, yellow, green who’s in trouble? Who needs help? How can we help? And we built this muscle. Asking for support from one another at the virtual world has made it easier to be able to connect with people, say things out loud, I need help. And for those who do have extra time and support to step in and help those folks. And so, in our community none of our ventures went down this year. Every one of them kibitzed found the support they need to get some bridge loans, got the support, whatever it was, in order to continue with their work of building the new world. And I’ll talk a little bit more about that lately. But the real opportunity that I saw come out of this, or that we’re in at the moment is this chance to really decolonize ourselves and to really interrogate the rules that we think we have in society for how we need to operate and change them to work better for us as humans instead of just constantly serving the economy.


Kate Graham [00:12:46] OK, it’s probably one of the most positive reflections on covid that I have ever heard. Thank you very much, Vicki. Rosemarie, and then we’ll go to you, Petra.


Rosemarie Powell [00:12:55] Thank you very much, so we all know the expression. Last in, first out, and this has been the case for underrepresented groups in the workplace for a very long time. And what we are also seeing is that the construction industry, which is the area in which we are really trying to make a deep impact, is that it’s a similar kind of situation that is happening. And so, we’re looking at the jobs and economic opportunities that women ought to be able to access and industries that are consistently leaving them out. So our goal is to see people who have been traditionally left out of the planning and decision making process get a say in shaping their communities and their future. And too often we see that black and Indigenous and racialized peoples are the ones that bear the brunt of the burden when planning and development decisions are being made. And we know this impacts on women from these communities, women in general, and just people who do not conform to to to gender norms. They have an even more profound experience than the planning and development process. And we saw this happening before the pandemic. So this is not new, but we get exasperated by the pandemic. And so we, the community benefits process as a way to help change this paradigm. When we’re thinking about the planning and development and the construction industry, it’s a process and a system and an industry that has really been built on the foundation of patriarchy historically. And our work here at the Tronto Community Benefits Network. And you know, just why I’m so engaged and passionate about all of this is that we want women to know that regardless of their background, they can carve out a pathway in this industry and benefit from the economic prosperity that comes out of the investments that we see our governments making every day in an infrastructure. As we look to get out of this, you know, to recover from covid government is investing billions of dollars. The government of Canada has a one hundred and eighty seven billion dollar plan for investment in infrastructure. How do we ensure that these infrastructure across our country, that people who been underrepresented in the industry and especially women, get an opportunity to be able to participate in building up their country, building up their neighborhoods? And so, we ask through community benefits for for for the industry to make commitments to equity hiring when building infrastructure. And the reason that we focus on the planning and development industry is definitely where the economic lens. But it’s important because this is our taxpayer dollars that we’re that we’re using. In the construction industry accounts for more than 14 percent of Canada’s GDP. And it’s an industry that supports over two hundred and sixty thousand businesses. Yet, it’s an industry that women have not been able to fully tap into, much less black and brown women. And the report from the Ontario Construction Secretariat in Ontario shows that only two percent of women are able to participate in the construction industry. And the challenge that we’re seeing is that even with this two percent that is participating, even when they’re on the job, they have a really challenging time just being able to, you know, to survive and to thrive. Some of them don’t even get to continue because of the systemic gender issues and barriers that they experience on the job. And so, our work is to look at how do we ensure that through the community benefits agreement negotiations process, we carve out a space for women so they can participate in the economy, so that they can participate in building their communities. You know, this is a time when we think especially about construction. It’s a job that we’re not socialized to think that we can do. Women are socialized from very young, even by our own families and our own parents, that is not an industry that we can that we want to even consider a career in. Right? We’re thinking about it’s a tough industry. These are oftentimes some of the first responders. But women are tough. Women are the caretakers in our communities when we think about black and racialized women, oftentimes, you know, they’re the, you know, the the mothers and the caretakers in their communities. And they deserve to have opportunities that will allow them to be able to provide for their families and to be able to build up their communities. And so, you know, looking forward to talk a little bit more about that and to really think about how within the construction industry and the planning and development sector. We can have a stronger voice for women in the decision and planning process.


Kate Graham [00:18:58] Thank you very much, Rosemarie. Petra, what have you observed over the last 15 months about gender and covid and how the gender gap, maybe women?


Petra Kassin-Mutch [00:19:08] OK, great, thanks. And I’m so delighted to be here as well and see so many people I’ve met in the past. So, apart from being a media entrepreneur, so I am an entrepreneur, but I exist in the grassroots micro entrepreneur space. So that’s where most of my perspective comes from. I see the women’s entrepreneurship space as a kind of like a layer cake and most of the attention is on the icing and everybody forgets about the fruits and nuts and the layers below. And that’s where I work. I teach entrepreneurship at Elizabeth Fry and I teach entrepreneurship to youth with mostly women with mental health challenges and work a lot in the grassroots women’s entrepreneurship support spaces. For example, with the Immigrant Women in Business, which has five hundred members started by Svetlana Ratnikova, but has never received any government funding, is not really an official institution, but does a lot for women entrepreneurs who are newcomers to Canada. And she’s based here in Toronto. So, that’s where I work at the bottom, at the bottom of the layer cake. So, my perspective is informed from that. I would say that what’s less obvious about the Covid recovery conversation is that women entrepreneurs are left out. In fact, even in this pandemic report, which was a precursor to this panel, there’s no mention of women entrepreneurs and they’re different than wage earning sisters. So, in the economy, we have eight point four million women in the economy. Only 15 percent of them are entrepreneurs. Of those 15 percent, which is about a million self-employed women and another hundred and eighteen thousand businesses, the vast majority are companies of one and a little further up the chain of about over 70, 80 percent are companies with less than four people or pay contractors that are equivalent to hiring one to four people. Most of them only make, on average, sixty eight thousand dollars a year gross, which is about the same as a social worker and a registered nurse. It’s about thirty four dollars an hour and it’s at the same time there’s like this narrative that women entrepreneurs, and I like to think about it this way, the left thinks women entrepreneurs are many male capitalists and the right think women entrepreneurs are many male capitalists and both are wrong. In fact, I would argue that women entrepreneurs and their sisters in the nonprofit sector who found nonprofits that are also small, similar statistics on both sides need to be seen as a whole thing because most women entrepreneurs, as Vicky pointed out, are actually trying to change the system, change business culture, change the way we do business, because most become entrepreneurs out of necessity, at least at the grassroots level, or they’re, they’ve had trauma in the mainstream waged environment in some way. They either, the glass ceiling is one, but sexual harassment, all kinds of stories that I hear that are the reason women become entrepreneurs at them for the most part. So, with that in mind, I want to just say that we have kind of overlooked the women entrepreneurs at the grassroots level in the she recovery and some studies have been done. So, the pandemic study, one by fifth wave, also shows that stress and mental health were big issues for women entrepreneurs, especially at the grassroots level, because they generate revenue to pay their bills, not to create wealth for shareholders. And business interruption when you’re a woman entrepreneur means no access to EI. You don’t have the same access to some of the support system because you are not kind of, you can’t sort of, often you don’t put yourself in that way. So a lot of them fell through the cracks, even though there were some great benefits. CEBA, for example, the Canadian emergency business benefit did not work for a lot of women entrepreneurs. It was changed and it was a little bit better. But still, eight hundred and eighty thousand businesses received access to the CEBA emergency business benefit. But I would no one has done a gender lens analysis on that to see whether or not how many women entrepreneurs actually received that funding. And I guess I would also say that the additional stresses around for women entrepreneurs that are the same as wage system, as their wage sisters are the fact that there is no safety net. They can lose their businesses that they’ve been trying to work on for a long time, lose traction. And I’ll just say one last thing. Another little known aspect is that bankruptcy laws in Canada and the way we do bankruptcy here are different than the United States and so on actually affects women more because we are women entrepreneurs are more likely to be undercapitalized. We squeeze by by a thread, not by a margin this big. And so we’re like really precarious in terms of making a dollar to pay our bills. And that’s misunderstood as well. And most of them use their own money or provide personal guarantees for business, for businesses, that they start a service business, whatever it is, and they’re more likely to have to declare bankruptcy or if they’re going for a consumer proposal. Anyone who’s been through that knows that it basically knocks you out of being eligible for any entrepreneurship support for the next seven years. So we actually, once a woman has to go, that women entrepreneur goes under, she is less likely to go back and be an entrepreneur and leverage her learning from the first round. Then, let’s say, women entrepreneurs in other jurisdictions. So I feel just a sum that up. Women entrepreneurs are a unique, different facet of the women in the economy world, and it’s really misunderstood. And I feel like we need to redraw the lines and include more of women entrepreneurship, specific concerns in any pandemic recovery work that we do.


Kate Graham [00:25:20] OK, terrific, thank you very much, Mayor Vanderheyden. Sorry, Your Worship, I don’t I would say I don’t know how to refer to you now. President Vanderheyden.


Joanne Vanderheyden [00:25:32] Landworks.


Kate Graham [00:25:33] You’ve got a unique vantage point of looking at communities all across the country, and it’s been tremendously active over the past year. Tell us a bit about what you’ve observed.


Joanne Vanderheyden [00:25:42] Thank you very much. And thank you for the invitation to join me. I want to acknowledge that I am on treaty 21 territory and I’m totally thankful to the generation. People have taken care of this land before we got here, I come to you with the perspective of an elected official. I also come to you as a woman engaged in supporting other women. And as FCM president, we represent a membership of over two thousand municipalities coast to coast to coast. So, that’s a little bit about where we come from, where I come from. And I can tell you that the gender, racial and economic disparities are being amplified by the pandemic. And the most profound impacts are absolutely being felt by those facing multiple forms of disadvantage. Women are the most vulnerable to the social and economic repercussions of the pandemic. Women are bearing the brunt of the negative effects. Even before covid-19, women were doing three times as much unpaid work as men. Since the pandemic began, demands for care work have intensified with children out of school, sick family members and overwhelmed health services. And in here, I’m going to give you an example that I heard more than once from from members of our community that even access to respite for caregivers has been absolutely non-existent because everything closed. Access to medication has been next to impossible. This is something that they need for Life-Giving. And the price just went through the roof for all of that, all of that. PPE. You know, we just talked about PPE now because we need it, but there have been people that have been caregivers with high medical needs, care that they’ve had to provide, and they can’t even get the PPE for the things that they do day to day. So, you know, those are those are just sidebars of things that are affecting people that we don’t even think about, because unless it affects you, you don’t think about it. So, this is where it’s really important for us to talk to other women and have events like this where we can find out where are the gaps and how can we solve them. So, I think this is awesome that you’re having this discussion. Women tend to earn and save less as they often occupy part time jobs or jobs in the informal sector, which also implies limited or no access to health benefits and sick leaves and other social protections. Women also form the majority of single parent households. And to this point, globally, women are the majority of older persons and older women tend to face lower life incomes and lower pensions because women contribute a great deal of their time to unpaid and low paid care work. They’re also, they’re not building up funds in our pension plans like Canada pension. So it’s just it’s cyclical, and we have to figure out a way to change that. The necessity of providing comprehensive local public services must not be ignored and must be valued as we establish a framework for the recovery. Women’s jobs are disproportionately affected as they take on greater demands at home. School closures have disproportionately affected education outcomes of adolescent girls who take on more chores and care work burdens at home. And this even is amplified in the rural areas where we have less access to services. Isolation and broadband is horrible. So we’re going backwards and forwards. We need to take care of this. We really need to make sure that we we have policies in place and procedures in place that we can hear people and find out what we can do moving forward. And the last thing I wanted to bring up is all of my conversations with women across Canada, across our county, across our region, they’re exhausted. Their mental well-being is just being they don’t even know what to do anymore. So, again, there are so many needs out there and covid has just exemplified them to the nines. Thank you.


Kate Graham [00:29:34] Thank you. So you’ve given us a, I think, robust picture of how the pandemic has had gendered impacts, but also how it’s addressed or how it’s deep into other inequalities. We’ve talked about entrepreneurs, talk about women in the construction industry. We’ve talked about communities, frontline workers. I wonder if we can switch gears now and talk about what priorities you think decision makers should be focused on independent next week. So, I think there’s a sense that we’re almost through this. People are so excited for it to be done. But of course, a lot has happened. People are coming through this year after being isolated, after going through disruption. It’s also been a year where there’s been horrific tragedies. And from London, we had a horrible activism, phobia and terror. Within the last few weeks, there have been awful acts of anti-Black racism. And of course, as we spoke about, we continue to just be deeply saddened about the history of the residential schools. So, a lot has happened and people are coming through this in a very difficult place. It sometimes feels like there’s just too much to focus on. Soi if you were to give some advice to decision makers, what should be the priority as we are thinking about addressing inequalities as we come out of COVID and Rose-Marie, we’ll start with you. I think you’ve done the heroic task of switching technology on this panel. It’s everybody’s nightmare to have their Internet go down. Congratulations on doing that. Yeah. If you heard the question, let’s let’s start with you and then maybe we’ll go to Vicky will move in a different order.


Rosemarie Powell [00:31:02] You know what we would like to see? What I’d like to see is an inclusive recovery. And this was our focus in 2020 in the middle of a pandemic when we recognize that the government was planning on spending money on infrastructure, our taxpayer dollars to recover from covid, and they were looking for shovel ready projects. And what we wanted to do is to make sure that the government is thinking about how can those funds be used in a way that could also have multiple benefits? We’re not asking, you know, how can we make sure that the talents within our local communities are being considered? And so we want to see policy within the procurement process that ensures that community benefits agreements are going to be required. We did a Canada wide campaign and we got over a thousand organizations and people just supporting our concept for a community benefits agreement. And we did a lot of advocacy at all levels of government with our elected representatives. And just recently we, the government did confirm on the transit projects of the Ontario line and the Eglinton crosstown extension to the east and to the west, that there are 12 billion dollar contribution must have a community benefits agreement. And for the community, this is an incredible win, because what this means is that people who have been, you know, not having enough opportunity on these projects, are now able to do so. We see that community benefits work. We have a ten percent commitment, for example, on the Eglinton crosstown project and over 400 people have gotten a job on the project, many of them lost their opportunity during the pandemic, unfortunately, but construction was retained as a essential service. And so, it means that these are good opportunities and people need to have the chance to be able to participate in building up their own communities. And community benefits agreements in policy is absolutely the way to go.


Kate Graham [00:33:31] That is a very big idea. Thank you. Yes. If this isn’t a room, this is the part where are standing up and cheering for that idea. OK, Vicki. And then we’ll go to it.


Vicki Saunders [00:33:42] Yeah. Like totally agreeing to all of that community. Everything OK, so, so many thoughts. First of all, just stop, like we have such a moment. We are, I feel like we’re between worlds. We know what happens in the past. We know what our systems and our structures have. They’ve laid bare all of these inequities. People are using systems and sentences that did not happen before Covid systemic barriers. I mean, people on this panel. Yes. But in general, like, I can’t believe how many people are schooled now about barriers that exist out there, how many people are really starting to recognize the challenges that we’re facing and how it’s rooted in our systems. So if our systems don’t change, we’re not going to change the outcomes. So this is a really big issue. And I think we have a moment in time right now. We have basically zero percent interest rates globally. There is more than enough money out there at really good rates, zero percent to rethink what we’re doing in the world. And I think this is just a huge, huge moment to not just barrel ahead with the same thinking we’ve had in the past, but to actually rethink if there was more than enough money in front of you to create whatever kind of world would you want. Do we really just want to level the playing field for women? I think most of the systems that we have out there need to be rethought. And so you have to decolonize yourself in order to do that. So the future to me does not look very much like the past, where I’m seeing every day these phenomenal new designs. We have a home health care company is just an example. So people can understand who wants to provide home health care at cost. Imagine something like this, and she’s created a platform, just 15 thousand health care workers on this platform, and this is an example of what’s possible in this realm of rethinking health care. A woman with a spinal cord injury who lives on Indigenous reserve. A few weeks ago at 9:00 a.m., a care worker reaches out and said we have to get help to her, reaches out to Cheny. This is the company is called Got Care. By 12 o’clock they had a home care worker in her house three hours later, who is Indigenous who lived around the corner from her on reserve. I mean, this is like a matching system for people to provide that care, values aligned close to you and with a small margin on top of that to redo health care. She’s also working with insurance companies to solve all the problems they can’t figure out a radical rethinking of what health care looks like. A radical rethinking of what work can look like, platforms where people are like, I can work six hours a week. I’m highly talented in this sector is where I want to and a marketplace for people to be able to enter the workplace on their own terms that fits with their life circumstances. At the moment, rethinking what works look like versus let’s just pile billions of dollars into child care, which we need to have. And we also need to rethink work because the way we’ve evolved is not healthy for any of us and it is to create so much stress and it’s insane. So for me, there’s so much rethinking of what we’ve got in front of us. We have this moment in time to not go back to the past and just try and improve the pay gap. One hundred thirty six years or whatever craziness it is right now and rethink that. So for me, I want to see a percentage of funds throwing spaghetti at the wall to try and create the new world, put some money into experiments that are actually getting some traction out there to rethink things. We have more of everything that we need just needs to be distributed differently.


Kate Graham [00:37:20] You’re getting lots of nods and Laurel in the chat, and she also voted for our new system. So you’re seeing lots of agreement that that is that is needed right now, Paulette. And then we’ll go to Joanne.


Paulette Senior [00:37:33] And then I’m just sitting here so excited because this is such a vital conversation and it is as such a moment in time that we cannot allow to slip by. Right? And so the woman’s foundation be graceful, but we are a brand making organization to bring about gender equality. That is our mission. And in doing that work, we have to, we have the opportunity to actually understand what’s going on in communities from coast to coast to coast, because we fund over twenty five hundred organizations to provide grants. So we have to move into these organizations to hear what they’re saying. And other than the fact that we know that gender based violence or women who are entrepreneurs or homelessness, poverty, we know these issues have deepened. But here is the opportunity to actually make different decisions, to create a different world, because, as Vicki says, normal wasn’t good for everybody. Right? So the opportunity to actually create something different I think is monumental. And if if there’s anything good about a pandemic, it’s that it’s given us the opportunity to sit, to pause, to think. There’s also the fact that I think, that with everything that you mentioned that around, you know, that’s happening, that we’re seeing now, that we have time to see from George Floyd to missing and murdered, to an Asian racism, everything that we’ve been seeing we now can’t unsee. And so the opportunity that we have to do something about it by prioritizing our decision making on what’s not working, I think is incredible. So, it’s really about making sure that our hard earned dollars are going towards these areas. So, I could be making sure that that organizations, for example, that are providing essential lifesaving community building care and support around the country are not funded as if their projects. But they’re getting the kind of funding that allows them for years in the future to be able to plan and develop and work with community, to build community, and to address those who are the hardest impacted not just by the pandemic, but even before the pandemic. So, because we think that those who are experiencing the deepest problems actually have the solutions themselves. One of the things I’d like to see as a decision, is that we can actually, as a foundation that is only allowed to fund charities, we want to be able to fund non-profits because non-profits that don’t have charitable numbers are also doing great work in communities across Canada. So, for example, not being able to fund non charities creates a problem because it’s usually organizations or communities that are suffering the most, will create nonprofits in order to respond to urgent and emerging needs in their communities. So, not being able to fund them means that we’re missing a whole bunch of good work that could be done, the community or else we’ll continue to see what we’ve been seeing. So, this is important. We’re also funding social entrepreneurs and supporting women to develop their businesses, because as Petra spoke about earlier, this melding of the nonprofits and business for profit is is exactly what women’s lives look like in reality. So, it is women primarily who are operating the nonprofits to be able to respond to the social problems in their community. And some of them have made a business out of it and some of them have created charities and nonprofits to do that. So, we have to see it as a whole and be able to respond as a whole and that’s what we would like to do as a woman’s foundation. So the piecemeal approach is no longer OK. It was never OK. And so we need we have the opportunity to strengthen the women’s sector and the ability to serve diverse communities and to do that with not just with a gender lens, but with an intersectional gender lens.


Kate Graham [00:42:25] Powerfully said. Thank you very much. Joanne, what do you see as being the biggest priorities coming out of this?


Joanne Vanderheyden [00:42:35] Oh, so many thoughts as well. I’m going to talk about this from a public servant perspective. We as public servants are looking to make livable communities safe for all. That’s really what we do. We do that every single day. So, local governments around the world have really worked flat out to keep people safe, turning arenas into shelters for vulnerable residents, deferring property taxes, keeping vital services, running strong for citizens. These all have to happen. Local governments have done this in the face of an unprecedented municipal financial crisis. Plummeting revenues, rising costs, no ability to run deficits. It quickly became clear in our conversations with local governments that municipalities were facing a real financial crisis, that Canadians health and our economic recovery at risk. It does come down some of it to money because we need that in order to put everything in place here at this local level. So, for example, we saw that the pandemic was making the housing crisis worse. And that’s in big cities, small cities. But it seems like Edmonton, Vancouver, Canadians without a home of their own are struggling to find safe shelter in the era of physical distancing. We also really saw early on that the pandemic presented unique challenges for rural communities and their musical operations, agricultural workers, limitations of broadband, access to health care, education in remote work. And I spoke to that earlier. FEMA has been working hard to integrate a rural lens into our COVID-19 response to the pandemic has also shown how vulnerable we can all be as individuals, as communities and as a country. Going back to the status quo will not be enough. Going back to the status quo will simply not be enough at its core, that means building a more inclusive Canada where every Canadian and every community can take part in the future that we build. And any discussion around inclusive recovery has to include a discussion on how this country can confront systemic racism. That is a conversation that FCM and municipal leaders are having. In cities and towns around the world, local governments are trying to understand and address the needs of their citizens in this time of crisis as more data on the different impacts of the crisis emerge, municipal governments are well-placed to apply a gender lens to their response, recovery planning and decision making. We need to be at the table as the level of government closest to its citizens. Local governments also have to have an imperative to do so to adequately serve residents, especially the most vulnerable. Thank you.


Kate Graham [00:45:21] Thank you. And Petra, last but not least, what do you see as the priorities coming through this? And you’re on mute. It look like a good start.


Petra Kassin-Mutch [00:45:33] There we go. I just love them all excited because I just loved what everybody was talking about. So yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. And so I want to say to Paulette that love the fact, the idea of let’s get rid of this tax category, thinking about who’s an entrepreneur and who’s not, it’s women doing things outside of the mainstream economic system, starting their own enterprises, whether they’re co-ops or collectives or whatever. So, that’s one thing I would love to see, a grant making organization for women entrepreneurs. We have lots of loan making organizations, but frankly, we don’t all need more loans. We have enough debt. So there’s that. And figuring that out, when Joanne was saying that we are starting to have conversations, deep conversations about confronting racism everywhere, which is great. But, you know, it wasn’t that long ago that saying racism at a board table was a bad thing. And I feel like we have to start confronting toxic capitalism. I’m a businesswoman, but I don’t I think we can do something other than what we’re doing now, kind of what Vicki was saying. And we need to foster those conversations. We need to encourage them. And so might a couple of policy ideas around this. I would love to see Canada create a network of gendered innovation centers. Other countries have them. There are some in these states and Europe, we don’t. And as a feminist government, why don’t we have gendered innovation centers, incubators and accelerators that actually would fund process innovations like Vicki’s talking about people who are doing business differently outside of the venture capital mainstream sort of way that you build a business kind of conversation. I think that would be super cool. I also think it would be great as an innovation wit I feel like you can’t get equality in a sustainable way or equity without confronting capitalism in a serious way. And one of the ways I would suggest that is I would love to see is something called a citizen dividend out there, which is different than UBI. I kind of think of it as taking the outsized profits that offshore corporations and other big corporations make in Canada, because we we all create a business, stable business environment to make that possible. Redistribute it to Canadians, just like we did with the COVID-19 benefits. Boom, there you go. Once a year, you get a share of the profits made by the top one hundred corporations in Canada. And that way, because that’s possible because of who we are, the culture and the environment we keep. And then finally, I guess those would be the main ideas grant making organization for women entrepreneurs, especially now to help them through the to continue to be able to keep going because it takes three to five years to even build something that can support you and help you pay your bills., Generate innovation centers. And this idea of a citizen dividend, because unless we confront capitalism, we are never going to have lasting equity anywhere.


Kate Graham [00:48:36] OK, thank you. Thanks to all of you. So if I’m hearing, you know, we have a good sense that this has been a very tough experience there and highly gendered racialized. We know that people who are facing barriers have had a tougher year. But I also hear a lot of hope and optimism that this is a moment where transformative change is unusually possible. And you’ve given us lots of examples of what that can look like. We’re into our last ten minutes here. I’m wondering if we could just go around the room to around the table once more and you could share for one closing thought with us about what build back better looks like. I don’t know about you, maybe it’s just because I had a baby during a pandemic. I love this idea of being a transformative moment, but I’m just so damn tired. So, maybe you could speak to if this is a moment where change is possible, what is build back better look like for you and what is what and what can we do to get there? So let’s go in a different order this time. Let’s start with Joanne and then we’ll go to Petra.


Joanne Vanderheyden [00:49:39] That’s a tall order coming up with just a few sentences. Thank you.


Kate Graham [00:49:43] Little bit like,


Joanne Vanderheyden [00:49:46] You know, specifically, we need to reduce the gender gap and create a more inclusive recovery. As we communities move forward, we need to uphold and fund services to reduce gender based violence. We need to coordinate our police officers, social service efforts, our health units, and we need to become a partnership and a team, not pockets of help. We need to do this also. We all work together with the best interests of everyone in mind, to ensure that women’s voices and interests are reflected in decision making around the pandemic and around every board table. Be it political, be it business. We need to be there because otherwise we can’t put our thoughts on the table and the gender piece will never come to fruition. We also need to collect and analyze data disaggregated by gender, age, race and other vulnerability factors to underpin the policies and service, design and budget decisions because they all come hand-in-hand. And how are we going to get to the end line if we don’t know where we’re starting? So we need to have that in place. And of course, we need to review budgets and services with gender and inclusion lens because again, we can’t just do it the way we’ve always been doing it. We need to move forward and we can do it. I know we can.


Kate Graham [00:50:58] OK, great. Petra and then Rose-Marie.


Petra Kassin-Mutch [00:51:02] Yeah, I guess what I’d like to see next out of this, I’m going to get really from these ideas to really practical stuff. I really do think we need to, in the next year, have a strategy for getting more money into the hands of women entrepreneurs who are at the risk of closing their ventures, ventures that serve communities that are important to communities, that kind of thing. I would like to see more women entrepreneurs added to the Women in the Economy Task Force, which is going to be leading the conversation around how we come out of the pandemic because we need more voices and really specific voices at the table that ordinary women entrepreneurs. And I think just in general, we should be really pressing the government on kind of expanding. We’ve spent a lot of the West Fund is awesome and has done so much for the ecosystem, but it’s kind of stays within the boundaries of what we how we think about entrepreneurship. And I think this is an ideal opportunity for us to reframe entrepreneurship, next generation entrepreneurship and what that looks like. And that’s what build back better means to me, an opportunity to reframe that and give women permission to invent the new systems that Ricky and others here we’re talking about. Let’s not build back better. Let’s build back feminists, that sort of thing. And we know that feminist means it’s better for everyone.


Kate Graham [00:52:26] OK, terrific, Rosemarie. And then we’ll go to Vivki.


Rosemarie Powell [00:52:29] Thank you. What I want to see is community voice at the table, very, very clear. And I want to share an inspirational story as to why this is important. So pre pandemic, a community like Jane and Finch, where we saw our black youth just being killed on the streets and one woman who lost her son basically campaigned for quite some time to basically build a community hub and recreation center within that Jane Finch community. She noticed the opportunity that the finch was LRT was being built and there was land space that was available. And what she did is, she connected with the community. She connected with the Toronto and Community Benefits Network. And during the process for negotiating the community benefits agreement with Metrolink’s, she presented, she presented her powerful story to Metrolink’s and to the bidders on that project. And they were inspired and they agreed that they would set back land for the community to build this community hub and recreation center. If she wasn’t there, if her story wasn’t centered, this kind of opportunity wouldn’t have happened. Now, unfortunately, during the pandemic, we also heard from Metrolink’s that they planned on reneging on their commitment to giving the community land to the people. And you know what? The community mobilized and using the community benefits process, they were able to connect with Metrolink’s and the decision makers, with the government and the provincial government and the municipal government to really kind of push back and to make sure that their needs and their voices were centered in this process and they won. The community won. Metrolink’s is giving that land back to the community through the city. The city is transferring it to the community and they will build their land. And so, what we will see is a restorative kind of justice that is happening as a result of community being centered, of the women who have been building those communities, centered in the decision making, in the planning and decision making process, a system that has historically not included the voice of black and Indigenous and racialized people and women.


Kate Graham [00:54:55] Wow, powerful story. Thank you so much for sharing. Makes the point perfectly, Vicki. And then we will close with it.


Vicki Saunders [00:55:03] Yeah, it’s a very beautiful community. And I just to underline one more time, we need to redefine what we value in the world. We are living in a world that centers money, money, money, greed, whin at all costs every business model we have, every structure we have for funding creates more inequality. Those who have, get more every single year. We saw that during Covid and those who don’t get farther and farther from actually having a sustainable life. Four hundred years ago, we chose Adam Smith when we’re at a fork in the road and said self-interest is the way to go. That has run its course. It needs to go to palliative care. Thank you very much for all you’ve done. What do we value going forward if we don’t actually redefine what really matters to us as humans? We will be having this conversation over and over until we’re extinct.


Kate Graham [00:55:57] OK. What a compelling note to wrap up, thank you very much, Vicki and Paulette. What is the impact that Academy made for you?


Paulette Senior [00:56:06] So Rosemary Brown was one of the eight fierce feminists who founded the Canadian Women’s Foundation of the late great Rosemary Brown, the first black woman to be elected provincial parliament. And she once said, until all of us have made it, none of us will believe it. And that is something that I think is important. It’s about intersectionality. It’s about leaving no one behind. And when we think about some of the things that were announced in the budget that, by the way, didn’t come because of the goodness of any sort of political will, it came because women and advocates pushed for a national child care program for, to end homelessness for national housing program to end gender based violence. This has been a work that’s been going on for decades by lots of folks that have gone on the right. But, we’re at the precipice now where it cannot be denied. And even though the promises have been made, we have to make sure they happen. It’s up to us to make sure they happen, whether it’s about work with the provinces, whether it’s about continuing to push up the municipal or federal levels, we have to make sure it’s a national child care program has been decades in the making. And we know that women’s lives cannot truly be free to pursue their dreams and their potential without having child care in this country. We need to end gender based violence. So there’s a national action plan that’s being developed to end gender based violence that happens to sit on that advisory committee. We’re working towards that. These are promises that have not yet been fulfilled. And so it is up to us. This is the time when advocacy is a good word. There’s no limitation on advocacy. You just have to report that you’re advocating. Right? But it’s good to advocate as charities, as nonprofits. This is what we have to push for. So let’s do that together, because until all of us have made it, none of us will make it


Kate Graham [00:58:19] Perfect, perfect. Thank you very much, Paulette, and thank you to each of you. You are just, I’m so grateful to all of you for the work that you’re doing even before the pandemic. It has been a tough year and making time to be here with us today. We’re just so very grateful. I hope we can continue the discussion. For those of you who are interested, join us at 1:00 Eastern, where the conversation will continue. Different moderator, different panelists. It is a packed panel with eight speakers like almost unwieldly, big as a panel. And each speaker is coming with one specific concrete idea to address the gender gap and some of the other inequities that we have heard from today. I also want to thank our sponsors. Libro Credit Union has made this event possible. It’s one of the reasons we can provide these discussions for free. We post the chat, we post the video, we post the transcripts online, and we find that many more people participate at a time that works for them long after the event. And that’s all possible because of Libro support. I want to thank the Pay Equity Commission for leading this work. And the commissioner will be one of the speakers talking about pay equity at our panel at one o’clock. And so, thank you to to the panel once again and to each of you for making time to be here. We really appreciate it. Please keep the discussion going and we’ll see you at one o’clock. Oh, and I forgot. Sorry. We also have a poll. We would like to know what you thought about this event, so if you could take just two minutes before you depart. Thank you, Jamie. I see that I’m getting text messages reminding me to do this, and I always forget details like that. And so, please take a moment to do that before we wrap up. But once again, once you’re done with that, thank you so much to our speakers. Thank you to each of us, each of you, for being here today. And we’ll see you at one o’clock to continue the conversation. Take good care, everyone.


Petra Kassin-Mutch [01:00:07] Hi, everybody.


Full Audience
Chatroom Transcript

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From Canadian Urban Institute: You can find transcripts and recordings of today’s and all our webinars at

00:31:33 pk mutch (she/her/elle) Tkaronto: Good morning eeveryone!
00:31:46 Vicki Saunders (she/her): Hi everyone. Joining you today from Treaty13 on Turtle Island. You can connect with me here if you’d like
00:32:03 Canadian Urban Institute: Welcome! Folks, please change your chat settings to “all panelists and attendees” so everyone can see your comments. Attendees: where are you tuning in from today?
00:32:12 Abigail Slater (she/her): Hello from Tkaranto! Treaty 13. Hello Petra and Vicki!
00:32:25 Vicki Saunders (she/her): Hi Abby!
00:32:31 Laurel Davies Snyder: Good morning from Stratford, ON.
00:33:20 Canadian Urban Institute: Today’s session is hosted jointly by the Canadian Urban Institute and the Pay Equity Commission of Ontario, and made possible by the generous support of Libro Credit Union and Advanis.
00:33:27 Sarah Kaplan: Greetings from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the traditional lands of the Wmanoag and Nauset peoples.
00:33:35 pk mutch (she/her/elle) Tkaronto: You can find our magazine at You can connect with me at
00:33:47 pk mutch (she/her/elle) Tkaronto: @sarahK HELLO! Grea to see you here!
00:33:59 pk mutch (she/her/elle) Tkaronto: You too @abby!
00:34:30 Canadian Urban Institute: MIND THE GAP: The Post-COVID Gender Gap in Canada’s Cities:
00:35:48 Canadian Urban Institute: Connect with today’s panel: Petra Kassun-Mutch, News Media Entrepreneur @MsEveVolution Rosemarie Powell, Executive Director, Toronto Community Benefits Network @ros_powell Vicki Saunders, Founder, SheEO @vickis Paulette Senior, President and CEO, Canadian Women’s Foundation @PauletteSenior1 Joanne Vanderheyden, President, Federation of Canadian Municipalities & Mayor of the Municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc, Ontario @mayorjoannevdh
00:36:28 Rosemarie Powell: Great to be among everyone today! Looking forward to a robust conversation
00:36:50 pk mutch (she/her/elle) Tkaronto: PK on linked in
00:41:14 pk mutch (she/her/elle) Tkaronto:
00:41:34 pk mutch (she/her/elle) Tkaronto:
00:42:43 Laurel Davies Snyder: “Everything in this world is made up” – such a critical thing to realize. thank you Vicki Saunders.
00:49:04 Abigail Slater (she/her): @rosemarie it is so important to broaden the
participation of women and others in infrastructure and building community. Such an important perspective that must be included at decision making levels.
00:51:25 Laurel Davies Snyder: From my current role as a municipal planner, I see a need to have a new perspective before projects are even defined.
00:54:32 Vicki Saunders (she/her): totally agree laurel. we need to decondition ourselves and our thinking to create a world that benefits all vs find ways to level the playing field – we have a huge chance now to reimagine what we want the world to look like in the future given the fact that we now seeing the systemic barriers laid bare.
00:56:01 Vicki Saunders (she/her): thanks for the context Petra
00:56:42 Matthew from St. Catharines: Re: construction industry: I agree that women should be welcomed to work in construction; as a member of the city of St. Catharines Accessibility advisory committee I feel obligated to emphasize that Accessibility is of ongoing relevance in construction in terms of building accessibility into our built infrastructure…. Thanks from Matthew in St. Catharines Ontario. Shout out to the awesome Dr. Kate Graham 😀
00:59:35 pk mutch (she/her/elle) Tkaronto: You might all be interested this report released yesterday by Amoye Henry, founder of Pitch Better, on the current state of Black women entrepreneurs in Canada–
01:00:32 Abigail Slater (she/her): Women live longer so this impact of lower pension and overall earnings as they age alone is amplified. Thank you Mayor.
01:03:59 pk mutch (she/her/elle) Tkaronto: The Pandemic Study for women entrepreneurs showed tht women surveyed felt the mental health impact will affect them for 3 years or more
01:07:26 Laurel Davies Snyder: I vote for a new system.
01:07:33 Laurel Davies Snyder: 🙂
01:10:56 Vicki Saunders (she/her): if you want to learn more about you can checkout our site. we are funding women working on the World’s To Do List – creating new solutions and approaches. We have 107 brilliant examples of next generation ideas led by women and non-binary folk, 60% of whom are indigenous, black and women of colour. We are getting capital and resources into those who have been put to the margins in the past…many of us, by not having been in the center, have unique lenses on how to create more equitable systems that work for all.
01:11:47 Vicki Saunders (she/her): we are so grateful for the work of the Canadian Women’s Foundation.
01:12:09 Vicki Saunders (she/her): this would be a great shift in our policies Paulette
01:15:26 Paulette Senior: Check out our Resetting Normal Papers
01:18:18 Vicki Saunders (she/her): buh bye – toxic capitalism.
01:18:53 Paulette Senior: At the Foundation we have an Investment Readiness Program (IRP) to support women’s and gender diverse social entrepreneur organizations initiatives. Check out our website:
01:19:48 Vicki Saunders (she/her): i would love to talk to you about the IRP Paulette. It would be great if you could work with orgs like ours to flow through to our Ventures so they each don’t have to apply individually
01:19:51 pk mutch (she/her/elle) Tkaronto: Let’s not just build back better….let’s build back FEMINIST!
01:20:30 Laurel Davies Snyder: Unfortunately, many municipal ec dev “strategies” support and reward traditional systems of capitalism. I am continuing to ask questions about this and propose alternatives wherever I work. To me, great opportunity for a town, village, etc. to create a place that supports this new system.
01:24:47 pk mutch (she/her/elle) Tkaronto: YES! @Rosemarie! Community folks at the table. We don’t often consult with community leaders and ordinary women entrepreneur who have policy smarts that institutional leaders may not have by virtue of on the ground lived experience
01:25:07 pk mutch (she/her/elle) Tkaronto: Nothing for us without us!
01:25:30 pk mutch (she/her/elle) Tkaronto: Awesome story! The future looks like this….
01:25:49 Canadian Urban Institute: Today’s session is hosted jointly by the Canadian Urban Institute and the Pay Equity Commission of Ontario, and made possible by the generous support of Libro Credit Union and Advanis. Keep the conversation going #CityTalk @canurb You can find transcripts and recordings of today’s and all our sessions at
01:26:22 Canadian Urban Institute: Join us at 1:00pm ET for our next session “Big Ideas to Close Canada’s Urban Gender Gap”, where we will provide a summary of what advocates, experts and policy makers in Canada are currently doing to improve the wellbeing of women and girls – and showcase efforts emerging out of COVID towards achieving gender equity. Register here:
01:26:30 Laurel Davies Snyder: Thank you for this. Inspiring. Can we have a follow-up discussion to this in a few months?
01:27:40 Vicki Saunders (she/her): If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together. This quote has served as a motto for many activist groups in Australia and elsewhere.

Lilla Watson – Wikipedia
01:28:02 Sarah Kaplan: Fantastic discussion all! So great to see you all on the screen. “Feminist means it is better for everyone.” “Redefine what we value.” “Create stories.” “Leave no one behind.”
01:28:07 pk mutch (she/her/elle) Tkaronto:
01:28:57 pk mutch (she/her/elle) Tkaronto: Childcare will help women enterpreneurs–but we need to make sure we craft an implementation method that meets their needs (Weekends, nights)
01:29:26 Abigail Slater (she/her): We cannot be afraid to try new things in
childcare. If some don’t work try new things.
01:29:40 Vicki Saunders (she/her): thank you everyone.
01:29:45 Vicki Saunders (she/her): thank you Kate!
01:30:00 Abigail Slater (she/her): Awesome panel thank you all.
01:30:13 pk mutch (she/her/elle) Tkaronto: Thank you SOOO Much CUI and everyone! Was great to talk about these things! Let’s continue to dismantle systems.
01:30:17 pk mutch (she/her/elle) Tkaronto: And build new one!
01:30:41 Abigail Slater (she/her): Yes!!!
01:30:46 pk mutch (she/her/elle) Tkaronto: OH! Women founders pay themselves less than male founders. Gender pay gap is 27%
01:30:59 kristina driedger: thank you!!!