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With over 1 million self-employed women in Canada and more on the rise, women-led businesses hold the key to not only strengthening Canada’s competitiveness, but the overall economy as well. Despite this increase in female entrepreneurs, women only account for roughly 33% of all self-employed people. This International Women’s Day, we want to draw attention to the necessity of striving for a gender-balanced workplace in order to truly unlock prosperity for all.

This all begs the question though, are Canadians doing what we can to find that balance and be the best we can be in the workplace? Statistics Canada’s findings reveal otherwise, with on average full-time employed women earning 10% less than men. Additionally, women represent nearly half of the workforce, yet 45% of those employed women are working in one of 20 lowest-paying occupations.

It is time that Canadians see that gender-balance in the workplace is not a women’s issue, but a business issue.A gender-balanced workplace allows for creative thinking, innovation and problem solving, which ultimately provides organizations with a competitive advantage.

“I am grateful to those who came before me who have worked so tirelessly and who have sacrificed so much for women’s equality and empowerment. We have a responsibility to honour and advance these efforts by continuing to tear down the barriers that prevent women from having an equal opportunity to participate in the economy and in all facets of society.  The ROI will be priceless – a more peaceful, prosperous, sustainable world,” said Jackie King, Chief Operating Officer, Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

The Canadian Chamber has moved from goal to action by implementing diversity and inclusion policies for our Board and organization. These policies are intended to foster individual differences and the contributions of all team members so that the organization has the opportunity to benefit from all available talent. A specific highlight of our policy is that we have 40% representation from each gender on our Board and senior management team.

Organizations with balanced workforces perform better, in addition to supporting an economic vision that provides opportunity and prosperity for all. To learn more about how we are creating a more gender-balanced workplace, click here.

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