Focus On

Blakes to participate in program to support more women in workforce

Thursday, March 08, 2018 @ 1:13 PM | By Carolyn Gruske

The federal government has called upon a number of Canadian businesses, including a law firm, to establish ways the private sector can create a better gender balance in the workforce.

The Minister of the Status of Women Maryam Monsef, took the opportunity of International Women’s Day to announce the creation of the Canadian Private Sector Gender Equality Leadership Project.

The project, which the government is funding for $858,500, will be run by the Global Compact Network Canada, which is the Canadian arm of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and which exists to assist over 150 Canadian organizations with the advancement of its 17 sustainable development goals (including the reduction of poverty and hunger, the move toward gender equality and the support of peace, justice and strong institutions) and the 10 principles of the UNGC (which address human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption).

The new leadership program is designed to run for 36 months. Its goal is to have 20 private Canadian companies create a “a blueprint easily applied by any Canadian company taking action to achieve better gender balance.” The companies are expected to identify challenges facing women in the workplace and share recommendations about how to solve them. They will be expected to create tools, best practices, guidelines, methodologies and frameworks that other businesses will be able to use.

As of today, 11 companies have been named to take part, including Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP.

“Blakes has a long history of supporting women in law and women professionals, and we are proud to remain at the forefront of this movement by being the only Canadian-based law firm among this great group of trailblazing companies,” said Blakes partner Anne Drost, who has been working with the GCNC for four years.
Some of the other participating companies are Nutrien Ltd. (which supplies crop supplements and fertilizer) and IKEA Canada.