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Forty-seven percent of the work-force are females, 60% have degrees, yet only 3% are Chief Executive Officers and only 16% hold board seats. It has been proven that a gender-balanced team outperforms a male dominated or female dominated team. When will we achieve Gender Equality?

Kelowna, BC - Today in celebration of International Women's Day, Women in Leadership Foundation (WIL), a national, non-profit organization advancing women’s leadership, is announcing the launch of our new project, Bridge to Gender Equality.

The purpose of the 32 month pan-Canadian project is to support a feminist response and recovery from the current impacts of Covid 19 through systematic change. Women in Leadership acknowledges the support of Women and Gender Equality Canada.

“True gender equality can only be achieved when everyone is included in the decision-making process. I applaud the Women in Leadership Foundation for undertaking this bold research project to identify and address gender biases in hiring practices across Canada. The participation of women at the executive-level not only increases women’s economic security, but helps ensure that decisions are based on a wide range of intersectional realities and lived experiences.”

- The Honourable Marci Ien, P.C., M.P., Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth

The Bridge to Gender Equality project team will be researching organizations and community groups from across Canada to address harmful gender norms which prevent women from getting into leadership positions and achieving equal pay.

“Joining together with our stakeholders, we can break down barriers and biases that prevent women’s advancement in leadership roles and make a positive transformational difference. I am grateful for the funding support that Women and Gender Equality Canada has provided WIL to lead changes in gender equality, which for WIL is instrumental in achieving our mission of empowering women.”

- Maya Kanigan, Founder and President, Women in Leadership Foundation (WIL).

“Now is the time to shift changes. To support our project team, we have a diverse National Advisory Committee of 20 leaders in various sectors and backgrounds who are passionate advocates and change makers”, states Denise Young, Project Leader, Bridge to Gender Equality Project. “For this project to succeed we are hopeful that community groups and mid to large sized organizations across Canada will participate through surveys, focus groups, and our DEI Leadership Forum in June.”

Despite meaningful progress, important gender gaps remain. “The Bridge to Gender Equality is a unique project that brings diverse voices to the table to explore challenges women continue to face in the workplace, and offer practical solutions to ensure there are equal opportunities for women in the workplace”, Dr. Candy Khan, Advisory Committee Member and Canden Coaching and Consulting.

The project is also highlighting females from underrepresented groups. As a female, Indigenous Professional Engineer who holds and has held a variety of leadership positions, Jessica Vandenberghe, Advisory Committee Member and Guiding Star Consulting, “the fact is that non-male gender types are still underrepresented within leadership positions and it is vital that equitable frameworks, opportunities, and systems are created and effectively resourced in order to ensure the growth, retention and success of minority demographics”.

The project team is aiming to have organizations integrate and adopt the recommendations and policies identified based on the research collected.

To participate in this research project or more information at:

For media inquiries contact:

Michelle Negreiff, Project Coordinator

Bridge to Gender Equality Project, Women In Leadership Foundation

Telephone: 250.764.0009




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