Reversing the Gendered Impact of COVID-19 on Alberta’s Labour Force

Authors Emrah Keskin, Deborah Ayis, Adriana Appau, Thea Luig, Jonah Elke
Keywords Childcare, Diversity, Women, Employment, Intersectional, Gender Gap


The COVID-19 pandemic amplified economic and labour inequalities for women and gender-diverse people in Alberta. Funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada, PolicyWise for Children & Families is exploring solutions to address the disproportionate effects of COVID-19 on women’s and gender-diverse people’s workforce participation through a 3-year project. The aim is to increase understanding of gender-based barriers to employment and explore potential policy and program solutions.

The Discussion Paper presents year 1 and 2 findings informed by the perspectives of those with lived experience and front-line staff and leadership of social sector organizations in Alberta.

The priorities Snapshot summarizes the gendered impacts of COVID-19 in Alberta and outlines recommendations for action.

The pre-election Advocacy Brief outlines ways to improve pay equity, childcare, training, and business investment through five calls to action.

Practice & Policy Implications

  • Increasing affordability, diversifying childcare options, and attracting and retaining Early Childhood Educators can enhance childcare systems.
  • Enacting pay equity legislation, growing awareness of the Duty to Accommodate, and building Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion capacity can foster respectful and impactful workplaces.
  • Re-envisioning funding models and enhancing capacity for community-based employment programs can improve women’s career paths.

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