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

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.

Action through Connection was an interactive day dedicated to workshopping grassroots-informed program and policy solutions for women’s employment and entrepreneurship. The Website features videos of the welcoming address, the keynote address, a workshop on the Duty to Accommodate, and the closing panel.

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.
  • Sustainable community-driven solutions can help to close the employment gender gap.

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