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Gender-based analysis plus

Institutional GBA+ capacity
NRCan’s GBA+ Framework

NRCan is committed to facilitating diverse and inclusive outcomes through its work, including ensuring that diverse populations of Canadians benefit from our policies and programs, and recognizes the importance of Gender Based Analysis (GBA+) in achieving this goal. To that end, NRCan has a well- established GBA+ framework in place that is supported by senior management, consisting of: an ADM GBA+ Champion; GBA+ Responsibility Centre (the Responsibility Centre or the Centre); Network of GBA+ Sector Advisors; and, more recently a GBA+ champion in the Audit and Evaluation Branch. Additionally, GBA+ training continues to be mandatory for every new analyst hired through our Policy Analyst Recruitment and Development Program.

The functional authority and departmental lead for GBA+ resides in the GBA+ Responsibility Centre, supported by the ADM GBA+ Champion. The Responsibility Centre ensures that GBA+ is integrated into decision-making processes, by requiring that every Budget proposal, Memorandum to Cabinet, and Treasury Board Submission undertake a rigorous assessment of the potential implications of all policies or programs on diverse populations of Canadians. The Centre tracks and retains analyses for all cabinet and budget documents.

The GBA+ Responsibility Centre provides advice and guidance to decision makers within the Department, and equips the Department to undertake GBA+ through the provision of training and coaching services, key tools, resources and support, including in identifying and accessing a diverse array of evidence and data to support informed evidence based decision-making with respect to diverse Canadian populations.

GBA+ Responsibility Centre Driven Initiatives

To further advance the implementation of GBA+ and bolster Departmental capacity, the Responsibility Centre has taken a number of steps.

For example in 2019-20, the Responsibility Centre developed and hosted a series of departmental activities to support the Government’s eighth annual GBA+ Awareness week, including: two targeted training sessions on GBA+ awareness and unconscious bias; the launch of NRCan’s first ever GBA+ infographic, distributed by NRCan’s ADM GBA+ Champion; the wide distribution of micro-learning videos; as well as, a chat channel. These activities were designed to create additional awareness with regard to the role of GBA+ in decision making processes, and how it can be used to identify and respond to unconscious bias in order to improve policy and program development.

The Centre also co-hosted a targeted training session on GBA+ for budget proposals, with subject matter experts from the Department of Finance. Combined, these activities and tools helped play a role in the GBA+ Responsibility Centre’s successful efforts to facilitate a more robust integration of GBA+ throughout the Budget process, beyond just the annex.

Approximately 112 NRCan employees attended one of the three in-house training sessions hosted in 2019-20. Of the ~75 employees who attended one of the two training sessions on GBA+ Awareness and unconscious bias, at least 35 were attending an in-house training session at NRCan for the first time, indicating both an increase in awareness and capacity.

Further, this past March, the Responsibility Centre hosted the Department’s inaugural Great NRCan Quest for Gender Equity, an International Women’s Day Challenge. Teams representing different sectors competed in a series of mini challenges in a quest to raise awareness with regard to gender equity and diversity in the natural resource sector. Approximately 105 employees from across the department, including several members of NRCan’s management, competed in the quest and an additional ~40 employees or more were involved in voluntary roles, such as challenge hosts.

The Responsibility Centre also secured about five new GBA+ Advisors from various sectors, growing the network to approximately 21 advisors in total. Additional sector advisors were recruited from areas previously unrepresented in the network and/or not involved in traditional policy or program work, extending the reach of GBA+. The new Advisors have contributed to a greater capacity in GBA+ across the Department.

Office of Energy and Research Development (OERD) and Renewal and Electrical Energy Division (REED) Driven Initiatives

The Office of Energy and Research Development in collaboration with the Renewable and Electrical Energy Division have taken a number of steps to further advance the integration of GBA+ into program design and delivery, as well as data collection, analysis and results. For example, using consultation, research and analysis, of the Office of Energy Research and Development (OERD) in collaboration with the Renewable and Electrical Energy Division (REED), developed a GBA+ framework for program design and delivery. The framework aims to further advance the inclusion of an intersectional lens in program operations. It outlines key considerations and questions for each different step involved in program design, implementation and evaluation, and seeks to support program operations in identifying gaps and opportunities as they relate to advancing GBA+. In addition, OERD and REED prepared a series of workshops to communicate this information and to present a strategy for implementation.

The framework is expected to be launched in the 2020-2021 FY, and will support a greater application of GBA+ to program analysis and evaluation for past or current programming, and bolster the integration of GBA+ into program design and delivery for new and on-going programs. While designed with the intent of benefitting a specific area in the department, this framework will be a key tool in further advancing the implementation of GBA+ and bolstering capacity across the department.

Data Collection and Reporting Initiatives to Support Future Results

Annual reports for certain OERD programs (e.g., Smart Grid Program, Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities) have been evaluated and edited to collect gender-disaggregated data that aligns with program goals. Training and hiring metrics are now collected at gender-disaggregated levels and align with Statistics Canada terminology (e.g., female, male and gender diverse). The Clean Energy For Rural and Remote Communities program is also collecting disaggregated information about Indigenous identity and youth participation.

Additionally, the Clean Growth Program and new Energy Innovation Program streams, such as Breakthrough Energy Solutions Canada, have integrated gender and Indigenous identity as part of project reporting on employment and training of highly qualified personnel. All new OERD programs will include gender and Indigenous identity as standard reporting variables for employment and training data.

Research on targeted universalism design in OERD

Further, OERD is conducting research to support the implementation of GBA+ within program design and operations in OERD. The research focuses on the applications of targeted universalism policy design to energy programs and policy to enable equitable access/benefits. The Clean Energy For Rural and Remote Communities program, Women in Cleantech Challenge and Smart Grid Program serve as case studies to examine the potential for targeted universalism design to inform future programming. Research results will be presented in 2020-2021.
Highlights of GBA+ Results by Program
NRCan, GBA+ and the Gender Results Framework

NRCan, GBA+ and the Gender Results Framework

Introduced in Budget 2018, the Gender Results Framework (GRF) represents the Government of Canada’s vision for achieving greater equality. It is a whole-of government tool designed to:

  • Track how Canada is currently performing
  • Define what is needed to achieve greater equality
  • Determine how progress will be measured going forward
The framework is comprised of six pillars, including:

  • Economic Participation and Prosperity;
  • Education and Skills Development;
  • Leadership and Democratic Participation;
  • Gender Based Violence and Access to Justice;
  • Poverty Reduction, Health and Well-Being; and,
  • Gender Equality Around the World
While framed around gender, it is important to recognize that the objectives of the framework apply to all diverse groups of Canadians. Recognizing this is key to advancing its goals and achieving true equality. Therefore, the information presented in this table reflects all NRCan programs and initiatives that have contributed to or advanced the goals as outlined by the gender results framework and addressed systemic barriers based on: gender, race and ethnicity, region and other intersectional dimensions, in 2019-20.

Across the three core responsibilities, a rigorous application of GBA+ has been used to identify and respond to potential gaps, inform analyses on barriers contributing to the underrepresentation of diverse groups, and in identifying strategies for supporting diverse communities to overcome barriers. This has served to inform activities that were both guided by and contribute to the advancement of the goals of the Gender Results Framework, and in particular the following three pillars: Economic Participation and Prosperity; Poverty Reduction, Health and Well-being; and, Gender Equality Around the World.

With the support of disaggregated data, the department will continue to monitor, track, assess and respond to potential barriers and gaps preventing the full inclusion of diverse groups in the natural resource sectors.

GRF Pillar: Economic Participation and Prosperity

The objective of this pillar is to enable and advance equal and full participation in the Canadian economy. Progress in advancing this goal is measured by outcomes, such as: increased labor market opportunities participation rate; increased full-time employment of women; better gender balance across occupations; and more women in higher-quality jobs, among others. NRCan programs and initiatives contribute to or advance the goals outlined by this pillar by addressing systemic barriers to the full and equal participation of diverse groups in the natural resource sector, and related economic activities.

GRF Pillar: Poverty Reduction, Health and Well-Being

The objective of this pillar is to contribute to reduced poverty and improved health outcomes. Progress under this pillar is measured by outcomes and indicators, such as: more years in good health; leading causes of death; and, health-adjusted life expectancy at birth.

Improved environmental outcomes, including reduced environmental contaminants or exposure, are directly linked to improved health outcomes for diverse populations of Canadians. NRCan programs and initiatives that support the reduction of GHG emissions and other harmful contaminants, and/or support the transition to clean energy, clean technology, etc. are indirectly supporting the advancement of this pillar as measured by performance metrics such as more years in good health.

GRF Pillar: Gender Equality Around the World

The objective of this pillar is to promote gender equality to build a more peaceful, inclusive, rules-based and prosperous world. Progress in advancing this goal is measured by metrics like:

  • More women in leadership and decision-making roles, and stronger women’s rights organizations
  • More women have equitable access and control over the resources they need to build their own economic success and the economic success of their communities
  • More girls and women access quality education and skills training, and many more.
NRCan initiatives contribute to or advance the goals outlined by this pillar, through international engagement and leadership, as well as through the mobilization of international support in taking action to achieve greater gender equality in natural resource sectors.

Program Inventory
Youth Employment and Skills Strategy - Science and Technology Internship Program Activities under the program supported Economic Participation and Prosperity, a GRF pillar. Since 1997, NRCan has contributed to the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) through the Science and Technology Internship Program (STIP), supporting a diverse, qualified labour pool in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields within the natural resource sectors. The program’s wage subsidies and training opportunities helps to build a critical mass of skilled workers in emerging sectors undergoing significant transition and transformation. Using non-repayable contributions, and a third-party delivery model, YESS STIP is able to support youth across Canada in all natural resources sectors, while promoting diversity. The program started requiring 50% employment equity for the 2016-17 FY. In this case, employment equity refers to women in STEM, youth with disabilities, visible minorities, and Indigenous youth.

The program collects data on the following indicators: the number of youth (ages 15-30) served; where interns are from and where internships are located; employment equity group (i.e. women, Indigenous Peoples, visible minorities, persons with disabilities); the official language spoken; the percentage of youth who were hired on full-time basis at their place of internship; the percentage of youth who found other employment; the percentage of youth who returned to school; and the percentage of youth who are unemployed. For each of these indicators, data is disaggregated by gender, including an option that permits interns to ‘not identify’ their gender. This enables the program to undertake an analysis based on age, location, employment status, employment equity group and gender.

By collecting this disaggregated data, the program’s data analysis identified a gap in participation of Indigenous, northern and remote youth. As a result, the program engaged Indigenous youth and youth living in northern and remote communities to identify what barriers they may experience with regard to employment opportunities in STEM and the natural resources. Through this engagement, it was identified that the post-secondary education requirement and higher cost of living in northern and remote communities, were among the key barriers to employment or participation in the program being experienced by Indigenous and northern youth. Based on this engagement, in 2019-20, YESS STIP adjusted the program by addressing the identified systemic barriers, through the following actions: removing the post-secondary education requirement; increasing wage subsidies for youth in northern, rural and remote communities to account for the higher cost of living; and, adding training to support youth without formal post-secondary education to receive the technical training necessary to work in the internship.

Preliminary data for the 2019-20 FY demonstrates early success, and indicates that addressing these systemic barriers has contributed to increased labour market opportunities and participation for diverse groups. For example, based on this preliminary data, program outcomes demonstrating greater inclusivity, include:

  • An increase in the participation of Indigenous and northern youth from 6% to 12% in 2019-20;
  • More than 50% participation from Employment Equity groups;
  • Over 74%* full time placement after internships *to be finalized;
  • Expansion into the Territories; and,
  • The establishment of partnerships between delivery organizations and organizations serving Indigenous and northern youth.
Electricity Resources Program Activities under the Electricity Resources Program supported two pillars of the GRF, Economic Participation and Prosperity and Poverty Reduction, Health and Well-Being. The Electricity Resources Program is made up of four renewable energy programs: ecoENERGY for Renewable Power, Smart Grid, Emerging Renewables, and Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities. These programs help reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions and encourage sustainable growth in the electricity sector by providing communities with job opportunities, skills and training.

Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities (CERRC) Program

The Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities (CERRC) program supports community-led renewable energy and capacity building projects in rural and remote communities to reduce their reliance on diesel fuel for heat and power. CERRC has four streams: Capacity Building, Demonstration, Deployment and BioHeat. The program is currently supporting 88 projects in 131 communities, including 123 Indigenous communities.

Each rural and remote community is unique and requires different types of support to reduce reliance on diesel. There is no one-size technology solution to transition communities onto renewable energy. Complex factors such as location, weather systems, community priorities and capacity, provincial and utility policies, and Indigenous relationships with the Crown mean that each community has diverse needs. Successful community-driven clean energy projects are the result of numerous iterative steps starting from building energy literacy and training, to completing project-specific design and development activities.

There is a high risk associated with clean energy projects in remote communities due to access issues (seasonal roads, fly in-out, etc.) and limitations on the delivery of equipment (sea barge, seasonal limitations, etc.). Due to this increased risk, along with high costs and longer payback periods, it is more challenging for these projects to access capital through traditional avenues provided by financial institutions, such as debt financing.

The four streams work together to ensure that direct benefits impact a broad group of rural, remote and Indigenous communities across Canada, including First Nations, Inuit and Metis women, men and gender-diverse people. Funding activities from community energy planning to renewable energy and energy efficiency projects directly benefits communities, as these activities are community-led and support capacity building, economic development, self-determination, and reconciliation. This approach responds to the barriers Indigenous communities face with accessing funding for capacity building and renewable energy project implementation.

Further, NRCan has incorporated flexibilities into the CERRC program to support increased participation of diverse groups. For example, CERRC:

  • Uses advances to enable recipients to start their projects;
  • Pays honoraria for Indigenous elders to help facilitate participation in the projects;
  • Ensures diversity on Review committees;
  • Encourages participation of youth in projects to help with their integration in the natural resources sector (promotion of the S&T Internship Program – Green Jobs); and
  • Includes translation of project materials as an eligible cost.

The expected outcomes of CERRC related to advancing the goals of full and equal economic participation include:

  • Increased participation of Indigenous peoples in Canada’s renewable energy sector;
  • Reduced GHG emissions through a reduction in fossil fuel reliance;
  • Increased participation of Indigenous peoples in Canada’s renewable energy sector;
  • Increased energy literacy;
  • Increased community capacity to own and operate renewable energy systems; and
  • Increased collaboration between the public sector and Indigenous peoples.

CERRC Data Collection

The CERRC program collects, disaggregates and tracks data for renewable energy projects in remote areas, by rural and remote community (region), Indigenous ownership and participation. This includes measuring the percentage of projects and the number of projects led by or partnered with Indigenous groups or communities. The program also collects disaggregated data regarding participation of women and youth. With this information, the program will continue to be able to undertake analyses based on region (rural and remote communities), Indigenous status (participation, leadership or ownership), gender and age (participation of women and youth).
Forest Sector Competitiveness Program Activities under the Indigenous Forestry Initiative (IFI) contributed to the advancement of Economic Participation and Prosperity, a GRF pillar. IFI supports Indigenous participation in economic development projects within the forest sector and aims to increase Indigenous participation in forestry-related opportunities, businesses, careers and governance. The overall objective of the proposed activities is to support Indigenous participation in economic opportunities in the natural resource sectors, recognizing that participation in the resource economy and capitalizing on economic development opportunities are fundamental to increasing the economic prosperity of Indigenous peoples.

Indigenous communities frequently do not have the same access to tenure and face systemic barriers to education and skills training that creates capacity challenges for businesses, and decreases the ability to participate in forest management decision making. It can be difficult for Indigenous communities, organizations and businesses to access capital funding to implement forestry projects. Specifically, it can be difficult to access funding from traditional financing institutions given the high cost, longer payback periods and the perceived risk of both the project proponent and the project itself. Policy, legal and legislative barriers can prevent Indigenous peoples, organizations and governments from accessing financing through traditional financing mechanisms such as debt financing. The program is designed to support a strong and resilient Indigenous forest sector by addressing barriers systemic barriers like those described above.

Additional efforts were made to advance the full and equal participation of Indigenous communities in the forest sector by addressing unintended systemic barriers associated with the program itself, and were integrated through the program’s application and decision-making processes. For example, with the support of GBA+, the program identified that capacity issues in Indigenous communities can present a challenge in applying to the IFI program. The regional component of the IFI’s delivery model supports Regional Liaison Officers (RLOs) located in Canadian Forest Service regional offices across the country, which helps to address some of these issues by acting as a point of contact and source of guidance for potential applicants. This was designed specifically to provide added support for Indigenous communities and businesses in applying to the program. Recent improvements have also been made to the application form and process, and include seeking diversity in workforce related plans and priorities from applicants.

The IFI has also recently implemented an External Expert Review panel model to review projects and provide short-list recommendations to the program. This Indigenous majority review panel is gender balanced. This added mechanism, helps to mitigate and avoid unintended risks of systemic barriers associated with implicit or unconscious bias, and/or lack of cultural understanding.

The IFI will leverage tools developed in the context of the renewal of the NRCan Forest Sector Competitiveness Program, to collect greater gender and diversity information for program beneficiaries.

Data Collection Initiatives to inform Future Results

NRCan created a Diversity Working Group (DWG) to support the sector in identifying measures that could contribute to addressing gender and other representation gaps in the forest sector. The DWG’s main objective is to ensure a better understanding of workforce diversity in the forest sector so that recommendations for program measures would be evidence-based, impactful, and align with other initiatives and actions.

The DWG conducted evidence-based analysis and a socioeconomic study, and engaged with external stakeholders and central agencies to identify diversity gaps in the forest sector. Based on these findings and consultations with forest sector stakeholders, the DWG proposed four measures to help the forest sector improve its understanding and outcomes with regard to workforce diversity, such as: actively collecting better data; support efforts towards addressing education as a systemic barrier; and, promoting workforce diversity through collaboration:

Data and information collected to support this work/ recommendations will begin in FY 2020-2021, enabling the broader forest sector competitiveness program to measure future results regarding the status of gender equity and diversity in the forest sector.
Polar Continental Shelf Program Activities under this program contributed to the advancement of Economic Participation and Prosperity, a GRF pillar. Through the Enabling Arctic Science in Canada initiative, the Polar Continental Shelf Program is able to meet a growing demand for Arctic science and innovation research. The objective of this initiative is to strengthen the resilience of Indigenous communities, build a sustainable northern economy, gain an understanding of the implications of climate change on Arctic terrestrial and marine ecosystems, and support the exercise of Canada’s sovereignty in the Arctic. Under the program, logistics support for Arctic science is available to researchers or research teams working for universities and provincial and territorial governments regardless of sex, gender, and culture/ethnicity.

The PCSP is designed to provide critical logistics support to researchers or research teams working for universities, provincial governments, and territorial governments, to ensure that Arctic fieldwork is conducted safely and efficiently. The program currently collects gender data from its on-line Arctic logistics service request form and logistics database. This data supports analysis for program uptake; percent of principle investigators from university or federal government departments; and, percent of projects that receive PCSP support on the basis of gender (not including non-binary genders).

Lower uptake of the program’s services by women and Indigenous peoples has been identified as an issue. Through the GBA+, it was also identified that there is a need to collect disaggregated data beyond gender. The results of the client satisfaction survey conducted in January 2020 indicated no significant difference in satisfaction with the program between gender groups. However, data gaps and technical limitations are currently preventing the systematic collection of this information. This may be addressed through planned modifications to service request forms and internal processes within the program. Demographic information including gender, Indigenous status and ethnicity data of applicants and project participants will be included. The availability of this information will permit future disaggregated analysis, which is required to monitor potential impacts of the program.
Lower Carbon Transportation Program Activities under the Lower Carbon Transportation Program contributed to the advancement of Poverty Reduction, Health and Wellbeing, a GRF pillar. The Lower Carbon Transportation Program enables consumers and commercial fleets to adopt lower carbon modes of transportation. The program accomplishes this by supporting the deployment of Electric Vehicles and Alternative Fuel refuelling infrastructure; developing enabling codes and standards; providing accurate, relevant and factual information to inform purchasing decisions; providing fuel use benchmarking; and, assessing fleet fuel usage and recommending more efficient options. The program’s objective is to positively enhance the availability, accessibility and awareness of low carbon transportation options for consumers and key actors in the transportation of passengers and freight on Canadian roads.

In 2018, the program’s data collection methodology was updated to collect additional information on the uptake and impact of the program. Since 2019-20, data can be disaggregated by province and territory. This will help to determine how the uptake and impact of lower carbon transportation options and awareness efforts varies by location. In addition, the program will measure the number of job-years of employment generated by funded projects. The program’s data collection methodology enables it to undertake analyses on both the uptake and impact of the program based on province and territory, employment in the low carbon transportation sector (specific to employment generated by projects funded by the program). Additionally, under some programming elements, data is collected related to the diversity of proponent employee base, specific to the proportion of women and Indigenous people employed in the sector.
Major Initiatives
Indigenous Partnerships Office Activities under the Indigenous Partnerships Office (IPO)contributed to the advancement of Economic Participation and Prosperity, a GRF pillar.IPO-West houses the Secretariats for the Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committees (IAMCs) for the Trans Mountain and Line 3 pipeline projects. These Committees lead federal efforts to meaningfully involve Indigenous communities in the monitoring and oversight of linear resource projects.

In 2019-20, the Secretariat began to identify and track priorities, issues, actions and advice addressed by the Committees that may have differential impacts based on gender or diversity factors (e.g., age, geography, culture and other identities). The Trans Mountain Committee identified the impacts of work camps on Indigenous communities, specifically women and girls, as a priority area of work in its 2019-20 work plan, and is undertaking engagement and studies on this issue. The Indigenous members of the Committees will incorporate information from its work camps study, and other initiatives that involve GBA+ considerations, to provide advice to federal regulators and government, in accordance with its Terms of Reference. The Secretariat will track the diversity of participation in Committee activities more broadly where possible, including the gender diversity of Committee and subcommittee members, and the diversity of participating Indigenous communities (e.g. First Nations and Métis). IPO-West will use the information to prepare the Committee’s performance information profile.

Additionally, the Secretariat will track the diversity of participation in Committee activities where possible, including the gender diversity of Committee and subcommittee members, and the diversity of participating Indigenous communities (e.g. First Nations and Métis). These data collection methodologies enable IPO-West to undertake analyses on the basis of Indigenous identity and/or community (e.g. First Nations and Métis), and gender. Depending on the ‘diversity factors’ identified’ and supported by the methodology, IPO-West may also be positioned to undertake an analysis on the basis of age, geography, culture, income, education and other identities.

Impact Canada Indigenous Off-Diesel Initiative Activities under the Impact Canada’s Indigenous Off-Diesel Initiative (IODI) supported Economic Participation and Prosperity, a GRF pillar. IODI seeks to achieve a breakthrough in efforts to transition up to 15 remote Indigenous communities off diesel as a primary energy source. The initiative supports fifteen renewable Energy Champions and their communities with tailored renewable energy training, access to expertise and mentors, and financial resources to develop and start implementing community-driven renewable energy projects to reduce diesel in their communities. Projects supported under the program are Indigenous-led, community-driven, and focused on supporting local capacity building, clean energy planning, and development of clean energy projects.

IODI supports remote Indigenous communities who experience barriers associated with access to capital funding and related activities necessary to enable full participation in the renewable energy and broader natural resource sector. IODI’s capacity building approach includes renewable energy training and community engagement to develop a community energy plan. This work empowers remote Indigenous communities to harness renewable energy resources that work best for their community and supports communities in developing skills and training to support renewable energy activities. As communities undertake these activities, they increase their capacity by:

  • Creating green jobs and delivering training opportunities for the community;
  • Increasing community resilience;
  • Improving energy security; and,
  • Supporting other community co-benefits such as housing and food security.
Additional efforts to advance equality were integrated into the Champion selection and application processes. For example, IODI has an all-Indigenous expert external jury that is gender-balanced, has a diversity of ages, and has regional representation; the jury is responsible for Champion selection and project review. Project applications asked Champions to indicate:

    • How they would support the participation of women and 2SLGBTQQIA people in project activities; and,
    • How they would ensure the safety and security of everyone involved in the project, but in particular women and 2SLGBTQQIA people.
Future project reporting for IODI activities will ask proponents for disaggregated demographic information for project team members and trainees, including gender, youth status, and whether the individual is Indigenous. To support the measurement of future results, the program will track signed Contribution Agreements and Project Status Reports, which will be reviewed annually.

Women in Cleantech Challenge Activities under the Women in Cleantech Challenge supported Economic Participation and Prosperity, a GRF pillar. Women are significantly underrepresented in the area of clean technology. The Women in Cleantech Challenge was designed to help mitigate this problem and is currently supporting the creation of six new, highly impactful and globally significant clean technology companies founded and run by women. Following a national call and expert selection process, six finalists were chosen from almost 150 applicants to participate in an intensive 2.5 year program. These women are all receiving business advice, and the financial and technical support they need to grow and succeed as entrepreneurs, including the opportunity to validate and de-risk their technology with the help of federal labs and researchers.

Each entrepreneur receives up to $800k in support over 2.5 years:

  • An annual stipend of $115,000 for living and travel expenses, allowing them to dedicate 100% of their time to their venture
  • Business incubation support from MaRS Discovery District (up to $300K)
  • Science and technology support from federal laboratories (up to $250K)
At the conclusion of the challenge in 2021, a $1 million grand prize will be awarded to the venture that has advanced the most during the Challenge and is judged most likely to succeed commercially, as determined by an independent and expert jury.

STEM the Gap, a re-entry program Activities under this initiative contributed to the advancement of Economic Participation and Prosperity, a GRF pillar. STEM the Gap is a pilot program, which enables women and Indigenous people who hold a bachelor’s degree in science or engineering to re-enter the STEM workforce following an absence of five years or more. This targeted HR initiative is the first re-entry program in the Government of Canada and received over a hundred applications. Applicants typically left their STEM careers due family obligations, relocation, or other responsibilities, and found it difficult to return.

STEM the Gap is a program to redress imbalances in gender and indigenous representation at NRCan and in the STEM disciplines in general. As a re-entry program, it provides an opportunity for many who are not eligible for most other recruitment programs, which are age-limited. It also provides an opportunity for NRCan to benefit from the dedication, innovation and focus of experienced STEM professionals keen to continue contributing in their field of interest.

Key impacts

  • STEM the Gap has supported four STEM-educated women through two six-month placements (one for science, one for policy (in progress)), within the Lands and Mineral Sector, where they have made concrete and significant project contributions.
  • Participation in the NRCan Science-Policy Bootcamp in the fall of 2019 introduced them to the department and provided networking opportunities, and a mentorship program supports them in finding ongoing positions at NRCan or in the private sector.
Indirect or unexpected impacts included:

Notable actions that are being taken to develop data collection and analysis tools to improve the capacity to measure and assess the impacts of the program on gender and diversity in the future include a series of surveys that have been sent out to participants and project leads, from which a program report will be produced. Program lessons learned have been documented through a series of meetings with program leads and coordinators.

Funded by the LMS Innovation Fund and the hosting branches, this pilot program ends in the fall of 2020. Following a program review and report, opportunities to expand this very successful pilot program to all of NRCan will be pursued. These results will be considered when developing the program for a bigger roll out across the department, for which funding will need to be secured. This includes an assessment of the alignment of this program with others federal programs, and an assessment of how to increase indigenous participation in STEM the Gap.
Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan (CMMP) Activities under the CMMP contributed to the advancement of Economic Participation and Prosperity, a GRF pillar. NRCan, in partnership with provinces, territories, Indigenous Groups and industry, developed the CMMP. CMMP’s vision is for Canada to be the leading mining nation and home to a competitive, sustainable and responsible minerals industry that benefits all Canadians. The Plan highlights the need to take action on gender equality and identifies strategies to increase the number of women and visible minorities in the mining sector and advance Indigenous participation, particularly of Indigenous women.

Key impacts

Through its vision for a more diverse workforce and related calls to action, the CMMP supports the pillar for Economic Participation and Prosperity under the Gender Results Framework (GRF). An aspirational target was established under the Plan to increase the representation of women in the industry’s workforce to 30% by 2030 (compared to 16% in 2016). To achieve this target, NRCan has continued to support a number of other initiatives such as:

  • Worked with the Mining Industry Human Resources (MiHR) Council, through an outreach and engagement grant ($20,000), to support the development of a national mining and minerals career awareness strategy. Through this grant, stakeholders were engaged on how to improve the image of the minerals and metals sector to raise awareness of career opportunities, attract new workers (including youth and other underrepresented groups), and increase the potential supply of labour to meet industry demand.
  • Connected MiHR with the Equal by 30 campaign to explore mining sector opportunities and alignment.
  • Collaborated with the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (CANDO), through an outreach and engagement grant ($20,000), on the development and test pilot of a mining sector specialization program for Economic Development Officers to engage and inform Indigenous Peoples on how minerals and mining can contribute to their community development goals.
  • Supported Mining Matters, a charitable organization dedicated to bringing knowledge and awareness about Canada's geology and mineral resources to students, through an outreach and engagement grant ($20,000) to bring mining and mineral literacy to youth, Indigenous Peoples, remote communities, and other sector stakeholders. The grant was used to educate five remote communities involving at least 150 youth; undertake three teaching-training workshops for up to 12 teachers; and coordinate at least five public education community-based events.
  • Participating on MiHR’s Indigenous Inclusion Training Development Committee to develop a framework and set of desired learning outcomes for consideration in employer training programs to ensure that all employees understand the unique historical, legal and cultural backgrounds of Indigenous populations in Canada.
  • Coordinating with stakeholders to promote diversity in the sector, and ensuring recognition for companies with more female leaders and board members.
  • Contributing funding ($700K over 4 years) to the Waubetek Business Development Corporation for the development of the Centre of Excellence for Indigenous Mineral Development, which will enable Indigenous peoples to have more meaningful participation in the minerals sector, and build their knowledge base and capacity to represent their rights and interests in the mining sector.
NRCan has been working collaboratively with provinces and territories to develop concrete actions under the first in a series of Action Plans to operationalize the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan, including advancing six pan-Canadian initiatives as agreed to by Mines Ministers at the 2019 Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference. These initiatives include a Canadians of Mining Campaign and educational tool that will highlight the variety of career opportunities in the mining sector in the hopes of creating a more diverse and equitable workforce; and convening conferences on Indigenous procurement in mining across Canada, in partnership with Indigenous business leaders and organizations, and provinces and territories. The first Indigenous procurement workshop was held at the Association

Mining Sector Performance Report Activities under the Mining Sector Performance Report supported the advancement of Economic Participation and Prosperity, a GRF pillar. The report highlights key trends in the mining industry through selected economic, social, and environmental performance indicators. It is presented every three years at the Energy and Mines Ministers Conference. One of the social indicators in the report is “gender diversity.” The GBA+ conducted on the report identified a number of data deficiencies. For example, only gender was being measured through the “gender diversity” social performance indicator, leading to a lack of data on other diverse groups. As a result, better and more disaggregated data was requested from Statistics Canada. The new data points more accurately reflect gender and diversity in the mining industry. Within the report, a commitment was also made to consider redefining the gender diversity indicator to reflect broader definitions of workforce diversity. This would allow for disaggregated data beyond gender to be implemented in the 2022 update.
The Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) International Initiative Activities under this initiative contributed to the advancement of Gender Equality Around the World, a GRF pillar. The C3E International Initiative is an international framework, organized under the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) and the International Energy Agency (IEA). The initiative’s goal is to advance gender equality in the clean energy sector, globally. Canada chairs the Executive Committee, and leads on the Awards and Recognition work stream, and the Equal by 30 Campaign work stream. The C3E Initiative has grown to eleven member governments, with continued interest and engagement from many more. At the tenth Annual Clean Energy Ministerial, the C3E Initiative launched the first international C3E Awards program, and released the second C3E Status Report on Gender Equality in the Energy Sector, which focused on improving systematic data collection in order to understand trends and identify actions to increase the presence and participation of women in the energy sector. C3E International has had a major impact on creating a global consensus around the need for action to increase the participation of women in clean energy.

Actions taken under this framework support the Education and Skills Development; Economic Participation and Prosperity; and, Leadership and Democratic Participation pillars of the Gender Results Framework (GRF).

C3E International Awards Program

In support of the Awards and Recognition work stream, NRCan contracted Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE) Canada to deliver the inaugural awards program at CEM10 in Vancouver in May 2019. A diverse panel of judges was recruited and nominations were solicited for two awards: the Woman of Distinction Award and the Organizational Leadership Award. For the 2019-20 awards program, NRCan contracted WiRE once again to deliver the second annual C3E International Awards, and nominations were open for both the Woman of Distinction Award and the Organizational Leadership Award. Awards will be presented in Fall 2020.

The Equal by 30 Campaign

NRCan leads C3E International’s Equal by 30 Campaign, on behalf of the Government of Canada. The campaign was launched on May 24th, 2018, at the CEM9 meeting in Copenhagen. Equal by 30 asks the public and private sectors to take concrete actions on several key themes including equal pay, equal leadership and equal opportunities for women in the clean energy sector by 2030. The campaign asks companies and governments to endorse high-level principles, set commitments, and take concrete action to increase the participation of women in the clean energy sector, and close the gender gap. Signatories are asked to report on a regular basis on progress made against their commitments.

The campaign surpassed its goal of recruiting over 100 signatories at the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) last May in Vancouver, and reached 147 signatories worldwide as of July 2020. A diversity of industries and organizations are represented across over 20 countries and several sub-sectors. The campaign released the inaugural Equal by 30 Success Stories featuring organizations and individuals paving the way on gender equality at CEM10 in Vancouver. The Equal by 30 Campaign is now entering its second phase, to establish a reporting framework and baseline metrics to help signatories measure their progress against their commitments, track advancements on the goals of the campaign, and create a baseline of gender-disaggregated data for the energy sector.

Right now, the energy sector is one of the least diverse in Canada and worldwide; internationally, women represent only 35% of the clean energy workforce. The meaningful participation of women in the decision-making, and implementation of clean energy solutions is essential for the low-carbon transition to be successful. The Equal by 30 Campaign has been immensely successful in galvanizing action around a common understanding that gender equality is key to enabling a more inclusive and innovative energy sector. Equal by 30 is a valuable platform for addressing the gender gap in the sector and must continue to work with government and industry to maintain momentum on this issue.
Internal Services
  NRCan is also undertaking a number of actions internally to further support efforts to facilitate more inclusive opportunities and outcomes for diverse groups in the natural resources sectors, including in the natural resource sector public service. The following initiatives reflect the internal services designed to facilitate greater inclusion and diversity.

Gender Equity in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Working Group

Energy Technology Sector (ETS)

The Gender Equity in STEM ETS Working Group is a sectoral working group that oversees activities with the goal of advancing the role of under-represented gender minorities in science, technology, engineering, and math within ETS, as well as increasing the level of representation of different employment equity groups. This work is carried out in support of the Department and government-wide initiative, Equal by 30, which promotes gender equity by emphasising the recruitment of under-represented genders into high-profile science and technology roles within the department, and fostering an environment where under-represented genders thrive. This Working Group also works in support of the NRCan Gender Agenda: Action Plan for Gender Equality in Natural Resources and the Departmental Action Plan.

The working group has worked on creating a mentoring program to provide opportunities to employees to network with their colleagues. The working group will also offer a workshop called Project RISE to inform scientist and engineers in the energy technology sector why it is important to have diversity among their ranks. By informing employees of the benefits of diversity (under-represented genders) a more open workplace can develop that values personal and professional growth.

Inter-departmental Committee on International Files to Advance Gender Equality and Diversity in Natural Resources

Strategic Policy Innovation Sector

The International Affairs Division (Strategic Policy and Innovation Sector) at NRCan, chairs a quarterly inter-departmental meeting on advancing gender equality and diversity in the natural resources. Departments such as Global Affairs Canada (GAC), Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), the Department of Women and Gender Equality (WAGE) and NRCan sectors participate in these meetings.

The objectives of this committee are:

  • To provide updates and information on ongoing and planned initiatives to advance gender equality and diversity in the natural resources sectors.
  • To share best practices and innovative solutions to common challenges.
  • To intensify new opportunities for collaboration.
Results so far indicate that information sharing among participants has allowed for an exchange of tools (e.g. reporting tools and a better understanding of how gender is being incorporated into deliberations and commitments in multilateral forums.

Employment Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan

Corporate Management Services Sector

NRCan supports diversity through its Employment, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan. In response to gaps in the representation of our workforce, the department completed an Employment Systems Review (ESR) in early 2020. The review examined the policies programs and practices around staffing and recruitment to determine if there are any barriers to employment for women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and visible minorities.  A final report (March 2020) included 30 recommendations in the areas of Self-Identification, Recruitment and Hiring, Learning and Development, and Corporate Culture. These actions have helped to inform the plan for 2020-2023, which is in the development phase, and includes consultation with employee networks and sectors. Further, as a complement to these efforts, the department continues to support the employee diversity networks by providing them with funding of $15,000 per network, per year.

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