The Pandemic, Women & Jobs

Tuesday, April 27,  2021

The toll the pandemic has taken on women in the workforce is clear – almost half a million Canadian women who lost their jobs during the COVID-19 disruption haven’t yet returned to work; more than 200,000 are considered long-term unemployed, according to a recent RBC report. As Canada grapples with the effects of the “she-cession,” plans for an economic recovery are focused on a “she-covery” too. How have women in Western Canada’s workforce been affected by the pandemic? What will a recovery look like? What do policymakers, business leaders, communities and others need to do to ensure women don’t suffer long-term rollbacks of hard-fought gains in the workforce?

The Canada West Foundation is hosting The Pandemic, Women and Jobs, featuring an expert panel of women from across Western Canada who will provide entrepreneurial, social, reskilling/upskilling, and childcare policy perspectives to explore what effects the pandemic had on women in Western Canada – and how we can get women who want to go back to work, back to work.


Colleen Collins, Vice-President, Canada West Foundation

Special guests:

Melissa Coomber-Bendtsen, CEO, Regina YWCA

Amy Juschka, Director of Communications and Advocacy, YWCA Metro Vancouver

Janet Lane, Director, Human Capital Centre, Canada West Foundation

Marcela Mandeville, CEO, Alberta Women Entrepreneurs

Sheila North, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Legacy Bowes, and former Grand Chief of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak

Hon. Rajan Sawhney, Alberta Minister of Community and Social Services