Background

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Canadian Women in Ocean Industries Leadership Initiative – CWOIL.

Ocean industries in Canada contribute about $31.7 billion a year to the economy and make up 1.6 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.  Canada has tremendous opportunity to build on the outcomes achieved to date, harness our collective national strengths and resources. Canada’s ocean industries sector can help drive our economic recovery.  It will take a diverse and inclusive talent base to help us achieve this objective.  Today, there are significant talent hurdles that Canada must address to increase its competitiveness, innovation and market leadership in this global sector.

Only 16% of all Canadian businesses are owned or led by women and yet studies by McKinsey show that by advancing women’s economic empowerment in the economy Canada could add up to $150 billion in GDP by 2026. Research shows that gender and cultural diversity along with a society founded on inclusion and belonging, are proven multipliers to innovation, corporate performance, profitability and economic growth.

To enable and accelerate Canadian innovation, research and technology development, market and export leadership in the marine and ocean tech sector, it is critical to attract, develop and retain a robust, diverse and inclusive talent pipeline that includes women from every walk of life.

The Canadian Women in Ocean Industries Leadership initiative, and emerging long-term action plan and 2022 International Conference, will directly address this goal, increasing Canada’s leadership, competitiveness and contribution to ocean industries.  It will foster an ocean talent pipeline with women from every walk of life, including equity seeking groups: 2SLGBTQ+ community; Indigenous communities; persons with disabilities; and racialized people, increasing the competitiveness of this industry.

OceansAdvance, the Core Team and our local, regional and national Partners are seeking to create a strategic work-action plan for greater participation of women and underrepresented people in ocean industries.  A few of our goals are:

  • Improving inclusion and participation by women and under-represented groups in Canada’s ocean industries.
  • Encouraging new entrants into the ocean economy by encouraging women led companies.
  • Retaining current and future critical employees in the ocean economy.
  • Increasing collaborations between ocean companies and member organizations.
  • Brokering new linkages and foster new opportunities for women and underrepresented people in oceans locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

We need to build an inclusive, sustainable, feminist, and resilient economy that values women’s work and to ensure inclusivity and diversity in this sector.

In July, 2022 we will host a Conference which will see further discussions and affirmations of the plan as well as a celebration of our current female leaders in the sector.

Our Vision: We aim to help Canada become a world leader for women and underrepresented people to pursue and establish a thriving, successful, well-paying career in ocean industries; fulfil their personal and professional potential; and maximize their impact on Canada’s ocean sector and economy more broadly.

Have further questions or wish to engage in this important initiative? Contact Core CWOIL Team Member cathy.hogan@oceansadvance.net