Women, Paid Work, and Leadership Toolkit

This toolkit is a way for women to collaborate and bridge the barriers that have been established between these two communities due to colonialism. Canadian women are still facing discrimination in the workplace and enormous barriers to attaining leadership positions across all sectors, including politics.

Thank you!

The development of this toolkit was led by delegates Elinor McNamee and Sarah Toole, but is the collective effort of dozens of Daughters with the encouragement dozens more.

A sincere thank you to all of the Daughters of the Vote who contributed and supported this project with their commentions, questions, suggestions, personal and professional experience, expertise, and encouragement. Thank you to Sabrina Andrews, Zafreen Jaffer, Mary Go, and Jessica Jahn.

This toolkit has three main objectives:

  1. To engage and educate women on issues of gendered employment and leadership abilities that affect their daily lives in work and in day-to-day
  2. To enable women across Canada to explore different pathways to seeking leadership roles, entering traditionally gendered fields of study and employment, and overcoming the barriers to employment and pay equity, or become a strong voice for such issues
  3. To provide policy options, strategies for engagement, and tools of empowerment to allow women to be aware of solutions for equalizing leadership roles and employment paths in Canada


Pay Gap

The difference between the amounts of money paid to women and men, often for doing the same work. The gap narrows even further when comparing racialized and non-racialized women.


Gender Equality

Fairness of treatment for women and men, according to their respective needs. May include equal treatment or equivalent treatments in terms of rights, benefits, obligations, and opportunities.

The reasons are vast, but here are some of the facts:

  • Canadian women still face a gendered pay gap: Statistics Canada reports that, on average, women make 87 cents for every dollar earned by a man. The gendered wage gap is even larger when other factors, including race and ability, are taken into consideration.
  • Canadian women are underrepresented in politics and leadership positions: Canada is currently ranked 64th in the world for gender representation in federal parliament, with only 26.3% of seats occupied by women. Women still continue to face enormous discrimination when pursuing leadership positions.
  • Women are underrepresented in several fields of employment: including, but certainly not limited to; Sciences, Technologies, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM), Agriculture, and various Trades. However, there is not a lack of female interest or capability in these positions.


Drawing on the opinion and expertise of Daughters of the Votes delegates, we narrowed the scope of this broad topic to three focus areas:

  1. Gendered discrepancies in the workplace: issues of pay gaps and social barriers to employment
  2. Challenges to leadership: in politics, businesses and boards, and tackling the glass ceiling
  3. Fields in which women are underrepresented: STEM, trades, and agriculture


Glass Ceiling:

A barrier to advancement in any profession that goes unacknowledged, which particularly affecting women and minorities.


Glass Elevator Theory:

Men will receive professional recognition, pay raises, promotions more quickly, and more often than women and racialized minorities with the same education, work experience, and work ethic.



Individuals with European heritage whose ancestors immigrated to Canada upon its colonization and maintains a level of ethnic privilege.


Glass Cliff

Women are more likely than men to achieve leadership roles during periods of crisis, when the chance of failure is the highest.

How was this toolkit made?

This toolkit was an inclusive process. DOVs provided feedback and direction throughout. Ideas were sourced from delegates and top three focus areas were chosen by vote. Input was sought from delegates and vetting was completed by self-identified experts. This tool kit represents diverse opinions of young women across Canada.

An intersectional approach was used in this toolkit. We tried to avoid speaking about these issues in general terms, but rather focus on how different women and communities are impacted and engage with the issues covered in this toolkit. There will be gaps that we don’t cover, try to remember how identity, equality and power effect how different people experience the issues in the toolkits. One way to develop your own understanding of intersectionality is to value a ‘bottom-up’ approach to research, analysis and planning that begins by considering how people actually live their lives.


Intersectional lens:

Refers to the ways in which gender intersects with other identities such as: race, age, ethnicity, health, and other characteristics. Intersectionality is the sociological theory on how these intersections contribute to unique experiences of oppression and privilege.

(Symington, A. (2004). Intersectionality: a tool for gender and economic justice.)

This toolkit also uses a multi-partisan approach to political party positions, government strategy, and policy options and innovations. We have done our best to integrate a diverse understanding of Canadian politics and policy, with the basis of the relevant work being pulled from the major federal and provincial political parties. This toolkit does not extensively cover all party positions and multi-partisan policy options, tools have been provided throughout to help support you in further research into the different partisan political and policy options about women, paid work, and leadership.

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.