Kerlande Mibel, President and Founder, International Black Economic Forum and Visionary of The Prosperity Project, Montreal, and 11 other signatories*
Evidence shows that for the first time in 30 years – in Canada and elsewhere around the world – women’s equality is experiencing an unprecedented setback. The Prosperity Project, in partnership with Pollara Strategic Insights, conducted a recent national study that confirms this new reality. Fortunately, several proposals have already been put forward to help remedy this situation.
These involve gender-based analyses into new public policies or initiatives related to economic recovery; providing quality childcare, enabling women to pursue their careers; and promoting STEM opportunities to women. All great ideas. And we are confident that other innovative proposals will come to light so we can deal with the current crisis and its impacts.
However, transforming the lives of Canadian women requires that we become a united force. That’s why we believe that a pan-Canadian network of professional women, academics, researchers, entrepreneurs, students can be that strength. A network of women who work to achieve common goals can be that strength. A network of Canadian women, including Quebec women and First Nations, can be that strength.
A network of Canadian women, including Quebeckers and First Nations, can be this strength.
That is why more than 60 women from Quebec and across Canada, sharing Pamela Jeffery’s vision, joined her to create The Prosperity Project. Since May, these leaders have been working with passion and determination for the prosperity of Canadian women.
Our hope is that, from the shores of the Pacific to the shores of the Atlantic, through the Prairies, Quebec and Ontario, all Canadian women, whether they are First Nations, Métis, Black, Asian, South Asian, Arab-Muslim, of another ethnocultural or religious minority, disabled or LGBTQ, will prosper.
The Prosperity Project Visionaries are confident that we can make this happen. By being daring – of course. But above all by supporting each other to make our numbers a strength. Let us become that articulated force.
In Quebec, several programs, including the automatic collection of support payments and the educational childcare program, have made a marked difference in women’s progress towards economic security and even prosperity. These gains for the advancement of women have often been achieved through the solidarity of women politicians and women in civil society. Quebec is often cited by the rest of Canada as an example of social solidarity.
Although Quebec’s social advances are recognized, 20 years later, Canadian women have not made the same gains and still do not have access to the same programs.
We welcome the Prime Minister’s Leadership in announcing his intention to create a new childcare program just a few weeks ago. But we need to move forward together and faster.
We are only too well aware of the statistics and the realities. Experts are talking about the socio-economic issues that women face in general. The same challenges apply to the systemic racism of Black and First Nations women as well as the discrimination experienced by all women belonging to minority groups.
There are talks about economic recovery, about rebuilding. What we are talking about is building a Quebec and Canadian society together. An organization built in our image. Ambitious, equal, inclusive and prosperous. We can and we must.
We are The Prosperity Project. A pan-Canadian initiative born as a result of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic created to ensure that women thrive rather than regress.
This project is being driven by more than 60 visionary female leaders from across Canada, including 7 from Quebec. Together, let’s be a force. Let’s build a Canada-wide network of women serving women to advance society. This is an invitation to all of you to join us.
We need each other more than ever.
Co-signed by the founder, the Founding Visionaries and Visionaries of Quebec, and members of The Prosperity Project committees:
Christiane Bergevin, President, Bergevin Capital and Corporate Director;
Francoise Bertrand, Corporate Director, Chair of the Board of Directors, VIA Rail Canada;
Maria Duarte, Managing Partner, EY;
Anne-Marie Hubert, Managing Partner for Eastern Canada, EY;
Pamela Jeffery, Founder, The Prosperity Project;
Monette Malewski, Founder and President, M Bacal Group;
Kerlande Mibel, President and Founder, International Black Economic Forum;
Heather Munroe-Blum, Corporate Director and Chair of the Board of Directors, RPC Investments;
Élise Nobileau-Forget, Senior Strategic Advisor and Executive Coach, Edgenda;
Madeleine Paquin, President and Chief Executive Officer, Logistec;
Deborah Trudeau, President, International Women’s Forum and Senior Vice President, Trudeau Corp.; Ruth Vachon, President and Chief Executive Officer, Quebec Business Women’s Network