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April 18, 2017

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discusses gender equality in Canada with Nobel Peace prize laureate Malala Yousafzai.

Expanding Opportunities for Women in Canada’s Workforce

Last week, Canadians had the pleasure of welcoming Nobel Peace prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, who was presented with honorary Canadian citizenship by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. During the ceremony on Parliament Hill, Yousafzai spoke of the importance of global education for women and girls who often lack access. Colleges and institutes – known for their accessibility and the customized support they offer learners – recognize this need, and have long worked to improve access to education for women and other populations under-represented in the Canadian workforce.

Budget 2017 highlighted the fact that women represent 51% of Canada’s population, yet occupy only 47% of the workforce. The federal government hopes to change this.

“We know that when women and girls are given the opportunities and tools to succeed, Canada succeeds,” says Morneau. “In this rapidly changing economic environment, the steps we take to empower women to become leaders in business and entrepreneurship will have a real and positive effect on our economy.”

Colleges and institutes are key players in empowering women, hosting events such as Nova Scotia Community College’s first annual Women in Business Event, which brought local business women together to share insight and encourage success. Similarly, to highlight International Women’s Day on March 8, the Cégep Édouard-Montpetit hosted four inspirational women from within the aerospace sector in a video conference series at the École Nationale d’Aérotechnique.

Colleges and institutes also work hard to address the shortage of women in traditionally male-dominated fields with initiatives like NAIT’s Women in Technology and Trades initiative, which works in high schools to expose young women to the trades, and invites them to explore the options available on campus.

In the trades, colleges and institutes have pioneered training programs tailored to increase both the quantity and success rate of women entering the field. Canadore College’s Aboriginal Women in Trades program, for example, recently celebrated a 100 per cent graduation success rate, while Conestoga College’s Women in Trades initiative offers gender-specific programming and opportunities for mentorship. Durham College, last year, also launched an all-women Elevating Devices Mechanic (EDM) pre-apprenticeship program to encourage women to enter the high-demand field.

As well as tailored programs, many colleges and institutes also offer special bursaries and funding options for women who choose less traditional career paths or need additional support. At Camosun College, the Women in Trades Training (WITT) initiative offers financial assistance to cover the costs of tuition, books, and tools for women of all ages and skills levels. Similarly, NorQuest College’s 1,000 Women: A Million Possibilities program helps ensure access to post-secondary education by providing women grants to help pay for living expenses such as transportation and bills beyond tuition and book costs.

In the anticipation leading up to the release of Budget 2017, Finance Minister Bill Morneau called it an important “instrument of change.” Increasing places for women in the workforce is a concept that colleges and institutes have long included in their mandate. These institutions are vital to providing all Canadians have access to fulfilling jobs through post-secondary education, contributing to Canada’s inclusive economic growth despite demographic and labour-market shifts.

Member News

CICan 2017 Conference update!


CICan’s 2017 Conference is less than two weeks away and we couldn’t be more excited! Opening regional festivities will be headlined by Aboriginal Experiences, while the Closing Gala will feature an opportunity to celebrate with Drum!. Make sure to dress in red and white clothing!

Click here to register for the event.

Be social and network with the CICan 2017 Conference app. For app download instructions, click here. For any other questions, contact Bruce Landry here.

Skills Development and Women’s Empowerment: Report

As part of its knowledge hub, CICan is pleased to announce the release of the new paper, “Skills Development as a Means to Women´s Empowerment: Integrating Gender Equality in TVET”. The paper [English only] and its executive summary are available online.

Commissioned by CICan, the research paper gathers the work CICan members have done in strengthening women’s economic empowerment and gender equality internationally. Programs such as Education for Employment in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa; Mulheres Mil in Brazil; as well as initiatives in other countries, have been instrumental in building education sector capacity in the developing world and have contributed significantly to the cause of advancing women’s inclusion.

The paper looks at recent research about the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector and the role TVET institutions can play in advancing women’s social and economic inclusion. It also takes a critical look at how TVET institutions can put up barriers that prevent women from accessing and completing technical education and achieving improved economic outcomes. Based on a review of lessons learned from various international projects as well as other recent research, this paper offers CICan’s recommendations for removing barriers to access, strengthening women’s participation in TVET, and ensuring better transitions to decent work.

In so doing, the paper helps to build and share insight about the design of future international projects. It aligns the work of CICan member colleges and institutes with Global Affairs Canada’s emerging agenda for women’s empowerment, and establishes these institutions leaders in technical education and training.

For more information, contact Alex Stephens.

A new look for the Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP) and Planning for Canada


Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP) has proudly revealed its new look – a design that is modern, refreshing and inviting – in an effort to increase visibility online and raise aware of both CIIP and the ground-breaking pre-arrival initiative Planning for Canada.

The new brand logo brings together two maple leaves – strong symbols of Canada – to represent a butterfly, the symbol for transformation and migration. The logo is accompanied by a refreshed website that is mobile friendly, easy to navigate, and information-rich. Visit the new site here.

The re-branding coincides with efforts made to strengthen the overall identity of the Planning for Canada initiative, with a revamped website and colour palette. The redesign lightens and rejuvenates the overall look, reinforcing Canada as an exciting, positive, and welcoming destination. The new colour palette represents the seasons across Canada while the amended tagline – Dedicated to your success – emphasizes Planning for Canada’s commitment to helping newcomers succeed in Canada. The enriched website provides clear information about services to prospective participants, with links to the registration portal for eligible clients.

Funded by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), CIIP delivers the joint pre-arrival initiative Planning for Canada with the Canadian Orientation Abroad (COA) Program. CIIP is managed by Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan); COA is managed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Ready! Set! Celebrate science!


Science Odyssey is back! From May 12 to 21, 2017 Science Odyssey will once again be running a ten-day national campaign of discovery and innovation. A new website to explore will be launched in soon – in the meantime, an online submission form is now available to register your events and activities to take part!

Events include science-to-the-street celebrations, labs opening their doors to the public, science fairs, talks and conferences, school field trips, encounters with researchers and scientists, visits to museums and science centres, community organizations hosting scientific events, online activities, and much more.

Science Odyssey celebrates Canadian achievements in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by bringing together hundreds of events and science outreach leaders to deliver fun, engaging and inspiring activities to Canadians of all ages.

In its first edition in 2016, Science Odyssey convened 341 partners, who organized 626 events in 222 cities and communities across Canada. Be sure to take part in Science Odyssey 2017!

Please note that due to CICan’s annual conference, the next issue of Perspectives will be published on Wednesday, May 3, 2017.

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that Natural Sciences program graduates from Collège Lionel-Groulx recently presented their final class projects to local entrepreneurs? Ten “Culinary Creation” projects were presented, including a Nut Brown maple beer, a hop-based lemonade, and crunchy caramel dipped in chocolate. Yum! Read more about the projects here.


Red Deer College was pleased to announce the appointment of a new Chief Information Officer (CIO). Doug Doran has served as Interim CIO since December 2016 and will take the new position effective April 1, 2017.

The Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC), was also pleased to announce the of Kayoko Takeuchi as the institute’s new Vice-President of Finance & Operations. Takeuchi joined JIBC in 2005 and became Director, Finance and Administration in 2006.


Canada’s 150th Anniversary! 

Submissions for CICan’s Canada 150 project are ongoing. Check out our Canada 150 website for more details.

CICan’s Leadership Institutes 

Registration is live for CICan’s 2017 Leadership Institutes. Click here to register.

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