Women-owned businesses need targeted programs, disaggregated data: CATA WIT: Alpheus
November 23, 2011

Senators in attendance

Conservatives: Michael Meighen (Chair), Larry Smith, Carolyn Stewart Olsen, Irving Gerstein, David Tkachuk
Liberals: LCeline Hervieux-Payette, Wilfred P. Moore, Mac Harb, Paul J. Massicotte

Committee in brief

The Senate standing committee on banking, trade and commerce met on Thursday to continue their discussions concerning the current state of the domestic and international banking system, and more specifically, the issue of financing growth capital available for small and medium enterprises (SME).

Witnesses Barbara Orser from the Telfer School of Management, Stephanie McKendrick from the Canadian Women in Communications, and Lynda Partner from Canadian Women in Technology appeared before the committee. Witnesses testified to the fact that there are gender differences and gender gaps within the technology and telecommunications sectors that need to be addressed, and highlighted the fact that women-owned businesses need targeted programs to help their growth due to gender differences.

Witnesses also called for a disaggregation of the data relating to the impact federal government programs have on the businesses they help, as this information would better enable the growth of women-owned businesses. It was emphasized that targeting women is not just a social or moral imperative, but rather a specific market segment that has a lot of potential for huge economic impact within Canada with increased assistance and support. The senators’ questions to the witnesses touched on a number of topics, particularly how the committee could recommend ways to implement new, or change old programs within the federal government, and specifically measures that can be taken to help advantage women-owned businesses.

More details? Find out in the Alpheus Committee Snapshot. Same day overview of testimony, summary of questions & answers and highlights of committee decisions.