Apply between June 2, 2021 to June 30, 2021 at 3:00 pm EST.

Description of the funding

Women have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Inequalities that existed before the pandemic have been made worse. The pandemic has also greatly affected jobs in service sectors, which employ larger numbers of women.

The Women’s Employment Readiness (WER) pilot program will fund organizations to provide and test pre-employment and skills development supports for women. Projects will also include working with employers to reduce barriers to employing women. Four groups of women will be targeted:

  • racialized and/or Indigenous women
  • women with disabilities
  • women from the LGBTQ2 community
  • women who have been out of the workforce for a long time

Projects must be national in scope. That is, they must serve participants in 2 or more provinces/territories. Projects can be regional in scope if they will serve participants located in Official Language Minority Communities.

Eligible organizations can apply for funding up to $2.5M per project, per year. All projects must end by March 31, 2023.


We will fund organizations that will:

  • test pre-employment and skills development supports. These supports include foundational and transferable skills training (including literacy and essential skills or the Skills for Success Model ( ) and wrap-around supports. Projects serve 1 or more of the 4 identified target groups.

** racialized women and/or Indigenous women
** women with disabilities
** women from the LGBTQ2 community
** women with prolonged detachment from the labour force

  • test models to improve workplace inclusivity, where an employer is included in the project. For 1 or more of the target groups, projects would work with employers to improve:

** access to employment, or
** retention in the workplace

The pilot results will be used to improve programming for women in the target groups. We are committed to using Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) ( which considers how different people may experience government policies or initiatives differently. As an example, the factors considered in GBA+ can include:

  • gender
  • race
  • ethnic background
  • mental or physical disability

Using GBA+ to analyze the pilot results will help to provide better and more inclusive programming in the future. Better programming will help multi-barriered women find and keep good jobs as the labour market starts to recover.


To apply, you must meet all the eligibility criteria below.

Eligible applicants

  • Your organization must be 1 of the following:

** not-for-profit organization
** for-profit organization given that the nature and intent of the activity is non-commercial, not intended to generate profit, and supports program priorities and objectives
** municipal government
** Indigenous organization including:

*** band council
*** tribal council
*** self-government entity

** provincial and territorial government, institution, agency or Crown Corporation