Closing the Gender Gap for a Stronger Alberta

Proposal will see a minimum of $100 Million invested in startups and small businesses run by women and the creation of a Premier’s Advisory Committee on Diversity and Innovation.

Alberta conservatives deserve to know about the policies of their leadership candidates, and on Tuesday Doug Schweitzer announced policies to help Albertans close the gender gap by supporting women entrepreneurs and pursuing wage equity in the Alberta Public Service. This announcement supports Schweitzer’s plan to create jobs, get spending under control, and get Albertans back to work.

Following his proposal to take 40% of ATB Financial public, Schweitzer announced that the Venture Capital Fund will be mandated to earmark a minimum of $100 Million of their revenue from the public offering of ATB Financial to start-ups and small businesses run by women.

According to conversations Schweitzer has had with women business owners in Alberta, a major barrier to expansion is access to venture capital. Women entrepreneurs are an incredible resource for job creation and economic growth in Alberta. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM Report 2014), on average, women-owned businesses remain smaller than their male owned counterparts.

“As the father of two smart and confident young daughters I want them to live in a province where their entrepreneurial goals are supported and they are encouraged to take on leadership roles in business and their communities. By investing in start-ups and small businesses run by women we will help inspire the next generation of women leaders to dream big and bring their ideas to the table.”

-          Doug Schweitzer, candidate for leader of the United Conservative Party

A Premier’s Advisory Committee on Diversity and Innovation will help close the existing wage gap in the public sector and examine how Alberta’s boards, agencies, and commissions can become leaders in gender equality.

“Out of 25 Canadian cities, Edmonton and Calgary were ranked as the second and third worst places to be a woman by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. This is unacceptable. We cannot continue to have some of the highest wage gaps in the country and some of the lowest representation of women on boards in Canada. We need to take action now.”

“We will lead by example by ensuring the Government of Alberta closes the existing wage gap in the public sector. The creation of a Premier’s Advisory Committee on Diversity and Innovation recognizes that diverse boards and workforces are both more representative of the public and prove to achieve better results.”

-          Doug Schweitzer, candidate for leader of the United Conservative Party

Further details of Schweitzer’s plan to get Albertans back to work will be released in the weeks ahead. 


Showing 30 reactions

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  • I am all for gender equality, but it is not the role of government to entice this trend. The right person for the job, regardless of gender. The NDP has the largest participation of gender equality, but have put people in positions where they totally lack the right credentials or experience. And look where that has taken this province. You just lost any possible support from me. Good luck with the rest of your campaign
  • I have a daughter who doing great… she worked hard and stayed focused and is doing better than most men and deserves what she gets. And you know what …. she didn’t need any government assistance. A minimum of $100 Million invested in startups and small businesses run by women?? I agree with Donalds comment " This is reverse discrimination. More government….BAD! Job creation is the #1 priority. Please don’t tax Albertans to death."
  • Doug will eliminate himself because of most of his social policies. Unless he pulls a Redford and manages to get thousands of teachers and nurses to take out memberships and vote for him. But in the end the real conservatives will throw him out anyways.

    His bad policy and liberal mistakes keep coming one after the other. Why call out Rebel media? Galavant maybe a nutcase but they’re on the fringes and they really don’t matter much to the mainstream. Personally, I’m glad they report the stuff that the mainstream media won’t. But you sure don’t gain any political points by trashing them
  • Good point, John Hall. But I don’t think we need to spread the word. Doug will
  • Well said Susan Wilson. Doug appears to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing…spread the word.
  • Mr. Sweitzer; you are WRONG in promoting dissension in your campaign letter: " Does Rebel Media have a place in mainstream media", dated August 14, 2019, to all those members of the UCP as to how the Rebel Media is somehow associated with the "nazi/ Alt right movement! The Rebel Media are none of these movements. The Rebel Media report the real news that the mainstream media, CBC/Global/CTV, etc will not report. The Rebel media has the guts or the “balls”, as it were, to actually tell us, the Canadian citizens, the realities; the truth, of real news events that constantly get ignored by the typical news medias mentioned above. You, Mr Sweitzer are on board with this falsehood you have expressed in your campaign letter to get " voters" to jump on board with you! This is a very shallow and sickening way to appeal to citizens to vote for you, by quickly "jumping " on this horrible event that has occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia, to then allude to blaming the Rebel Media for being associated as the “nazi, Alt-rights”, because they were down there reporting, as they always do! Shame on you for this low and cheap shot, to gain votes for you! Pathetic indeed. NO VOTE from ME and I suspect many others who agree with me. BAD MOVE!😤👎👎
  • Like the tax cuts but definitely won’t be supporting you Doug. Are you sure you’re running for the right party? Hmm….
  • Hi Doug,
    This is reverse discrimination. More government….BAD! Job creation is the #1 priority. Please don’t tax Albertans to death.
  • Doug:: Someone gave some advice, right? You have to convince me that this is not your view or you’ve lost me.
  • Doug, I believe we need to close the wag gap but the government should not provide funding as you suggest. we should not support one group over another. There are programs in place to help women entrepreneurs we need to ensure all Albertans have equal pay for equal work.
  • Thumbs down Doug. Workplace gender equality is just not that big of a burning issue for “true blue conservatives” My wife, two daughters, and four grand daughters are all doing quite well without any special mandated programs for female entrepreneurs.
  • I think Doug should run for the Liberal Leadership.
  • You must compare apples with apples. Never married women make slightly more than never married men when in the same job
  • The most qualified person for the job should get the job and the pay for that job should be one amount. We need an equal playing field. It is slowly changing. Employers have to be willing to pay equal. The government does not need to get involved. Put our money into something everyone will benefit from like infrastructure or private health care options.
  • Doug will draw support from the pink Progressives. We can only hope that there aren’t enough of them to drown out the true blue. We don’t need another pansy left-wing party. We already have two of them in power and more waiting in the wings. can anybody explain to me how a person can be at the same time socially liberal… Or Progressive or whatever nicey-nice term you used to describe it and be fiscally conservative at the same time? Blows my mind. Kind of like being a boy and a girl at the same time. Oh yes, you can do that now. And I’m sure that people like Doug will advance those causes as well
  • I agree with Kevin. There is a long-standing Conservative policy against governments picking winners and losers. The $100 million earmarked for businesswomen would be much more effectively directed to infrastructure. (Real infrastructure, not playing fields or rinks.)
  • Doug: I think you have may have lost me on this one. I’m tired of this tribal mentality where politicians create opportunities for everyone to audition for the position victim. Good grief, sir…there are individuals and families who need jobs and this notion of gender inequality amongst entrepreneurial pursuits is nothing more than a political game-play. Good luck!
  • There is no question that women face a gender battle in the workplace on many different fronts. But that is changing and Society is slowly coming around to that issue.

    History is shown over and over and over again that when governments try to impose Solutions on societal issues, it generally backfires. Government intervention is not the answer. Gradually changing attitudes is. And the so-called disadvantage that women face in their careers because of childbearing is not a societal issue and there isn’t even a societal solution to it. It’s biological and it’s just the way things are. It’s time that people stop trying to change nature. We are what we are. I, as a male, and the largest and believed to be toughest member of my household, would be expected… And certainly I would expect… To the be the one to react to a danger in our home or to my family. I would put my life at risk to protect my wife or children. So I face a longevity risk that they don’t. So should I be expecting Society to make adjustments, pass rules, put programs into place to protect me? Get over it people, there’s only so much that government can or should do. Some things just are what they are
  • I too believe that a viable business plan, not gender, be the basis for providing an investment….much as I believe that the most qualified person get a job. However, I will add that if you want to champion something “female”, I suggest that be “equal pay for equal work”.
  • Gender issues are family issues. Any family who spends the average $11,000 on childcare annually to allow both parents to participate in the workforce but still has one parent reportedly earning less than she’s worth, should paying attention because this is your household income. Today, 60% of Alberta’s post secondary grads are women. It’s a labour issue, it’s an economic issue. Thank you Doug for having these topics on your agenda and starting the conversation.
  • Loans are written and priced based on risk. We want to ensure women and all entrepreneurs are set up to succeed. We need to look at the issues from the bottom up. Let’s ensure women are able to maintain their careers throughout their child bearing years and beyond. Women are educated and they are working. There is a shift in family dynamic and yet services still run as if a parent is home and available during the day. We need to be more innovative and all around better at looking at the kids day and the parents day and getting them better aligned. There is opportunity for schools to invite private services into the schools to offer extracurriculars. Parents will pay for tiered services because govt funded services are built with the gov’t in mind and not the user. Closing the gaps is costing families too much. We need better private/public collaboration. Support families to maintain their incomes and women will qualify for their loans.
  • There is no need to reinvent the wheel and certainly no need for additional resources in this area.
    Are you aware of the Alberta Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) organization which has been in existence since 1995 to help women entrepreneurs? www.awebusiness.com
    This organization is funded by the federal government and it’s sole purpose is to provide support and loans to women entrepreneurs in Alberta. Services are provided throughout the province and in rural locations delivered through the Community Futures Network. www.albertacf.com
    There are 27 Community Futures organizations in Alberta with loan funds to assist entrepreneurs in addition to helping to deliver service and access to loans under AWE.
    These organizations do not have a shortage of loan funds and do offer plenty of points of access.
  • Sorry Doug, I can’t support you. Any policy that supports one group over another with special treatment reeks of liberal favoritism and picking winners. Nothing against women or any other particular group but if we’re going to call ourselves conservatives we can’t start playing those liberal games.
  • I don’t think we should provide business development loans or incentives to anyone based only on gender. I’m all for small business and I don’t think there should be any gender discrimination but business loans and other government incentives should be based only on the viability of the business plan.
  • So my husband is down as a director of the business because there was no way we’d get financing without him and so now, we won’t be eligible for this funding for " Women Only"? That may be good for Women run, start ups, but isn’t going to help those of us who have had to arrange their businesses to work within the current financial framework? And what about the men who want to start their own business? We need to rebuild small business any way we can and, in Alberta, financing for any venture is hard to come by? I don’t think the gender gap is a problem within a small business; it’s management positions in big business that has the largest gaps and what’s your plan for that?
  • While I support equality and because I support equality, I ask why there is $100 million set aside just for women? Shouldn’t there just be $100 million for anyone who is capable?
  • I do NOT like policies based on gender, colour, creed, orientation of any type! We are ALL Albertan’s, Time policians remembered that
  • Not to bash your opinion of “gender wage gaps”, but can you please, along with every other politician, stop using some fictitious, dreamt up, politician developed political issue to try and get votes!! There are less women in the work force, because there are less women able to get into the work force because of childcare expenses and responsibilities, and the simple fact that there are no jobs! Yes, we could get all women into the work force, remove all men, because there are only so many jobs, and then 10 years from now you’ll have a new dreamt up, politician developed political issue to talk about. “There is a gender wage gap, because not enough men are in the work force”!! Please campaign on something that will benefit the entire province, like attracting business, lowering taxes and fees, making an attractive investment environment to attract new money and jobs, cut the waste in government. Tax payers can’t afford any more taxes, do something to create jobs!!