December 10, 2020
By Meagan Simpson, Betakit
As part of a new diversity initiative rollout Thursday, Minister Navdeep Bains committed to using both carrots and sticks to drive greater representation in private sector companies across Canada.
The Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry announced the launch of the 50 – 30 Challenge, looking to encourage Canadian companies to increase representation and opportunities for underrepresented groups in the private sector. The goal of the initiative is to achieve both gender parity and increased presence of underrepresented groups on company boards and in senior levels of management.
Speaking with BetaKit Thursday afternoon, the minister said companies that achieve certain goals as part of the challenge will be able to “get preferential access to government programming.” The statement echoes those made by Bains during the launch of the initiative this morning.
“We’re using the government as a platform to encourage competition within the market, apply a little bit of peer pressure, and provide resources for the smaller companies,” Bains told BetaKit. “Then the next phase is for companies that achieve that goal, they’re able to do business with the government of Canada in a preferential manner and get preferential access to government programming.”