CALGARY (CityNews) – The federal government announced billions of dollars in infrastructure projects to kick start the economy, but there are concerns that will leave women on the sidelines of the recovery, compounding what’s been dubbed the “she-cession”.
“Our government is launching a $10 billion infrastructure plan to build stronger healthier communities while helping Canadians get back to work,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday.
“This plan alone will create about 60,000 jobs right across the country.”
WATCH: Feds to spend $10 billion on infrastructure to ignite COVID-19 economic recovery
However, Vanessa Morin with the School of Public Policy said the spending will only benefit sectors dominated by male workers.
“Women who may have lost their jobs or sectors that are predominantly female aren’t getting the same level of investment as these male-dominated sectors.”
Alberta is one of those provinces which has committed billions to infrastructure projects, but it also has some of the lowest levels of women represented in the trades.
“In 2019, only five of the approximately 50 trades in Alberta had more than 15 per cent of registration in women,” added Morin. “Investments need to be made into the skill trade industry to ensure that if this is a tool we’re going use, that men and women are able to benefit equally.
She added this could mean attracting more women to the trades and more importantly retaining their skills.
“Some of the research we did showed women re-attracted to them a at a higher rate but they’re actually retained at a lower rate.”
Another thing missing from these announcements according to many is Social Infrastructure, arguing without adequate childcare and early education services, women will struggle to be a part of the workplace recovery.