A Modern-Day Rosie the Riveter-Inspired Campaign
COVID-19 provides Canadians with a rare opportunity to re-set our working and personal lives in the pre-recovery, recovery and post-recovery periods. How can we come together in a “better normal”, with Canadian women inspired to join and stay in the workforce thanks to increased opportunity and child care/elder care support, their partners encouraged to share household responsibilities more equally and employers motivated to increase advancement opportunities and achieve gender parity at all levels of their organizations?
Inspired by the iconic Rosie the Riveter, the Campaign is Canada’s first post-WWII campaign to inspire Canadians to re-set their working and personal lives to create a “better normal.” As female leaders, The Prosperity Project Founding Visionaries see the clear need to explicitly link women and prosperity. A 2017 study by McKinsey reported that advancing women’s equality in Canada has the potential to add 0.6 percent annual incremental GDP growth totalling $150 billion in incremental GDP by 2026. The study pointed to the most important ways to grow the economy: increase women’s labour force participation rate by three percentage points, increase the number of women in targeted sectors such as natural resource development and technology and increase working women’s working hours by 50 minutes per week.
Our vision is to increase the labour force participation rate of women, the number of female STEM graduates and workers, the number of women going into skilled trades, and the number of women in leadership and decision-making roles (and in the pipeline to these roles) in the COVID-19 pre-recovery, recovery and post-recovery periods.
Who is Rosie the Riveter? She was an iconic image of working women in North America during World War II, featured in a campaign to encourage women to move into the war industry during World War II, The female percentage of the Canadian workforce increased dramatically: at the peak of female employment in the fall of 1944, over 1,000,000 women were working full-time. At the end of the war, while 72% of women wanted to stay in the paid labour force, there were fewer employment opportunities for women. Then, from 1953 to 1990, the labour force participation rate for women grew steadily, rising from about 24% in 1953 to 76% in 1990. While women’s participation rate grew by 1.4 percentage points each year on average from 1953 to 1990, it has since risen at a slower pace, by 0.3 percentage points each year on average since 1990.