Gender equality, diversity, and inclusion in innovation: Roundtable summary report

Released March 2019

In Gender equality, diversity, and inclusion: Roundtable summary report, the Institute presents the challenges of incorporating gender equality, diversity, and inclusion into clusters in Canada, particularly into the five Superclusters, as well as a number of recommendations.

The Institute, in partnership with the WE EMPOWER Programme of UN Women, hosted a roundtable on January 25, 2019 with 30 leaders from a variety of backgrounds. As the roundtable followed Chatham House Rules, individual respondents are not identified but their insights are incorporated into this White Paper.

The challenges identified include:

  • There will be a learning curve for the superclusters to introduce and implement policies that advance gender equality, diversity, and inclusion;
  • Capability gap – There are not many who have the experience, knowledge resources to implement such policies especially for small businesses;
  • Accountability – There is not enough accountability in the implementation of diversity and inclusion policies.

Recommendations to remediate the challenges include:

  • Commit to the Women’s Empowerment Principles;
  • Apply for Gender diversity certification;
  • Stronger accountability measures;
  • Create advisory councils;
  • Develop sectoral initiatives;
  • Collaboration and partnership;
  • Commit to international labour standards.

For more information on the WE EMPOWER Programme and the Women’s Economic Principles, please visit

The Institute would like to thank all participants of the roundtable, the WE EMPOWER Programme of UN Women for the opportunity to co-host the event, and the European Union and the International Labour Organization for their support. As usual, the Institute thanks the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto for its support of the Institute’s work and this event.  

Topics: Government investment and innovation, Business growth and innovation, Clusters, Social policy