Current and Completed Projects:
Evidence Review and Mental Health Pilot Community Consultation for Girls' Fund Programs
The Girls’ Fund supports programs that give girls and gender-diverse youth tools to develop into confident, resilient people, right when they need this support most. In preparation for the next Girls’ Fund cohort, The Canadian Women’s Foundation (CWF) has commissioned an update of the evidence informing Girls’ Fund programming for adolescent girls and gender-diverse youth. Based on needs identified stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, CWF is also engaging with community organizations to understand their experiences with anti-oppressive mental health approaches for children and youth, in preparation for designing and implementing an anti-oppressive mental health pilot in Girls’ Fund programming.
Start-end date: September 2022 - March 2023
Sponsor: Canadian Women’s Foundation
Women First: Building skills for success
Funded through Employment and Social Development Canada’s Women’s Employment Readiness Pilot, the WOMEN FIRST project is a multi-partner initiative aiming to leverage employment and skills training to address barriers faced by multiply-marginalized women. Led by PTP Adult Learning and Employment Programs (PTP) in collaboration with five service delivery providers across the country, the project aims to draw on partners’ collective expertise to develop, test, and evaluate pre-employment and skills development supports. Specifically, the project seeks to build knowledge about approaches to programming, curriculum, and wraparound supports that best serve women facing multiple structural barriers, including low-income women, Indigenous women, racialized women, 2SLGBTQ+ women, newcomer women, and women with disabilities. SRDC is working closely with partners to design and implement an evaluation of the project, including the program delivery across all six pilot sites and new Skill for Success curriculum developed by partner Alberta Workforce Essential Skills. In particular, SRDC is supporting an evaluation grounded in principles of intersectional feminism, anti-oppression, equity, and justice.
Start-end date: July 2022 - September 2023
Sponsor: PTP Adult Learning and Employment Programs
Evaluation of the Increasing Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Information project
Centre for Sexuality (C4S), in partnership with community stakeholders in Alberta, is co-creating and launching updated Relationship and Sexual Education (RSE) curricula, aimed at increasing access to sexual and reproductive health information, resources, and care in Alberta. SRDC is supporting the evaluation of the Increasing Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Information project, which encompasses four distinct population-specific strategies supporting equity-deserving groups in Alberta: youth, 2SLGBTQ+, Indigenous youth and communities, and people with developmental disabilities. Building on and tailoring C4S’s RSE program, C4S will work with communities (and community advisory committees) to develop responsive program and training materials, implement these, and evaluate associated project processes and outcomes. SRDC will provide developmental evaluation support, supporting the co-design and implementation of evaluation tools across all four strategies, and for the project as a whole.
Start-end date: June 2022 - March 2024
Sponsor: Centre for Sexuality
LGBTQ2S+ populations in the trades in Canada: Exploratory insights
Skilled trades are a key component of the Canadian economy; over 3 million Canadians (or 17% of labour force) work in the skilled trades. A number of equity-deserving groups are however under-represented in the skilled trades, including the LGBTQ2S+ population. Knowledge of the employment patterns of LGBTQ2S+ people in the skilled trades in Canada is currently limited. Very little is known, for example, about the employment patterns, such as income, employment status, hours worked as well as education, general health, work stress characteristics of LGBTQ2S+ individuals employed in the trades. There is also a gap in our understanding of the perceptions of and available supports for LGBTQ2S+ populations in the trades among the key stakeholders in Canada.
Given these research and data gaps, a better understanding of the current realities of this population with respect to working in the trades is important for evidence-based policy considerations. This project uses a mixed-methods approach, combining multi-cycle data from the Canadian Community Health Survey along with stakeholder interviews, to address the following questions: (1) What are the employment patterns and socio-demographic profiles of lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations in the trades in Canada? And (2) What are the perceptions of key stakeholders in terms of the experiences, barriers, and available supports for LGBTQ2S+ individuals in the trades? The findings from this project will be used to provide ESDC with insights and recommendations with respect to the participation of LGBTQ2S+ populations in the trades, with a particular emphasis of further areas for research and data development.
Start-end date: June 2022 - March 2023
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada
EMC Skills Evolution
EMC Skills Evolution is a national, industry-driven initiative that will provide new insights for scaling up sectoral micro-credentials, through the identification, validation, prioritization, and building of occupational competency frameworks for the manufacturing and other sectors, providing a sharable roadmap for developing and deploying workforce capability growth through a competency-based micro-credential approach. Specifically, this project seeks to define and apply an industry-driven, multi-sector methodology to micro-credential development and adoption, enabling manufacturers and employers in other sectors to more rapidly upskill and reskill their workforce, as well as to more quickly onboard newly recruited workers and facilitate broader recognition of relevant skills and workforce mobility.
Start-end date: June 2022 - August 2023
Sponsor: Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium
Skills for Success Implementation Guidance Development
The launch of Skills for Success in May 2021 leverages the core strength of the Essential Skills framework while tightening the alignment with modern labour market needs, with a greater focus on a range of socio-emotional skills. This project’s main objective is to produce a document outlining key principles and emerging practices to guide the implementation of Skills for Success, reflecting the Government of Canada’s commitment to create and update training programs, resources, and assessment materials, facilitate training participation of vulnerable groups, and build the capacity of stakeholders who serve these populations. Our approach will combine environmental scan and literature review with the involvement of an expert advisory panel representing training and sectoral organizations with nation-wide networks, to develop three broad kinds of content: i) identification of learning needs for underrepresented groups (e.g., Indigenous people, racialized Canadians, persons with disabilities) and key sectors; ii) guiding principles for the design of tailored training and assessment tools to align with identified learner and sectoral needs; and iii) implementation examples and approaches from early adopters of Skills for Success. These will be synthesized into a final report to facilitate tool customization and program implementation aligned with the unique learning needs of groups underrepresented in the labour market, as well as the job performance needs of major sectors of the Canadian economy.
Start-end date: December 2021 - September 2022
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada
Culturally responsive and accessible approaches to priority populations during COVID-19 and beyond
The COVID-19 pandemic has not affected all Canadians equally. LGBTQ2+ populations are disproportionately affected by COVID-19, compounding existing social, health, and mental health disparities rooted in systemic stigma and discrimination. Recent survey data has shown disproportionate impacts on employment, household finances, and physical and mental health among LGBTQ2+ populations, and particularly racialized members of those populations.
Persistent data gaps continue to pose a challenge reducing health and social inequities in Canada during the pandemic and beyond. There have been increasing calls for ensuring that data collection with marginalized populations be more culturally responsive and accessible. It is not just a matter of collecting more data, but collecting high-quality data that reflects the needs and perspectives of affected communities, and ensuring the processes of data collection, analysis, reporting, and action on health inequities are in themselves inclusive, equity-promoting, and responsive to communities.
This eight-month research initiative will identify key issues, opportunities, and challenges related to culturally relevant and accessible data collection, analysis and reporting with the priority population, and identify existing best or promising practices in health equity data collection and data governance.
Start-end date: September 2021 - April 2022
Sponsor: Public Health Agency of Canada
Safe, stable, long-term: Supporting LGBTQ2S+ youth along the housing continuum
LGBTQ2S+ youth face distinct barriers when it comes to securing long-term, stable housing, including discrimination and violence as well as a lack of tailored housing options and services. Yet, the literature on the subject is underdeveloped: data on LGBTQ2S+ housing and employment is limited, with the National Housing Strategy (2018) pointing to significant gaps in housing research on the needs of LGBTQ2S+ youth. This project aims to address these gaps, guided by the following research question: what are the barriers and facilitators of access to stable, safe, and long-term housing for LGBTQ2S+ youth? To address this question, we are bringing together a cross-sectoral team of experienced stakeholders in the field, including the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH) and MENTOR Canada, to engage in a three-phased project of research. The first phase will include a literature review, environmental scan, and analysis of existing datasets to provide an overview of the existing housing environment for LGBTQ2S+ youth. Phase 2 focuses on qualitative data collection with LGBTQ2S+ youth with experiences of housing instability and housing service providers working with LGBTQ2S+ youth. Phase 3 runs parallel to phases 1 and 2, and involves the development of an advisory group to ensure that methodologies and findings are grounded in community contexts, and that results are shared back effectively and inclusively with communities on an ongoing basis.
Start-end date: June 2021 - September 2022
Sponsor: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Overcoming barriers to skills development and employment for equity-seeking groups: Research synthesis
Jobs are changing and so are the skills Canadians need to be successful in a modern economy. Acquisition of foundational and socio-emotional skills is critical for those who are currently under-employed and underrepresented in the workforce. However, equity-seeking groups – such as women, youth, Indigenous persons, newcomers, members of racialized groups, persons with disabilities, and people who identify as LGBTQ2S+ – often face individual, organizational, and systemic barriers that prevent them from acquiring these skills and accessing good jobs. In addition, they may lack access to the experiences and supports that foster these skills, such as coaching from mentors and role models, professional networks, and positive early learning experiences; they may also experience differences between their values or customs and those desired by employers in the Canadian workplace. As the federal department mandated to promote a highly skilled and mobile labour force and an efficient and inclusive labour market, Employment and Social Development Canada aims to improve its capacity to better measure, monitor, and address gender disparity and promote access of underrepresented groups across its skills and training programs. SRDC has been engaged to consolidate and analyze available information on the skill gaps, learning needs, and systemic barriers faced by equity-seeking groups in accessing and benefiting from the skills training and employment supports offered by governments and organizations across the country. SRDC will analyze this information using a social-ecological and intersectional approach that recognizes the multiple personal and environmental factors that can influence outcomes in employment and training, and the ways an individual’s social identities can intersect and create exclusion and marginalization. The resulting research synthesis is expected to broaden ESDC’s understanding of the challenges to skills acquisition faced by underrepresented groups, and to inform future programming and research.
Start-end date: January 2021 - March 2021
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada
Status Report on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion within the Faculty of the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières
The Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) is currently developing its future action plan on equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) within the institution. In order to identify courses of action and set priorities for this plan, SRDC has been mandated to establish the current state of affairs in terms of faculty representativeness in order to draw recommendations to promote EDI that will be relevant for the EDI Institutional Committee and other stakeholders at UQTR. This inventory includes the quantitative measurement of vertical and horizontal representation and organizational structure (groups recognized as under-represented – Indigenous persons, visible minorities, people from the LGBTQ2S+ community, people with disabilities, women), the measurement of barriers related to the retention and career progression of faculty members (as indicated in the NSERC Dimensions Charter) and the collection of suggestions and recommendations from faculty members related to EDI.
Start-end date: December 2020 - July 2021
Sponsor: Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières
CreateAction: Inclusive Social Innovation
CreateAction: Inclusive Social Innovation — This project is evaluating the role that six-month work experience opportunities in the social innovation, social finance, and social enterprise sectors can play in supporting youth who are either not in employment, education, or training (NEET). The project is being led by the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet) in partnership with SRDC and the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC). The project aims to recruit
100 Indigenous youth, new immigrants, young people living in poverty, those who identify as LGBTQ2S+, young people with disabilities, racialized youth, youth in rural/remote communities, and official language minority youth. SRDC is supporting the project design, coordinating tailored supports to participants, and leading the project’s evaluation activities. The evaluation is examining how the placement opportunities facilitate the transition of young people to secure employment in the labour market through the development of skills, workplace experience, professional networks, and tailored wraparound supports. It is also examining how hosting the youth placements will support the capacity and sustainability of innovative social purpose organizations across Canada to hire youth facing barriers from the communities they serve, connect to regional Social Innovation and Social Finance ecosystems, and leverage investments of the Investment Readiness Program and Social Finance Fund.
Start-end date: August 2020 - March 2023
Sponsor: Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet)
Building the evidence base about economic, health and social inequities faced by LGBTQ2S+ individuals in Canada
Research shows that, as a group, gender and sexual minorities – including people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and two-spirit (LGBTQ2S+) – are more likely to live in poverty, face more barriers to employment (including stigma and discrimination), and earn less at work, despite often having higher levels of educational attainment than the general population. These areas of research are still emerging, and major knowledge gaps remain. For example, most research does not examine differences within the diverse LGBTQ2S+ community and does not link people’s experiences in the labour market with health and social outcomes. In addition, most research is from the US and Europe as Canada has very few indicators of gender and sexual minority status in its existing large survey datasets. This makes it difficult to understand the scale and scope of the problem and determine how best to address it through research, policy, programs, or practices (e.g., in the workplace). In partnership with Dr. Sean Waite at the University of Western Ontario, Pride at Work Canada, and the Labour Market Information Council, SRDC will lead this project, which aims to identify key determinants of economic outcomes for gender and sexual minorities in Canada. This work will inform effective program and policy interventions to reduce the socio-economic inequities that LGBTQ2S+ people experience.
Read the Phase 1 Report.
Read the Phase 2 Report.
Read the Phase 3 Report.
Start-end date: May 2020 - July 2022
Sponsor: Women and Gender Equality Canada