Ontario is removing barriers so more women can excel as entrepreneurs, in business, leadership roles, skilled trades and in sectors where the need is greatest.

The contribution of women is critical to our province at every level – whether serving as high-profile executives, running their own businesses, working in the skilled trades, or supporting vital sectors such as nursing, early childhood education, or personal support work.

That’s why we are increasing women’s participation in the workforce by:

  • making workplaces safer for women
  • supporting affordable childcare options
  • offering targeted employment, skills development, and training opportunities
  • providing programs that help all women overcome barriers and achieve financial independence – including Indigenous and racialized women, new Canadians, and people with disabilities.

These initiatives are part of Ontario’s plan to support women’s social and economic empowerment. Because when women succeed, Ontario succeeds.

Learn more about our programs and supports that are helping women thrive.

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Contact us

Office of Women's Social and Economic Opportunity
College Park, 6th floor, Suite 601D, 777 Bay Street
Toronto, Ontario M7A 2J4

Women’s economic empowerment and security

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Investing in Women’s Futures

The Investing in Women’s Futures program provides resources and training opportunities to help women develop in-demand skills. The programs have expanded to a total of 33 locations across the province in 2023. Find a location near you.

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Women’s Economic Security Program

Find training opportunities for low-income women in the skilled trades, information technology and entrepreneurship.


An estimated 19% of small and medium sized enterprises in Ontario are owned by women. Ontario is working to increase that by leading a range of initiatives and commitments to support small female entrepreneurs and women-led and owned businesses.

Skilled trades

Women are more likely to achieve college or university credentials but are less likely to enter the skilled trades. We're addressing the barriers to entry and improving workplace conditions to help women succeed in skilled, high-paying sectors.

Jobs and employment

Ontario is expanding eligibility for the Better Jobs Ontario program and enhancing levels of financial support for living costs, including child care, to help women enter and re-enter the workforce.

Building Indigenous Women’s Leadership

Indigenous women can access resources to participate in leadership roles in their communities.

Ending gender-based violence

Do you know someone who is experiencing violence, a survivor of violence, or concerned for their safety? They can talk to someone right away.

  1. Get help if you are experiencing violence
  2. Intimate partner violence
  3. Sexual violence
  4. Human Trafficking


Ontario-STANDS: Standing Together Against gender-based violence Now through Decisive actions, prevention, empowerment and Supports

In December 2023, Ontario released Ontario-Stands: Standing Together Against gender-based violence Now through Decisive actions, prevention, empowerment and Supports. The plan focuses on prevention, addressing the root causes of gender-based violence and supporting the longer-term needs of survivors, their children and families.

National Action Plan to End Gender-based Violence

In November 2023, Ontario announced an agreement with the Government of Canada for $162 million over four years to support the implementation of the National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence. This is in addition to Ontario’s projected investment of $1.4 billion during the life of the agreement in services that help address and prevent gender-based violence.

These investments will allow the Ontario government to strengthen its focus on prevention, collaboration, and integration across sectors to help address the root causes of gender-based violence and improve longer-term outcomes for survivors and their families.

Pathways to Safety

Learn about our government-wide plan to address the root causes of violence.

Read Pathways to Safety: Ontario’s Strategy in Response to the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.


Additional supports and resources

Indigenous Healing and Wellness Strategy

Learn about Indigenous-designed and delivered programs and services to improve Indigenous healing, health and wellness and reduce violence against Indigenous women and children.

Find and pay for child care

Get help finding, choosing and paying for child care.

Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC)

Child care is a critical support for Ontario families, plays a key role in helping children to learn and thrive, and supports women’s participation in the workforce.

Roadmap to wellness: a plan to build Ontario’s mental health and addictions system

Learn about Ontario’s new plan for the mental health and addictions system.

Find mental health support

Mental health is just as important as physical health. Learn about supports available to you, and how to get help when you need it.

Find benefits and programs

Learn about benefits and support programs that you may be eligible for.

Indigenous children and youth programs

Get information about services and programs for First Nations, Inuit and Métis children and youth.