Adressed to friends of YWCA Montreal and of its Foundation

Because the best is yet to come for women


CEO, YWCA Montreal

Executive Director, Women's Y Foundation

Fall is often when people decide to embark on a new professional challenge after having let the idea percolate over the summer. After a year-and-a-half of the pandemic, employment uncertainties, and working conditions turned upside down, but also opportunities of learning and resilience, fall 2021 will be particularly tumultuous in this aspect.

In this newsletter, we delve into the topic of employment and women. The relationship between the labour market and women is different from what it is for men; the pandemic affected it in a completely different way, and the situation is slow to improve.

Persistent inequalities

Jobs held mostly by women are not paid as well as jobs held predominantly by men. Women are in the majority when it comes to minimum wage job sectors or sectors with precarious or part-time employment conditions. Jobs in the care sector, such as nursing, teaching, early childhood education and social work, are at the front lines of the pandemic. Employees in this sector are overworked, exhausted and many leave their jobs. Working conditions are slow to improve and are not enough to contain the hemorrhage.

Mothers of families might have benefited from the flexibility of working hours made possible by remote work, but because of this “opportunity,” it is now, even more than ever, hard for them to achieve a work-life balance, as they need to simultaneously ensure their jobs and be present for their children, caring for them and their education. When it’s time to go back to a hybrid form of working at their physical place of work, they will also have to deal with the double standard, which places more value on work done on site than remotely and the weight of informal discussions in decision-making. In choosing to work remotely rather than on-site, because of the flexibility it offers, women risk being penalized in their professional career trajectory.

The Passport to Employment: More relevant than ever

Our employability services are there to support all women navigating this difficult employment market and we are constantly updating and evolving our offerings. Updates are being made to the Passport to Employment program, a key component of the YWCA Plan for the Future. Synonymous with financial autonomy, personal accomplishment and intellectual fulfilment, a job is the door to a better quality of life for women—as long as this door remains open to them.

Visit YWCA Montreal's Plan for the future website


The YWCA Montreal’s employability programs:
A door to empowerment and independence

Employment counsellor with the Women's Work Integration Program (WWIP)

Guidance counsellor with Orientation and services for employment (OSE)

YWCA Montreal has been offering employability services to the women of Montreal for 146 years. Employability services were at the heart of the mission that the YWCA set for itself at the time, and they still play a central role today. Naturally, they have evolved year after year to adapt to the needs of women in an ever-changing labour market.

Major impacts in the job market

The pandemic really shook up the market at a time when the economy was at full employment, and employment conditions for women dropped to levels they were at thirty years ago. This situation is due to a variety of factors, including job losses in the hotel, restaurant and non-essential services sectors, as well as the need to look after children, who are often automatically the mother’s responsibility. Can you believe : 68% of jobs lost during the crisis were held by women!

The impacts of this crisis continue to be felt today by our clientele in the different employability programs we provide. In fact, since there is currently no shortage of employment, we receive increasingly more requests from women who have little formal education, who are unemployed, or are out of the job market following a pregnancy or because they recently immigrated to Canada, for example. Women who reach out to us needing support often limit themselves in their job search because they're worried about not having what is needed in order to work.

Know more about our solutions


Sun Life Quebec : Empowering women to access rewarding careers

$150,000 donation to support our Passeport to employment

We are extremely happy to be able to count on the support of Sun Life to breathe life into our Passport to employment. It is a crucial component of YWCA Montreal’s Plan for the Future. In fact, Sun Life is donating $150,000 over five years, all of it going towards our different employability programs, helping to make them even more relevant in a job market that currently finds itself in a state of total upheaval.

Also, in addition to their financial contribution, Sun Life has committed itself even further, creating a bridge between the company and current YWCA employability program participants. In fact, members of Sun Life’s human resources team will be meeting with participants regularly to inform them of available employment opportunities within the organization and to make it easier for them to access job interviews.

The benefit is threefold

Thanks to this added engagement, the company has the possibility to fills positions essential to meeting the needs of its clients, our employability programs fulfil their mandate of placing women in employment, and last but not least, our participants has the opportunity to join the ranks of people working for a leading employer that offers opportunities for advancement as well as a rewarding career.

“The YWCA Montreal passport to employment is a program with significant social and economic benefits. It provides a long-term solution to labour shortages and precarious employment, an issue faced by many women. At a time when they have been severely affected by job losses resulting from the pandemic, the support it provides will have a significant impact by making it possible for hundreds of women to access well-paying jobs. We are very proud to contribute to the program,” states Robert Dumas, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sun Life Quebec.

Thanks to Mr. Dumas as well to the whole Sun Life Quebec team to support our Plan for the future's Passeport to employment!


The goal of the major fundraising campaign is even closer to being achieved

More than $ 7 million has been confirmed as part of the major fundraising campaign for the Future Plan of the YWCA Montreal. We are very happy to have passed 70% of our goal of $ 10 million.

To follow the developpent of the major fundraising campaing et to know how to contribute, visit the Plan for the future website.

Visit YWCA Montreal's Plan for the future website

Laurence Vincent, Prével's CEO, shares her vision

YWCA Montreal’s Plan for the future will take shape in a completely new environment, Prével’s Esplanade Cartier construction project.

Heading Prével is a woman who is determined to leave a significant positive impact on the communities where her projects are being implemented: Mme Laurence Vincent.

We wanted to find out more about her and her ambitions.






Back-to-school and employability programs

The fall cohorts participating in the different employability programs got to know each other a few days ago, but it’s not to late to join them.

If you know a woman looking for a back-to-work program or in search of customized help to find a job that matches her ambitions, tell her about our team!

Discover all employability services

YWCA Montreal welcomes students from Concordia University

Students have already been back to school for a few weeks, and what a joy it has been for YWCA Montreal to welcome students from Concordia University in what is now serving as a student residence.

In fact, the impact the pandemic has had on the tourism sector forced the organization to close its hostel and its hotel, which meant that a precious source of revenue was lost. Thanks to a partnership between Concordia University and YWCA Montreal, we can now welcome students on floors previously intended to house the general public.

Winds of change are now blowing through the once quiet hallways of 1355, boulevard René-Lévesque W.!