The annual BDO Canada Affordability Index, which examines how affordable life is in Canada, reveals that as Canadians struggle to make ends meet and manage growing debt, future financial plans, like retirement, are increasingly put on the backburner. Over half (53%) of Canadians continue to live paycheque to paycheque and debt remains overwhelming for 25%. Over a quarter (27%) of Canadians still don't have enough for their needs and less than half (42%) have enough money to spend on their wants.
As compared to men, more women in Canada face affordability challenges. Women are more likely to have growing debt due to lack of income (35% of women vs 28% of men), and are more likely to struggle to save for a major purchase (75% women vs 70% men), afford grocery bills (33% women vs 24% men) and take a vacation (70% women vs 63% men). The Affordability Index also shows that women's affordability challenges have increased compared to last year. A growing number of women are living paycheque to paycheque (59% vs 54% in 2018) and more admit to having no retirement savings (43% vs 35% in 2018).
Many companies are realizing they need to go beyond providing traditional health benefits to address all the facets of employee well-being, finds a new survey from global staffing firm Robert Half. According to the survey, most employers offer physical (63%), financial (65%) and mental (73%) wellness programs. Organizations are also covering at least some of the cost for these physical and financial (51%) and mental (64%) wellness resources.
According to workers, the most valued wellness offerings include fitness facilities or programs (24%), ergonomic evaluations and equipment (22%) and incentives for engaging in healthy behaviour (18%). Flexible work schedules or telecommuting options (50%), paid parental leave (47%) and employee discounts (42%) are the most common perks offered at companies. In a separate survey of workers, health insurance (87%), retirement savings plan match (86%) and parking and commuting benefits (78%) were identified as the most-used benefits, perks and incentives.
The Alzheimer Society of Canada is now accepting applications for the 2020 research competition, with some exciting changes. Beginning this fall, the Program will offer two new funding opportunities to foster greater innovation and outside-the-box thinking:
- Proof of concept grant: Established and new investigators who are leading high-risk, novel projects can apply for $100,000 for up to five years.
- New investigator operating grant: Investigators who are within the first four years of their faculty position are eligible for $200,000 for up to four years to carry their work throughout the full research cycle.
In addition to the new funding opportunities, beginning this year the Program will shift to an open competition that will focus on four new funding priorities:
- policy and health systems change;
- evaluation of community programs; and
- ethical and legal issues.
This shift in priorities will help to create immediate impact and improve life and care for the more than half a million Canadians living with dementia today. In particular, the Program will prioritize applications that will directly influence improvements within the health-care system, delivery of services and care practices as well as support solutions to address ethical or legal issues such as resident-to-resident aggression in long-term care homes.
A gender wage gap exists in Ontario nonprofits. A key way to reduce it is to use equitable compensation practices that address systemic barriers that women, especially marginalized women, face. The aim of the Ontario Nonprofit Network's guide, Bridging the Gap: How compensation practices can reduce the gender wage gap in Ontario nonprofits, is to assist senior leaders and boards of directors to assess what compensation practices they have in their organizations, and what they can do to ensure women earn fair wages especially immigrant, racialized, and Indigenous women, women with disabilities, and women who are part of the LGBTQ community. It also aims to support women workers in the sector to advocate for better compensation.
While more Canadians are recognizing depression (53%) and anxiety (41%) as disabilities compared to last year (47% and 36%), a stigma around mental health still exists, according to a recent RBC Insurance survey. Three quarters of working Canadians say they would either be reluctant to admit (48%) or would not admit (27%) to a boss or co-worker that they were suffering from a mental illness. Furthermore, the proportion who say they would not admit they were suffering from a mental illness is almost three times as high as it is for a physical illness (27% vs. 10%). The top reasons for either not admitting or being reluctant to admit a mental illness are:
- Believing that there is a public stigma around mental health (45%)
- Not wanting to be treated differently (44 %)
- Not wanting to be judged (40%)
- Fear of negative consequences, such as losing their job (36%)
Adding to the perceived stigma of mental illnesses, half (47%) of working Canadians believe that if they admitted they were suffering from a mental illness to a boss/co-worker, their ability to do their job would be questioned. An additional two in 10 (20%) say they feel their boss/co-worker would look at them in a negative light or distance themselves. In comparison, only 7% feel this way about a physical illness. Yet, when asked how they would react if a co-worker/boss admitted that they were suffering from a mental illness, 76$ said they would be completely comfortable and supportive, an interesting discrepancy.
Created by UN Women, the United Nations entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women, the HeForShe solidarity movement for gender equality provides a systematic approach and targeted platform on which men and boys can engage and become change agents towards the achievement of gender equality. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, says, "We know that the commitment of men with power and privilege can be a major game changer for gender equality. We hope that the human stories and scalable, proven solutions given in this report will provide others with a roadmap to progress." Through inspirational and uplifting real-life stories, the IMPACT Report demonstrates how individuals and communities all over the world are advancing gender equality across society, in the workplace, at home and with the next generation.
Canadians are hopeful about their futures and believe collaboration and communication will be the force that unlocks and shapes future opportunities according to a new survey commissioned by Expo 2020 Dubai. Commissioned by Expo 2020 Dubai, and conducted by YouGov, the Global Optimism Outlook Survey tracked people's priorities for the future, looking at sustainability, economic growth, technology, travel, and more. Canadians rank high on the optimism scale with 62% of respondents considering themselves optimists compared to the global average of 56%. Sustainability is an important factor for Canadians, outweighing technology and robotics. Nearly three-quarters of respondents indicated they would like to experience plastic-free oceans (71%), sustainable architecture and infrastructure (62%) and carbon-free travel (58%) versus cloud computing, big data and AI (22%) by 2050.
However, Canadians were divided when asked about mankind's ability to combat climate change. Fifty percent agree that humans have the ability to right the environmental crisis while the other 50% disagreed. The survey also revealed that Canadians value collaboration and believe that knowledge gathering, learning and access to education (67%), collaboration across national borders and cultures (62%) and spreading tolerance and inclusivity (54%) are important factors to unlocking future opportunity.
The Global NGO Technology Report is a biennial research project that seeks to gain a better understanding of how non-governmental organizations (NGOs) worldwide use technology. Sponsored by Funraise and produced by Nonprofit Tech for Good, the report examines how NGOs use web and email communications, online fundraising tools, social media, mobile technology, and productivity software. Now in its fourth edition, this year’s report provides technology benchmarks for Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the United States and Canada. A global average of the benchmark data – as well as Global NGO Technology Ratings – is also provided. Some key highlights from this year's report:
- 12% of nonprofit websites have live chat
- 1% of nonprofits accept cryptocurrency
- 19% of nonprofit websites are designed for those with visual and hearing disabilities
- 31% of nonprofit websites do not have an SSL certificate44% of nonprofits have a written social media strategy
One-in-four "Sandwich Generation" Canadians expect to put their own financial goals on hold as a result of providing financial assistance to both their children and their parents, new research shows. The Sandwich Generation Survey, a Leger poll of Canadians commissioned jointly by FP Canada™ and Chartwell Retirement Residences, demonstrates the financial squeeze facing Canadians who are providing support to both their adult children and their aging parents. The survey also reveals that a majority of Canadians do not have a financial plan to help them navigate these challenges.
Of the Canadians surveyed who have children and at least one living parent, one-in-three (30%) said they expect that they will need to provide financial assistance to both their children and parent(s) in the future. Females (35%) are more likely than males (22%) to say they will need to provide financial assistance to both their children and parent(s), and regionally, Ontarians (39%) and Albertans (37%) are most likely to say they will need to provide this dual support.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today launched its third annual Goalkeepers Data Report, which features new data showing that while progress on health and development continues unabated, global inequality remains a major barrier to achieving the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (Global Goals). Even in the worst-off parts of low- and low-middle-income countries, more than 99 percent of communities have seen an improvement in child mortality and schooling. Yet despite this progress, persistent gaps in opportunity mean that nearly half a billion people—about one in 15—still do not have access to basic health and education.
Gaps between countries, districts, and boys and girls prove that the world's investments in development aren't reaching everyone. Using new sub-national data, the report uncovers the vast inequalities within countries that are masked by averages. Where you're born is still the biggest predictor of your future, and no matter where you're born, life is harder if you're a girl. Despite gains in female educational attainment, opportunities for girls are limited by social norms, discriminatory laws and policies, and gender-based violence.
The Government of BC is asking British Columbians to help define future legislation that will make B.C. a more accessible and inclusive province. British Columbians will have several ways to engage in the consultation process. They are invited to read the Accessibility Framework document, fill out an online questionnaire, file a written submission and attend a meeting. Community groups, libraries and other organizations can apply for $2,000 to host open discussion sessions in their communities and provide feedback. The opportunity to provide feedback opened the morning of Monday, Sept. 16, and will remain open until Nov. 29, 2019, at 4 p.m. (Pacific time). Feedback will be used to help develop legislation.
iA Financial Group is kicking off its third annual Canada-wide philanthropic contest. Charities working in the health, education or social services sectors and that provide respite services to those in need are invited to answer one question: How would you use a donation of $125,000 to provide more respite for those in need? Ten charities that win the public’s hearts and minds will share donations totalling nearly $300,000. A jury will pick the top ten submissions during the submission period, which ends on October 16th and on November 1st, the submissions will be presented to the public, who will be invited to choose the ones they find most inspiring. A donation of $125,000 will be made to the charity that receives the most votes, the second and third place charities will each receive a donation of $50,000 and the remaining seven charities will each receive $10,000. The winners will be announced on December 12th.
A new survey commissioned by AGE-WELL, a federally funded Network of Centres of Excellence, and conducted by Environics Research, offers a number of fresh insights into the attitudes of Canadians over the age of 65 and 50-64 toward aging, health and technology. The poll found that more than 8 in 10 Canadians over the age of 65 believe technological advances can help older adults stay safe, in their own homes longer and stay independent. And, 7 in 10 agree that technological advancements can help older adults stay active and manage health better as they age and can reduce social isolation. When they have difficulties with technology, 53% of respondents turn to their children and 18% to their grandchildren. Additional highlights include:
- 86% of Canadians aged 65+ and 94% of Canadians aged 50+ report being online daily;
- 58% of Canadians aged 65+ and almost 8 in 10 (78%) aged 50-64 own smartphones;
- Almost all (93%) of smartphone owners aged 65+ find them easy to use and 98% of those owning smartphones aged 50-64 find them easy to use;
- Over 6 in 10 (63%) Canadians aged 65+ have a Facebook account. Over 8 in 10 (88%) of Canadians aged 50-64 currently have at least one social media account (Facebook 72%, YouTube 46%)
The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of its 2019 Adopt a School program, now in its 11th year supporting children's literacy. From September 14 to October 6, 2019, Indigo, Chapters and Coles stores, together with their communities, will fundraise for local high-needs Canadian elementary school libraries, with 100% of funds donated directly to the schools. This year, in addition to in-store fundraising, supporters will be able to purchase books from a participating high-needs school's book registry, and Indigo will match the donation.
The Anti-Racism Action Program (ARAP) is intended to help address barriers to employment, justice and social participation among Indigenous Peoples, racialized communities and religious minorities. To be eligible, your project must align with 1 or more of the following 3 key themes:
- Employment: reducing barriers to hiring, leadership training and workplace skills training;
- Justice: promoting interventions for youth and encouraging positive relationships between communities and the criminal justice system; and
- Social participation: promoting participation and reducing barriers in community sport, arts and culture.
The ARAP will also prioritize projects that target online hate and promote digital literacy. The deadline for applications is December 17, 2019.
While casual dress codes are gaining ground, some employers expect more polish when meeting with job applicants, new research from global staffing firm Accountemps shows. In a survey of senior managers, 33% of respondents said candidates should always wear a formal suit when interviewing for a job; a similar percentage (37%) felt proper interview attire depends on the position or department at the company. Almost all respondents agreed that how someone dresses is important during the job interview: 40% reported it's very important, and 49% said it's at least somewhat important. Not surprisingly, the research also shows recommended job interview attire varies by industry: suits are more often preferred in finance, insurance and real estate (44%) than construction (21%) or retail (23%).