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U.S.-Canada council calls for more support for female business owners

Justin Trudeau and Donald Trump
Photo: Jim Watson / Getty

The Canada-United States Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders, formed last year after a meeting between President Trump and Prime Minister Trudeau, released their first report today, calling for better financial support for women business owners and more incentives and encouragement for women to start small businesses.

What they want: 5% of prime private sector procurement contracts to be awarded to small businesses owned by women, Canadian procurement programs which make efforts to buy from women-owned businesses similar to the U.S., better maternity and paternity leave along with tax incentives to help lower the cost of child care, for networks and for businesses and professional networks to track gender representation.

Julie Sweet, Accenture CEO for North America and co-chair of the council, told Axios that she was most excited about the recommendation that Canada start procurement programs like in the U.S. "That was the goal, to find areas where our unique perspectives could identify opportunities that would really move the needle," she said.

Big picture: The council is made up of 10 American and Canadian women executives and business leaders who are using their experience to advise primarily the private sector and raise awareness for the inequality and hurdles women face in business world. This report touches on their first pillar of the council's 5-part strategy to attracting women to the workforce, reducing barriers and promoting women leaders. They will give their recommendations to President Trump and the Prime Minister Trudeau.

Ivanka Trump has already expressed her support for the recommendations presented by the council:

Go deeper with the full report.