A colourful drawing of a woman at desk with with baby and computer

Volunteering in COVID: A New Graduate’s Experience with The Prosperity Project

Outcome Campus Connect is Canada’s network built to support university and college students with a direct feed of relevant skill development, work-integrated learning, and job opportunities meaningful to their unique post-secondary journey and longterm livelihood. To highlight the types of employers seeking post-secondary or recent graduate talent on the site now, we’re giving the people behind hiring businesses a “microphone” to use our platforms to communicate why what they’re doing is significant and give a glimpse into the culture and driving forces behind their teams. Emily Cummings, from The Prosperity Project, recently wrote to us about her volunteering experience. A new graduate, here are her words about volunteering for The Prosperity Project.

Throughout my undergraduate studies, graduation always sparked an idea of confidence. I thought by the time I held my diploma, I would have it all figured out – I would have a strong skill set, a great job lined up, and the certainty that my future would be stable. Like any graduate can tell you, however, this sadly was not the case. I graduated with more questions than answers about what I wanted for my future and how best to get there. On top of that, I graduated in the midst of COVID-19, when I couldn’t even count on a stable economy or an open job-market to take me in.

I spent most of the quarantine working towards building a plan for my future. I knew things were going to turn around eventually, and I wanted to be prepared. As I browsed the internet, however, I kept coming across articles about women being unfairly impacted by COVID-19. As a millennial, without a job or children to care for, I really had no idea about the many ways Canadian women were affected by this pandemic. My research made me realize how women across the country were being hugely impacted in disproportionate ways, from heightened job loss to domestic violence, to increased caretaking responsibilities. It was a disheartening realization that made me eager to get involved, and so I joined The Prosperity Project as a volunteer.

The Prosperity Project was founded by Pamela Jeffery, who also spent the first few weeks of her quarantine thinking about the future. Pamela realized that COVID-19 would have a disastrous effect on women’s economic future and so she enlisted 62 high-ranking, dedicated female leaders to help her develop strategies to help create a prosperous future for all Canadian women. Combining advocacy and research, these inspiring women have created, among other things, five initiatives to support Canadian women. These initiatives are:

 

  1. Matching NPOs that serve women in the areas of skills development, training, employment pathways, crisis counseling, and mental and physical health, with volunteers from the private sector.
  2. A campaign inspired by Rosie the Riveter, that encourages a “better normal” for Canadians, by increasing the labour force participation rate of women, the number of female STEM graduates and workers, the number of women going into skilled trades, and in leadership and decision-making roles.
  3. Establishing Annual Gender Diversity Data Tracking to amass inclusive research on women in executive roles to increase transparency and best practices around gender equality and succession planning in corporate Canada.
  4. Developing a Household Spending Index to track the monthly variation in economic activity of Canadian women who purchase 70-80% of household goods and provide an important barometer of confidence during the COVID-19 recovery periods.
  5. Publishing a National 10-year Prosperity Study that will uncover and share insights on actions that need to be taken by policymakers and employers to improve gender equality.

 

Colourful drawing of 3 women talking

Becoming a volunteer with The Prosperity Project was one of the best decisions I have made during COVID-19. Not only has it given me a chance to work alongside a group of successful and inspiring women, but it has also allowed me to take some control over my future. Each day, I am personally taking steps to assist The Prosperity Project in achieving its mission, knowing that the headway we make will directly benefit myself and many of my female peers for years to come. In a time of so much uncertainty, it’s exciting to know that the trajectory of my career is something I can begin shaping and working towards right now.

If you’re interested in volunteering or finding out more about The Prosperity Project, check-out our posting on Outcome Campus Connect. For more information, visit our site at https://canadianprosperityproject.ca/, or visit any of our social pages linked below.

Twitter: @CA_prosperity

Instagram: @cdnprosperity

Facebook: @CanadianProsperity

 

The Prosperity Project is currently seeking a post-secondary student to fill a research intern role on their team. Applications for this role must be submitted by August 15th, 2020.