Women Employment Readiness Quebec

Are you a woman or non-binary person who’s been out of the workforce

for an extended period?

Are you new to Quebec and looking for work?

We’re here to help!


As the first of its kind in Canada, WERQ is an employability skills program that seeks to help women and non-binary people gain skills, expand their network, and get connected to employment opportunities in Québec. We will be working specifically with women who have been out of the workforce for an extended amount of time, disabled women, 2LGBTQI+, racialized women, and non-binary people.


WERQ consists of 5 weeks of training, each with a different focus and theme including Getting Hired, Building Your Network, Career Planning, Sharpening Your Skills, and Moving Towards the Future. As a bonus part of the program, participants will receive a stipend to cover transportation and professional attire costs as well as a completion bonus at the end of the training. Ultimately, with the help of mentors and facilitators at YES Employment + Entrepreneurship, the goal is for each person to secure an interview with a sought-after employer here in Quebec. Post-training mentorship and support will also be available for those who need it.  


We are looking for 5 women and non-binary individuals motivated to become employment ready and work on their challenges while being supported by facilitators and mentors.

Motivated means being ready and able to commit 30 hours/per week to attend training sessions and do individual work. Does this sound like you?

Dates for next cohorts:
March 6th – April 12th (Please note that this session will be hybrid: Mondays and Tuesdays in person and the remaining days will be done remotely.)
May 15th – June 19th


1. How do I know if I’m eligible for WERQ?

You must be:

  • Over 18 years of age
  • Identify as a woman or non-binary
  • Eligible to work in Canada and a resident of Quebec (you need a SIN number)
  • Available to participate actively for 30 hours a week, for 5 weeks
  • Looking for a job, ready to work full-time
  • Have access to a reliable computer and internet connection.
2. Do I need to be a Canadian citizen to sign up for this program?

No, but you must have the ability to work in Canada. This means you must be either a: 

  • Permanent Resident 
  • Have Refugee status  
  • Canadian citizen  

Unfortunately, we cannot work with temporary residents or those on a student visa.  

3. I don’t speak French, can I still participate?

All workshops and materials are in English throughout the duration of the program. There will be weekly French sessions to help improve your oral, written, and reading skills.  

4. What are the benefits of this program? What do I get?

We understand that it is challenging to enter the workforce, especially if you are experiencing certain barriers like returning to the workforce after a long time, having a history of discrimination in the workplace, or if you have a disability. Our goal is to set you up for success and to make sure that you have the same access and opportunities as everyone else. Aside from getting trained in employability skills by experts and mentors, those who complete the 5-weeks of training will receive a completion bonus of more than 1000$, as well as financial support for transportation and professional clothing.  


1. At my company we are working on our Corporate Social Responsibility with a gendered lens. How can we get involved?

There are multiple ways you can get involved. Firstly, if you are interested in hiring women, we will be happy to introduce you to our participants who are motivated to work and have gone through employability skills training. Additionally, we are looking for employers to participate in our working committee who will have the opportunity to network and work alongside other CSR-focused companies (read more in the following question). 

2. My company is interested in being part of the working committee, how does it work?

The working committee consists of 5-10 representatives of companies who are motivated to make their workplace and others more inclusive to women. Some of the key questions this committee will be tackling are:  

  • What are some of the barriers faced by and unique to women in the workforce? With a specific focus on racialized women, women with disabilities, 2LGBTQI+ women and non-binary individuals, women with disabilities, and women who have been out of the workforce for an extended period.
  • How can employers offer environments that are conducive to women thriving in the workplace?
  • What might our blind spots be and what do we need to learn to offer equitable work environments?
  • How can we share the learnings of the committee with other employers to enable systemic change and a more equitable labor force overall? 

Over the span of 52 weeks, each committee member will be responsible to contribute about 1h per week of work. Throughout the 52 weeks, we will be collaboratively working on and building something that can be used by other employers looking to make their workforces more accessible. The committee will decide whether this will be a report, a series of workshops, online learning, etc.  

3. What will the language of the working committee be?

Our committee will be bilingual, all meetings will be conducted in a mixture of both French and English. 

4. I would like to support the program, what is the best way to do so?

One of our goals with this program is to help these women expand their network and be supported in their journey with the help of professional across sectors. We are always looking for mentors to support the participants and guide them in their career decisions. Our expectation is that you meet with this individual once and if the connection is something you are both interested in pursuing further, you organize how frequently you would like to meet.  

A Snapshot:

Although 53 percent of those with university degrees in Canada are women, women continue to be left behind in the workplace in various ways.

For example, women are much less likely than men to be promoted to manager or senior positions within an organization. {source}

Women’s unequal childcare responsibilities continue to impact their earning potential.

It was found that women are twice as likely to work part-time than men. Why? One of the key reasons given is childcare responsibilities. {source} 

The COVID19 pandemic has negatively affected women’s employment more than men’s.

“At the onset of the pandemic, in March 2020, employment losses for women accounted for 62.5% of overall employment losses.” {source} 

This is partly due to women’s overwhelming presence in the services industry which was uniquely hit by COVID19-related government restrictions. 

Long-term and meaningful employment is even more difficult to attain for women who are disadvantaged in other ways.

Women who are transgender or disabled tend to face more hostile workplaces as well as being paid less for the same work. {source} 

Are you an employer looking to make a change in your sector

or get involved?  Partner with WERQ and you’ll get:

Hire a participant of the WERQ program
Participate in our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion working committee to build a more equitable workforce
Guide and support a participant through mentorship

Contact Us Today!

Interested in learning more? Ready to sign up for the program?

Fill out the form with your name, email, and message, and our program coordinator will get back to you within 48 hours!  

Alternatively, you can call and leave a message at (514) 878-9788 ext336.

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