Engagement Activities

Decent Work for Women

Project Summary  |  Literature Review |  Engagement Activities

Engagement Activities


Engagement strategy visual

The purpose of the engagement strategy is to fill gaps found in the literature review, center the voices of women working in the sector through two-way learning between ONN and the women workers, hear and learn from voices that are normally not heard or learned from, and meaningfully engage women working in the sector in the project. The principles guiding the engagement strategy are gender-based intersectionality, inclusion, participatory,  transparency, effectiveness, action, and reflexivity.

This strategy consists of three key activities: (1) learning circles (focus groups), (2) key informant interviews, and (3) sector wide survey. ONN is using these three methods to paint a both qualitative and quantitative picture of women’s experiences and to give women working in the sector multiple avenues to participate in the project. These three activities also build on each other’s findings to ensure we are exploring issues in a complementary manner rather than duplicating them. They are taking place between May and September 2018.

Participants are invited to stay connected and engaged with the project through our NEWSFLASH and a webinar in the fall where all participants will hear about what ONN heard in the engagement strategy and what is happening as a result of them. A full summary report of learnings will also be released in the fall.

Learning Circles

The learning circles are an opportunity for women working in the sector and ONN to learn from each other. Through the circles women working in the sector across regions, subsectors, and positions will convene learning from each other and ONN learning from them their day-to-day lived experiences of working in the sector and how/ which solutions should be developed and implemented for change. For ONN, this is an opportunity to facilitate networking and professional development among the women. In short, this is framed as a transformational exchange versus a transactional one.

They are being held between May-June 2018 in 6 regions across Ontario: Greater Toronto Area, London, Muskoka, Windsor, Ottawa, and Thunder Bay. Two learning circles are being held in each region where one is for frontline workers and the other one for either senior leaders or middle management (depending on the size of the sector). Frontline workers include coordinators, program administrators, outreach and engagement staff, administrative assistants, receptionists, data entry staff, bookkeepers and caretakers. Middle management is defined by those that have someone report to them. Senior leaders include executive directors, CEOs, presidents, vice-presidents, senior managers and directors.

Learning circles are being hosted by the following regional partners: Ottawa Arts Council, Ottawa Community FoundationPillar Nonprofit Network, Thunder Bay Multicultural Association, United Way Greater Toronto (YORK), Windsor Women Working with Immigrant Women, and YWCA Muskoka. The regional partners are tasked with hosting learning circles (providing accessible space and refreshments etc.) and recruiting participants. ONN is using their expertise of the sector and their communities as well as their existing networks to hear from women working in the sector in that particular region and spread awareness about the project.

In collaboration with Scarborough Women’s Centre, we are holding a learning circle to specifically hear from women with visible or invisible disabilities that work in the nonprofit sector. Learn more in our call for participants.

10-12 individuals across subsectors, identities, and age are being recruited for each learning circle. Participants must be currently employed in the sector and identify as a woman (ONN uses a inclusive definition of women). For more information on the learning circles and/or to get involved read more below.

Key Informant Interviews

The key informant interviews will allow ONN to develop a deeper understanding of issues uncovered in the learning circles by hearing from specific voices and perspectives such as those of men and board members. They will take place in July – August 2018. If you are interested in becoming a key informant, which is not limited to women working in the sector, please contact the Project Lead, Pamela Uppal – pamela@theonn.ca, 416-642-5786 x504.


The survey will be launched in August to collect quantitative data to compliment the learnings from the learning circles and key informant interviews. It’ll be a short survey for individuals, rather than organizations, to complete and will consist mostly of closed-ended questions. If you are interested in participating, please contact the Project Lead, Pamela Uppal – pamela@theonn.ca, 416-642-5786 x504.