We often get the question: why do you exist? There are business chambers at the regional and national level, and corporations’ support for LGBT+ initiatives is on the rise.
It’s easy to give a by-the-numbers response. Canada is home to over 100,000 LGBT+-owned businesses. These businesses generate over $22 billion in economic activity and employ over 435,000 Canadians. In other words, LGBT+ business is big business.
However, LGBT+ entrepreneurs still face barriers. Nearly half have hidden who they were in business dealings to avoid losing opportunities, and more than a third have lost opportunities due to being LGBT+.
There is a growing number of organizations looking to change these stats – one connection at a time. A community of LGBT+ businesses, government liaisons and even diverse procurement practices are helping tip the scales. CGLCC is a coalition of all of these positive forces advocating for change to make a more inclusive Canadian economy possible.
We do this by bringing people together, and highlighting the right resources for LGBT+ entrepreneurs to be even more successful.
So, the answer is: we exist because LGBT+ entrepreneurs already have a huge impact on the Canadian economy, with barriers. Let’s see what kind of thriving and inclusive Canada is possible when we remove them.
Each of our programs is designed to elevate LGBT businesses and foster greater diversity and inclusion across Canada’s economy.
Whether we’re connecting LGBT+ businesses to a global network or a corporation with a vested interest in diverse procurement, we’re here to facilitate connections that can build a more inclusive Canada.
We also serve businesses looking to form more inclusive cultures or programming, offering inclusivity training and market-preparedness training for serving LGBT+ clientele. We use our LGBT+ expertise and research to facilitate a stronger, more inclusive Canadian economy for all.
Supplier diversity is more than a mandate – it’s an economic and social revolution. We fill tables with progressive organizations looking to engage in supplier diversity with our certified LGBT+ businesses. This gives Canadian LGBT+ businesses unprecedented access to connections, partnerships and new business opportunities, while corporations benefit from diversifying their suppliers and service providers.
Board of Directors
She is known for her strong relationship building skills and strong record in engaging teams, which sets her up for success in her current role. She is bold and is known to tap into the full RBC network to identify the best opportunities for diverse suppliers.
Jessica is energized by connecting with suppliers and spends her time on finding ways to advance the equality of opportunity for Women, BIPOC, LGBT+, people with disabilities, service-disabled and veteran-owned businesses by promoting an inclusive supply chain and levelling the playing field for disadvantaged suppliers.
In her spare time Jessica carries that love for sports and you can often find her playing baseball, soccer or basketball with various GTA women’s leagues.
Jane holds a Bachelor of Arts in Legal History from the University of Calgary and a Master of Arts in Legal History from the University of Toronto. She is an active volunteer and has supported many organizations including 30% Club Canada, Informed Opinions, Congress 2017 with AFP Toronto, as the Founder of The Council of Women Executives, and has been appointed to the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Chamber of Commerce in 2022. Jane is also the Founder of the Canadian Chapter of the LGBTQ+ Corporate Directors Association.
Rachel brings over a decade of experience in ESG strategy and reporting in the Canadian financial industry. As the Head of TD’s ESG Reporting and Impact Measurement team, she navigated TD’s strategy through materiality assessments, the adoption of GRI standards, SASB and TCFD reporting. TD’s reporting won national acclaim, winning “Best ESG Reporting” in Canada from IR Magazine for three years in a row.
Originally from the U.K., Rachel completed her undergrad at St. Andrews University in Scotland and returned to school mid-career for a Certificate in Corporate Responsibility from St. Michael’s College in Toronto. In her spare time, Rachel volunteers with Ski Patrol Canada.
purpose initiatives for the company. Nicole is a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC) and serves the Canadian Association of Women in Construction (CAWIC) as a Committee Chair. Nicole’s a breadth and depth of experience allows her to approach problems from different angles and identify opportunities for organizations to differentiate and grow. She is originally from Toronto but has called Edmonton home since 2013 where she lives with her partner and dog.
A.J. is focused squarely on adding value and providing opportunities to our current members, as well as expanding our network of certified suppliers, with a primary goal of diversifying corporate supply chains on a national level, and removing access barriers for LGBT+ businesses.
Connor is excited to translate his experience into concrete policies, education, and support for workplaces that are ready to create stronger, safer spaces for 2SLGBTQA+ customers and employees.
Pru manages some of the core programs at CGLCC, including Supplier Diversity and OUT for Business. Previous to CGLCC, she worked at Pride at Work Canada, as the Business Development Coordinator and held positions at the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation and the Toronto International Film Festival.
With growing demands for diversity, equity and inclusion in the tourism sector, Peter is enthusiastic to assist organizations that want to create a welcoming environment for their employees and visitors and grow their business.
While in his final year of the Tourism and Hospitality degree program at MSVU, he is also passionate to support the delivery of the Rainbow Registered program, identifying areas for improvement based on client feedback and creating solutions for a better overall customer experience.
(External Contractor, from CHARITYacCOUNTS!)
Andrea enjoys being able to use her skills to support charities/non-profits that are who are making a positive impact on issues close to her heart.
(External Contractor, from CHARITYacCOUNTS!)
Our Corporate Partners
Our Corporate Partners get access to our growing network of certified LGBT+ businesses who are experts in their fields. By attending events with speaking and networking opportunities, Corporate Partners have a direct line to the competitive suppliers who can diversify their procurement practices.
Stay on the leading edge of supplier diversity by gaining market knowledge on working with the LGBT+ community and supplier diversity training and tools. If you’re new to supplier diversity, we can also help you kickstart your program and begin measuring its impact on your organization – and your organization’s impact on the economy. Join the leading number of organizations revolutionizing the way they do business to maximize social and economic change.
USA – National LGBT Chamber of Commerce
Central & Eastern Europe – East Meets West
Colombia – Cámara de Comerciantes LGBT de Colombia (CCLGBTco)
Costa Rica – Cámara de Comercio Diversa Costa Rica (CCDCR)
Dominican Republic – Cámara de Comercio LGBT de la República Dominicana (CCLGBTRD)
Mexico – Federación Mexicana de Empresarios LGBT (FME-LGBT)
Scandinavia – Scandinavian Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (SGLCC)
Councils & Working Groups
The voices of our members and partners matter. CGLCC’s work is informed by advisory councils and working groups to ensure we are meeting our network’s needs. This input from various stakeholders helps us shape and improve the programs we offer and the activities we engage in.