Leadership and activism

Gender and leadership

Challenges remain in leadership opportunities for some groups of Yukoners. This includes:

  • women; and
  • 2-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and questioning, plus (2SLGBTQIA+) people.

Gender and politics

Women's participation in politics and opportunities for leadership are a key indicator of gender equality. Elected governments should reflect the society they represent. They should strive to include diverse groups of:

  • women;
  • men; and
  • gender-diverse people.

In Canada, we're starting to see a more equal representation of genders in all levels of elected government. At the local level, the number of seats held by women has increased. Today, women make up almost 50% of the seats in the Yukon Legislative Assembly.

There are many reasons why fewer women run for political office than men:

  • women are more likely to spend more time on unpaid housework and child care;
  • women are more likely to be low-income;
  • research suggests women may see themselves as less qualified than men; and
  • some groups of women face more discrimination than others (for example, Indigenous or transgender women).

Gender and the Yukon’s judiciary

In 2018, the 1st woman was appointed to sit on the Yukon Supreme Court. Since then, 2 other women have been appointed. Today, the majority of the Yukon’s judiciary are women.

Gender and corporate boards

Increasing gender diversity on boards can lead to positive outcomes. This can include:

  • improved financial performance;
  • better ability to recruit and keep talented staff;
  • increased creativity and innovation;
  • better understanding of client needs;
  • increased corporate social responsibility; and
  • better monitoring and evaluation of company practices.

Some ways to encourage greater gender diversity on boards include:

  • using set policies to increase diversity on boards;
  • recruiting board members outside of traditional networks based on skills and expertise;
  • including more diversity on nominating committees; and
  • mentoring and championing women and gender diverse people in the workplace.

History of women’s and 2SLGBTQIA+ organizations in the Yukon

In 1985 there were 4 women’s organizations in the Yukon:

  • Yukon Status of Women Council;
  • Yukon Indian Women’s Association;
  • Yukon Women’s Transition Home Society; and
  • Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre.

In 1990, the 1st 2SLGBTQIA+ group was formed: the Yukon Gay and Lesbian Alliance (GALA).

Today, the number of organizations for women and 2SLGBTQIA+ in the Yukon has more than doubled. The list includes:

  • Les EssentiElles;
  • Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society;
  • Public Service Alliance of Canada Regional Women's Committee;
  • Whitehorse Aboriginal Women’s Circle;
  • Yukon Aboriginal Women's Council;
  • Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre;
  • Yukon Status of Women Council;
  • Yukon Women in Trades and Technology;
  • Yukon Women's Transition Home Society;
  • Help and Hope for Families;
  • Dawson Women’s Shelter;
  • Skookum Jim Friendship Centre – Women’s Legal Advocate;
  • Parents and Friends of Gays and Lesbians (PFLAG) Whitehorse chapter; and
  • Queer Yukon and the Yukon Pride Centre.

What are the indicators?

The following indicators tell us about gender, leadership and activism in the Yukon:

Gender and the general election voters


In the 2021 general election, of those electors that voted 46.7% were female.


Elections Yukon "Report of the Chief Electoral Officer of the Yukon The Administration of the 2021 Territorial General Election held on April 12, 2021."

Gender and the legislative assembly


  • The April 2021 election saw the highest proportion of women elected to the legislative assembly in Yukon history, with women making up 42.1% of the legislature.
  • The October 2006 election saw the lowest proportion of women elected to the legislative assembly since 1967, with women making up 11% of the legislature.

Yukon Legislative Assembly.

Notes on data:
By-elections in which the election did not change the proportion of men and women in the legislature were not included in this chart. For example, if a man resigned and was replaced by another man.

Gender representation on City of Whitehorse mayor and council


Women have been represented in municipal government every year since 1985, with most years either almost reaching or exceeding the 30% representation mark. 

Data courtesy of the City of Whitehorse, Mayor and Council.

Funding available to gender equity seeking organizations


  • Funding available to gender equity seeking organizations through the Women and Gender Equity Directorate increased from $275,000 in 2016-17 to $2,074,500 in 2022-23.

Government of Yukon, Women and Gender Equity Directorate, 2023.

Notes on data:
The Women and Gender Equity Directorate provides funding that supports community organizations, projects and initiatives that advance gender equity and 2SLGBTQIA+ inclusion in the Yukon. In 2019/20 the directorate began funding 2SLGBTQIA+ organizations along with women’s organizations. 

Business owners in the Yukon by gender


In 2021, 44.7% of Yukon sole proprietorships were owned by women.

Yukon Bureau of Statistics, Business Survey 2021.