The Women4Climate Toronto Programme will contribute to the next generation of climate leaders through a mentorship programme dedicated to women who are working to address the climate crisis.

Twelve women will be selected to join Toronto’s first cohort. Through a combination of mentoring, training and networking opportunities, participants will be supported and empowered to bring their climate-related project, idea, or business start-up to life.

Following the mentorship programme, the City of Toronto and its partners will host a pitch competition, to reward the best women-led climate idea to create a healthier, more sustainable and resilient urban future. The winner will receive additional support to advance her project, along with a $20,000 cash prize.

Key Dates

  • June 5 – Applications open
  • July 31 – Applications close
  • August – Participant selection and pairing
  • September to February 2021 – Mentoring, training, networking
  • March/April 2021 – Pitch competition

Toronto is one of three cities in Canada and 16 cities globally participating in C40 Cities Women4Climate mentorship programme, which aims to support 500 women across the globe to accelerate their climate projects.

Over the course of seven months, participants will benefit from a combination of mentoring, training and networking opportunities. As a participant, you will:

  • Meet with leaders in the business sector, public sector, international organisations or academic institutions for one-on-one monthly mentoring sessions
  • Participate in four knowledge labs to help you refine your project/idea; develop a business plan; create a finance plan; and prepare for the pitch competition, and access Women4Climate remote interactive trainings: Climate Communications & Storytelling, Creative Leadership, and Carbon Footprint and Reporting
  • Peer-to-peer monthly webinars with the global Women4Climate community where mentees from other cities engaged in the programme present their projects and provides you with feedback
  • Connect and build relationships with other mentees and mentors at three networking events, featuring prominent speakers and influencers
  • Receive feedback to develop and pitch your project to a juried panel

The winner will receive a $20,000 cash prize and support to further develop or launch their project.

Candidates must

  • Identify as women or 2-Spirit
  • Live, study or work in Toronto
  • Have a current climate action project, start-up business, or idea for a future project that you hope to launch or progress with the support of Women4Climate Toronto Mentorship Programme
  • Be 18 years of age or older

Your project, idea or start-up business must

Support the achievement of at least one of the targets or goals identified in these key City strategies*:

  • TransformTO: Toronto’s ambitious climate action strategy lays out a set of long-term, low-carbon goals and strategies to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions and also improve our health, grow our economy, and improve social equity
  • Toronto’s Resilience Strategy sets out a vision, goals, and actions to help Toronto survive, adapt and thrive in the face of any challenge, including climate change and growing inequities

Involve or engage the Toronto community in local climate action.

*Additional City strategies, plans and initiatives that may contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and/or improvement of Toronto’s resilience include: Biodiversity Strategy; City Asset Management; City Wide Real Estate Transformation; Electric Vehicle Strategy; Green Roof Bylaw; Long-term Waste Management Strategy; Parkland Strategy; Pollinator Protection Strategy; Ravine Strategy; Strategic Forest Management Plan; Toronto Green Standard; and Wet Weather Flow Master Plan.

Please submit your application to the mentorship programme via the online form on C40’s website.

The deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, July 31, 2020.

Application guidelines

Applying to the Women4Climate Toronto Mentorship Programme Competition (the “Competition”) constitutes your acceptance of these Competition Rules:


Women leaders played a critical role in negotiating the Paris Agreement and continue to drive ambitious climate action in cities, businesses and NGOs around the world. Women also make up more than half the world’s population and are often disproportionately impacted by climate change.

The leadership and participation of women is critical in solving the global climate crisis.

Since Council’s unanimous adoption of the TransformTO climate action strategy in 2017, the City has implemented and expanded a number of key initiatives, including the launch of Neighbourhood Climate Action Grants, the issuance of Toronto’s first Green Bond, the completion of energy retrofits to 21 Toronto Community Housing buildings, the installation of solar panels on 100 City-owned properties, and the adoption of Toronto’s first Electric Vehicle Strategy.

In October 2019, City Council voted to declare a climate emergency and adopt a stronger emissions reduction target for Toronto: net zero by 2050 or sooner.

Toronto’s first resilience strategy was created in 2019.

Watch these online panel discussions to learn more about Toronto’s climate leadership and the Women4Climate Mentorship Program:

What on Earth Day is Going On?

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, 2020, the Canadian Club Toronto hosted an expert panel to discuss what a greener Toronto, and Canada, looks like, how we can continue to build on current progress during COVID-19, plans to develop actionable change for the future and the launch of the Women4ClimateTO mentorship programme. The conversation was moderated by Dr. Dan Riskin, former host of the Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet and featured:

  • Jennifer McKelvie – Toronto City Councillor, Ward 25 Scarborough-Rouge Park
  • Christine Rhodes – Central Canada Market Leader, Climate Change & Sustainability Services, EY
  • Dr. Christine Gabardo – Co-founder & Director of Technology, CERT
  • Thomas Mulcair – Chair of the Board, Earth Day & Former Federal NDP Leader

Mitigating the Effects of Climate Change: Social and Technological Solutions

Video link

The Toronto Public Library hosted an insightful converseartion about solutions that may help mitigate the effects of climate change. It is only by pursuing both socially-driven and technologically-based solutions that we can fully address Toronto’s climate issues and work to create a healthier, more sustainable and resilient future. Panelists included:

  • Jennifer McKelvie, Toronto City Councillor and the Mayor’s Environment & Resilience Champion
  • Deeksha Shetty, Microbiology Lead, Genecis
  • Anjum Sultana, Board Director, Toronto Environmental Alliance and Founder of Millennial Womxn in Policy

A Toronto Life Insider x FLARE Fireside Chat dedicated to women who are working to address the climate crisis.

Charlotte Herrold, Editor-in-Chief, FLARE hosted a discussion about the Women4ClimateTO Mentorship Programme, how the city is fighting climate change and why resilience in Toronto is important now more than ever featuring Heather Taylor, CFO & Treasurer of the City of Toronto, Jennifer McKelvie, Toronto City Councillor Ward 25 and the Mayor’s Environment and Resilience Champion and Omo Akintan, Chief People Officer, City of Toronto.

Women4ClimateTO partners are generously co-curating a combination of mentoring, training and networking opportunities to help mentees bring their climate-related project, idea, or business start-up to life.

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