Canadian Manufacturing

Total Mom Inc.’s pitch initiative looking for manufacturers to help address the talent crisis

by Sadi Muktadir   

Canadian Manufacturing
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The Total Mom pitch initiative is an annual initiative supporting mothers with entrepreneurial ambitions, and runs until Mar. 31, 2022.

Anna Sinclair, CEO

It’s no secret that that labour and talent shortage is going to get worse. A PLANT survey in 2021 revealed that 25% of the manufacturing workforce will retire by 2030.

This, coupled with the fact that 29% of the current manufacturing workforce is comprised of women means that there is an opportunity to solve the labour crisis by addressing their underrepresentation.

Canadian Manufacturing sat down with Anna Sinclair, CEO of Total Mom Inc., an initiative running a pitch competition to help mothers start new businesses and scale up.

When asked what Total Mom Inc., had done for mothers that were manufacturers, Anna Sinclair was clear.


“Through our partnership with WEKC (Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub), we’ve collected data on what kind of businesses are applying. We’ve helped to launch a number of toy businesses, organic cosmetics, beverages and others. We are trying to find a manufacturer to partner with to help our entrepreneurs scale up easier as well.”

The Total Mom pitch initiative is an annual initiative supporting mothers with entrepreneurial ambitions, and runs until Mar. 31, 2022.

The judges for the initiative are C-Suite level executives and previously successful founders of businesses.

There are clear challenges for mothers that have manufacturing businesses or ambitions that are distinct from other business challenges, according to Sinclair.

“The pandemic put a dent into the career paths of women, and pushed them back into caregiving roles. Our entrepreneurship academy and e-learning platform is meant to address this, and we’re looking for a manufacturer to help with this as well.”

The data seems to back this up as well.

CME research has shown that as of January 2021, female employment in Canadian manufacturing was 3.5 per cent below its February 2020 pre-pandemic level, while male employment rose to 0.8 per cent above this threshold.

The bounce back has not been even.

When asked if there were particular industries or businesses Total Mom Inc. wanted to see more of from their entrepreneurial mothers, Anna suggested more focus on sustainability and cleantech initiatives would be great.

With the federal government focused on reaching net-zero by 2050, this is a goal that’s aligned with many manufacturers focused on pivoting to cleantech innovations.

The other area Total Mom Inc. is looking for support on is in its trade networks. An export company with an extensive network and connections could help entrepreneurs scale up and succeed in a market troubled by supply chain issues.

Currently, Anna mentions key support from the Scotiabank Women’s Initiative, GoDaddy, BDC, Zoho and VISA as some of the organizations mothers can rely on if they apply for help with their manufacturing business.

The initiative is an annual effort that coincides with Canadian Manufacturing’s own event on March 22 to facilitate conversations about advancing women in manufacturing.

If the manufacturing industry hopes to emerge from the pandemic with a solid plan to solve the labour crisis, pandemic-related problems affecting women will need be addressed.


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