Invisible No More

Inequities faced by women healthcare workers, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, + recommendations for action.

In partnership with

    Hospital Employees' Union           

Over 80% of the healthcare workforce in BC are women, and many are also racialized. These workers often fill ‘forgotten’ roles like care-aides, midwives, social workers, technicians, and food services + janitorial staff. Despite being critical for our healthcare sector, they experience invisible barriers on a daily basis including racism, inadequate support, low pay, and limited access to decision making. 

That’s why BC Women’s Health Foundation, in partnership with researchers, the Hospital Employees’ Union and Health Sciences Association of BC, is pleased to share highlights of recent research in our new report, “Invisible No More”

This report peels back the compounding layers of inequities impacting healthcare workers before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides recommendations for action and outlines clear roles for healthcare leaders in building a more equitable and sustainable healthcare workforce.

With your support, we can continue to unmask gender inequity.

This report was funded through the generosity of HEU and HSABC.

Hear From Her

Tired healthcare worker in ICU

“I was diagnosed with severe depression, severe anxiety in the context of post-traumatic stress disorder. I have never had mental health issues in my entire life. I can actually talk about that today without crying, but seven months ago if you asked me how was work, I’d burst into tears and shut down.”

– Nurse

Serious Nurse

“You need to understand that we birth. We get covered in fluid. We get spat on. We get vomited on. We have amniotic fluid on us, poop, everything. We are out in the community. You maybe don’t know we’re here, but this is what we’re doing. We need PPE.”

– Midwife

Tied Healthcare Worker

“I felt that we were, as frontline workers, we were supporting our clients through the pandemic and all their anxiety and needs…but what I actually felt deep down inside was my own anxiety. I was worried about catching COVID at work and bringing it home to my family.”

– Community Care Aide

Custodial healthcare worker

“’Oh, you’re sick? You’re still coming to work’, that’s what we get. They’re actually firing people that aren’t coming to work because they’re sick. If they’re on probation, if they’re just hired, if they miss three days, they’re gone. But we’re just housekeepers. This is how we’re treated.” 

– Custodial Worker in Long-Term Care


Healthcare workers experienced detrimental mental health symptoms over the past 21 months including anxiety, trauma, guilt, and grief. 

While women make up 80% of the healthcare workforce, they hold disproportionately fewer leadership positions.

Women care workers earn 18% less than other women workers in Canada.

What you
can do


Recognize the depth and complexity of the services offered by these healthcare workers.


Raise awareness of the experiences of these invisible healthcare workers.

Stand Together

Support us as we advocate for equitable compensation and representation.

We are committed to advocating for change. The report presents recommendations for action and outlines roles for healthcare leaders in building a more equitable and sustainable healthcare workforce.

Learn more about our findings in the full report and our press release.

To learn more about existing support for healthcare workers, visit