Employment Programs & Services



Small Steps to Success is a 12-week holistic pre-employment and life skills program for cis* and trans women and gender-diverse individuals. This in-person program, aimed at supporting women throughout the Region of Waterloo, provides the flexibility for participants to learn from home within a safer, supportive environment. Participants boost their confidence and skills, identify new strengths and goals, receive support in managing stress and budgets, and learn how to navigate interpersonal relationships in the workplace and beyond.

Upon entry into the program, participants gain access to all of the material and resources needed to take part within the program and facilitators to help support and navigate any challenges along the way. Participants will have access to employment related content such as communications, time and stress management and conversations around how to break through some of the barriers in gaining and maintaining employment. During professional development week participants will have the opportunity to identify and research their desired career paths, set goals and even work toward training and certifications needed to be job ready!

Participants will leave the program with an updated cover letter and resume, practical learning around career exploration and job searching, and how to shine in interviews, even the virtual ones! Upon completion of the program, participants take part in a celebratory graduation, receive wrap around supports and access to groups to maintain those meaningful connections made with others within the program! 

What sets Small Steps apart? The support received from Small Steps to Success does not expire, the program continues to support and work with graduates along their journey: connecting participants to needed community resources, continued job searches and just to listen.

To learn more about the continued support after the program, see Women in Transition (below).

*”cis” meaning it was presumed you were a girl/woman at birth and that is how you still identify.

Smiling woman holds smiling young girl (approximately 8 years old).
Small Steps to Success in-person programming is currently on hold due to the pandemic. When available, in-person programming includes 12-weeks of programming, including a 3-week volunteer placement with once of our trusted community partners. Regular in-person programming takes place in a class setting at The W Monday through Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. We hope to resume in-person programming as soon as we are able.

Aimed at supporting women in our community, Small Steps to Success provides the opportunity to gain the skills and confidence needed to be successful in the workplace or in a school setting. Participants will learn how to identify their strengths and goals, resources in the community, how to search for a job, write a resume and cover letter, how to shine in interviews and so much more. However, the most important takeaway for participants and staff alike are the meaningful connections made with other women, while in a supportive learning environment. These impactful connections last long after the program finishes.

Small Steps to Success programs begin each September, January and April. If needed, assistance with organizing transportation and child care is available. 

woman with glasses leans on blue wall looking at camera, She is wearing glasses, a blue bouse and has blonde hair.


Women in Transition was born out the feedback that has been received from group members after completing Small Steps to Success, still feeling that they could benefit from further support in developing self-esteem and self-love. We hope to create a safe and supportive environment to identify our growth areas and begin to cement that strong foundation in order to continue to move forward. Women in Transition are also joined by women who are hoping to enter Small Steps to Success in the future, but currently face barriers that prevent them from being group ready. The goal for these women is to be Small Steps participants in a future session. Each week we discuss a topic related to Self Love and Self Esteem and complete an accompanying healing arts activity within our art journals.

This small, supportive group meets on an ongoing basis prior to the next Small Steps to Success cycle, with the hope that those women who have yet to enter the Small Steps program will do at that time.

These programs are generously funded by the Region of Waterloo.


My Story →
“The best thing about the group was the facilitators. They were very encouraging and inclusive. Drawing me out of my comfort zone to think and act more positively and assertively.” - Program Participant


My Story →
“Worth every day spent. It’s more than a career builder, it’s a life change.” - Program Participant


My Story →
“I would recommend this group. You benefit by gaining self-esteem and confidence. You learn that other people have problems and you are not alone.” - Program Participant


My Story →
“This program should be in every town and city. It is much needed, accepts all walks of life, very accepting, supportive and understanding.” - Program Participant

Want to help at The Holidays?

Our Sponsorship Program, Festive Futures, Will Give You The Chance To Support Women From Our Small Steps To Success Program During The Holiday Season! For More Information Visit The Festive Futures Page

Other Programs

YWCA Cambridge Provides Supportive, Inclusive And Participant-Led Programs For Cis And Trans Women And Girls And Non-Binary And Two-Spirit Individuals.


In this unique program, participants have the opportunity to explore, design, create and share all things related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math! Absolutely no skill or knowledge level is necessary to participate.


STEM Mentoring

Rooted in the belief that girls cannot be what they cannot see, STEM Mentoring is about more than just building girls interest in skills in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), it’s about building strong, healthy relationships with other girls and mentors (who just so happen to be amazing women working in our community in the STEM field)!

Safe Sisters

Rooted in the philosophy of holistic safety, Safe Sisters encourages participants to make healthy choices in all areas of their lives, empowering them to take an active role in creating safe environments for themselves.


This program provides opportunity for discussion and action, by allowing participants to make sense of what they are experiencing externally and feeling internally. The goal of SHYFT is to foster critical thinking skills and provide outlets for participants to create their own social-justice based media-arts projects.


S.T.E.P.S is about creating a safe space for participants, developing skills for healthy relationships, reducing isolation and increasing inclusion, engaging participants in critical thinking and strengthening leadership skills.


GLOW is rooted in the philosophy of holistic wellness. GLOW focuses on the 5 Dimensions of Wellness: physical, social, emotional, spiritual and environmental. GLOW is driven by its participants interests and skills, so each program offering is unique.

Get In Touch

Have a Question Or Need Assistance?

If you have a question about YWCA Cambridge, our programs or events, or simply want to get involved, please give us a call or send us an email.

Contact Us

Address: 102-55 Dickson Street, Cambridge, Ontario, N1R 7A5

Office Hours:
Monday to Friday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Saturdays, Sundays & holidays: closed

Tel: (519) 267-6444 
Main Email: info@ywcacambridge.ca

W Programming Email: thew@ywcacambridge.ca

Shades’s Mills Camp Email: camp@ywcacambridge.ca

WIGG Email: wigg@ywcacambridge.ca

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