When It Comes To Equal Opportunity, We All Need To Step Up

This past week another International Women’s Day came and went, but the cause must endure. In fact the cause must accelerate. Once upon a time, posting supportive messages on websites and hosting employee luncheons and receptions might have passed for progress towards gender equality, but in 2018, it rings hollow.

The last six months represent a tipping point for women — and the men who support them. The abrupt fall of high-profile individuals in the realms of business, entertainment, politics and media, coupled with the rise of movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp, signals a profound shift in societal attitudes.

Unfortunately, that shift has not been reflected in the most senior executive suites of Canada’s top 100 publicly traded companies.

For 13 years, beginning in 2006, my firm has meticulously tracked and published the number of senior women holding important positions like CEO, CFO and other C-level jobs.

Our latest report shows women hold just 9.44 per cent of these top jobs and men hold more than 90 per cent.

Yes, there has been improvement since we started tracking in 2006 — the number back then was just 4.62 per cent. But the increases have been incremental. At this pace, women occupying 30 per cent of top jobs will take decades.

For more than 30 years, women have outnumbered men in Canada as university graduates, including in MBA and doctoral programs. Their numbers have also increased in the STEM disciplines — Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. And yet the numbers are not ultimately translating at the top levels of the business world.

What can be done?

The tide is shifting, and the time is now to accelerate the speed of change.

A key to making real, sustainable progress is collaboration and coordination — getting all like-minded stakeholders to work together to bring about needed change. By working in concert, they have the potential to amplify each other’s individual efforts.

A good example would be financial services. Many banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions have developed tremendous programs, and invested serious resources into breaking down barriers and promoting and retaining women. We are in fact seeing some positive signs coming out of these initiatives. But we need this to translate into the highest levels of the C-Suite at a much faster pace. While these organizations do collaborate and share best practices, we would encourage them to do more.

All sectors and individuals, be it in the realm of gender equality

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Travel


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