Women make up 8% of top executives in Canada, report says

Published On March 7, 2013 | By HN Staff | Business, News
Courtesy, IIP State on Flickr.

Courtesy, IIP State on Flickr.

By Brandon Humber

With International Women’s Day on Friday, a new report has found that the number of top female executives in Canada has doubled over the past eight years.

The eighth annual Rosenzweig Report on Women at the Top Levels of Corporate Canada, released on Wednesday, said that female executives now make up eight per cent of executive positions within Canada’s top 100 publicly traded companies.

While this number may seem small, it’s up from 4.6 per cent when the annual survey began keeping track in 2005.

“It’s obviously not ideal, but it’s obviously showing an upward trajectory, and as the report states we see this as an encouraging sign,” said Ariel Katz, a Rosenzweig research associate who helped compile the report.

Jennifer Berdahl, associate professor in the University of Toronto’s department of psychology said she is unimpressed by the study’s numbers.

I guess it’s on the rise, it’s moving in the right direction at least. It’s still a dismal number, it’s very very low,” Berdahl said.

She also said there is still much work to be done for true equality in the workplace.

“The lack of role models or women leaders means that people still associate leadership with men, so that creates a bias towards male leaders in both people thinking who to promote,” Berdahl said.

“The continued association of leadership with men and the under-representation of women in top roles is a critical force in that,” she said.

Joyce Usher-Mesiano, president of both National Brokers Insurance Services and Monarch Intermediaries in Tornto. said that, in her experience, the only adversity she has encountered is balancing work and family life.

“I don’t see beyond that. A number of women that I know are in very prominent positions,” she said.

“I don’t see a glass ceiling anymore, I do see that you’re judged on your education and your work skills, and if you’ve got that together you’ll succeed.”

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