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Deloitte: Uneven Progress of Female Leaders in Canada

By Rob Starr, Content Manager,

“Women make significant contributions in the workplace, possessing valuable skills required for leadership positions,” said Jane Allen, partner and chief diversity officer, Deloitte Canada. “While it is encouraging that women continue to experience modest gains in terms of moving up the corporate ladder, we can no longer afford this slow growth. Organizations need to embrace women’s leadership in order to succeed in the years ahead.”

This comment was in response to Carleton University’s Centre for Women in Politics and Public Leadership releasing a comprehensive benchmarking study compiled in collaboration with Deloitte Canada. It was written by Carleton professors Pauline Rankin and Jennifer Stewart, and shows that women held only 29 per cent of senior management positions in Canada in 2011, although they constituted 47 per cent of the workforce, just a six per cent increase since 1987. And there is significant variation across industries, with energy, retail and wholesale, and manufacturing well below average levels.

The report reveals that women are not making consistent, steady gains toward full leadership equality, but instead experience fluctuations and plateaus over time. They do better in the public and non-profit sectors than they do in private industry.

In the private sector, women held only 26 per cent of senior management positions in 2011. They held 43 per cent of senior management positions in public administration, up from 35 per cent in 1987. A third of judges are female. Women hold 40 per cent of CEO positions in the non-profit and charitable sector.



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