February 7 2009 - More women fill top executive jobs in
Canada's largest publicly-traded businesses than ever before - but this still amounts to a mere
7.2%, according to a report from executive search firm Rosenzweig & Company.
Rosenzweig & Company analyzed the largest hundred publicly-traded companies
in Canada, based on revenue. Their annual revenues ranged between
$41.3 billion and $1.9 billion. Between them, 544 top executive positions were examined.
Jay Rosenzweig, Managing Partner of Rosenzweig & Company said:
"The good news is there are more women rising to top jobs and 15 are
newly on the list this year which may indicate turnover and change is in the
air. The bad news is that the number remains inexcusably low and Corporate Canada's 'old
boys' network' continues to disregard such a diverse talent pool in the
workforce for leadership roles.
"Unfortunately, the tough economic times could well serve to slow the
pace of change. We'd like to see a big jump year-over-year so that women hold
more than 10 per cent of all the top jobs soon, but we may be waiting longer
now," he added.
This is the fourth annual Rosenzweig Report on Women at the Top Levels of
Corporate Canada. It shows that 36 women now hold top officer jobs in Canada's 100
largest publicly-traded companies, compared with 31 last year. In terms of percentages,
women currently hold 7.2% of the top jobs while men have 92.8%. Last
year women held 5.8%, with men holding 94.2%.
All these businesses have to name and publicly disclose compensation
for their Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), and at
least the next three highest paid executive officers. Some businesses
list more than five top executives. But over two-thirds (69%) of Canada's largest public
companies do not have women executives in these categories. Canadian banks take the
lead in promoting women to top jobs, including RBC, TD, CIBC and BMO. Overall, six corporations listed
more than one woman: ATCO, Canadian Utilities, Linamar Corp., BMO, Canadian Pacific Railway,
and Russel Metals.
"We are hopeful the election of Barack Obama to the top job in the free
world will boost diversity in North American boardrooms," said Jay Rosenzweig.
"Clearly, these abysmally low numbers for women - half the population and
almost half the workforce - indicate change is needed; and the sooner the
With study after study indicating that increased diversity at leadership levels
spreads through organizations and improving financial performance, Jay Rosenzweig concludes:
"This is not simply a social and moral issue, but an issue about maximizing shareholder