1 in 5 senior leaders at <i>FP</i>500 firms are women: Catalyst

Virtually no progress made since 2010

Over the past two years, there has been no significant increase in the representation of women among senior officers or top earners at Canada’s Financial Post 500 (FP500) companies, according to a report by Catalyst.

One in five senior officer positions at FP500 companies are held by women — just a 0.4 percentage point increase since 2010, found the 2012 Catalyst Census: Financial Post 400 Women Senior Officers and Top Earners.

More than one-third (35.9 per cent) of public FP500 companies count no women among their senior officers.

“Despite these results, we see progress in organizations where advancing women to senior leadership is an essential and integrated part of the business strategy,” said Alex Johnston, executive director of Catalyst Canada. “The untapped, growing talent pool of potential women business leaders presents opportunities for corporate Canada. With women holding six of 10 provincial premier posts, we ought to be asking ourselves, ‘Why not advance more women into senior business leadership?’”

Less than one-quarter (21.7 per cent) of public companies have 25 per cent or more women senior officers, indicating no increase since 2010.

Industries with the highest representation of women senior officers include: finance and insurance, retail trade and utilities.

And there was no significant increase (6.9 per cent versus 6.2 per cent) in women’s share of top earner positions at public FP500 companies over the past two years, found the report.

According to Catalyst, there is a strong case for increasing women’s representation in business leadership — specifically, better financial outcomes and innovation that is driven by gender-diverse leadership. They are also more philanthropic, engaging in more corporate giving.

“Concisely speaking: what is good for women is good for men, business, communities and the economy,” said Catalyst.

Latest stories