CEO commitment needed for women's advancement

Most CEOs don't try to effect change for women

Progress for women executives will continue to be slow unless chief executive officers have a change of attitude.

That is the conclusion reached by The Conference Board of Canada in its recently released report Chief Executive Commitment: The Key to Enhancing Women’s Advancement.

According to a survey conducted by The Conference Board, the majority of CEOs do not use their leadership capacity to effect change for women in their organizations. Only 36 per cent of CEOs responding to the survey demonstrated a “personally active, involved commitment to fostering gender diversity.”

Without that commitment – and intentional action – female executives face a slow climb to leadership positions within organizations. Consequently, many executive women believe their CEOs do not support their leadership expectations. The report shows that business leaders need a better understanding of actions women see as going beyond “good intentions” to showing real executive commitment.

This is the second report of The Conference Board’s Gender Diversity Tool Kit, developed to inform executives about effective practices that address barriers to the growth, retention and advancement of Canadian women. E-mail The Conference Board at [email protected] for more information.

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