Gender Equality

Women aren't a priority for nearly half of US and canadian companies

Almost half of Canadian companies don’t have a concrete understanding of how many women work at a management level and less than 40% of companies in Canada and the US even look at pay by gender, according to a new report.

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The report, released by the Canada-US Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders, pulled information from two different research studies.

The first study gathered perspectives of 400 people in human resource officer roles or similar ones in Canada and the US. The second study was Accenture’s Getting to Equal 2018, a survey of more than 22,000 working men and women that are university-educated across 34 countries.

"Equal pay for all is within reach, as it does not require an overhaul of the organization’s goals or a cultural change," the report reads.

And yet, because so few companies actually look at pay by gender, it’s difficult for them to make a move on advancing female leadership.

These findings showed that companies are not prioritizing the advancement of women in the workplace.

"This report identifies a critical gap between that commitment and action. Many companies want to see women advance, but do not approach the goal with rigor and discipline as they would any other business priority," the report noted.

Essentially, companies are not approaching the advancement of women as an issue that needs to be addressed in the same ways they might approach a problem like increased costs or decreased production rates.

"It's really too bad," T&T Supermarkets CEO Tina Lee, who co-authored the report, told HuffPost Canada. "People just don't really realize (involving more women) has a real financial and business performance return."

Just seven of 249 companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index have a CEO who is a woman. Only 5% of CEO positions at S&P 500 companies are filled by women. For women of colour, the numbers are even worse. Only 4.7% of executives at S&P 500 companies were women of colour, the report said.

In short? Commitments have not led to tangible action and North American companies have some serious work to do when it comes to gender diversification and the advancement of women in the workplace.

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