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Number of women in senior management falls in Canada: Grant Thornton

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by Daily Commercial News

The proportion of Canadian women in senior management positions declined from 28 per cent in 2011 to 25 per cent this year, according to the most recent International Business Report (IBR) by Grant Thornton, an assurance, tax and advisory firm.

TORONTO

The proportion of Canadian women in senior management roles fell three per cent this year, while that number rose in Europe, according to a recent report.

The proportion of Canadian women in senior management positions declined from 28 per cent in 2011 to 25 per cent this year, according to the most recent International Business Report (IBR) by Grant Thornton, one of the world’s leading organizations of independent assurance, tax and advisory firms.

Women make up 63 per cent of the adult labour force in Canada, the highest in any G7 country.

Women have made progress in the wider workforce over recent years. Since 1970, the proportion of women in the mature market workforce has risen from 48 to 64 per cent.

On a global basis, 21 per cent of senior management roles are held by women — barely higher than the level in 2004.

In Canada and around the world, only one in 10 businesses has a female CEO, and 34 per cent of businesses said their company had no women in senior management at all.

Research has shown that stronger stock market growth is more likely to occur where there are higher proportions of women on senior management teams and recent UK research has shown that just one female board member reduced that businesses chance of folding by 20 per cent.

“Governments and business leaders need to start working now to address this decline,” said Phil Noble, Executive Partner and CEO, Grant Thornton LLP in Canada.

“The last thing we want to see is a race to mediocrity where the proportion of women in senior roles stagnates for a number of years. There needs to be a public discussion now about the policies and practices that will enable and encourage women to continue to progress in the workplace.”

In the United States, the number of women in senior management rose slightly over the past two years to 17 per cent.

Despite rising unemployment, the proportion of women in senior management in Europe has continued to rise steadily from 17 per cent in 2004 to 20 per cent in 2009 to 24 per cent in 2012, catching up with peers in emerging markets.

IBR is a survey of both listed and privately held businesses. Data are drawn from interviews with 6,000 businesses across the globe conducted between November 2011 and February 2012.

The target respondents are chief executive officers, managing directors, chairmen or other senior executives from 40 economies primarily across five sectors: manufacturing (25 per cent), services (25 per cent), retail (15 per cent) and construction (10 per cent) with the remaining 25 per cent spread across all sectors.

DCN NEWS SERVICES

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