Montréal, March 8, 2011 – In honour of International Women’s Day, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton is releasing the results of an international survey on the proportion of women in senior management positions in the private sector. The Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) indicates that, in Canada, women hold 28% of senior management positions within the surveyed entities, which places Canada among the leaders in the Western world, above the global average of 20%.
While countries such as Thailand, Russia, the Philippines and China lead the survey, given the rapid pace of their economies and the multitude of career opportunities that are presenting themselves, Canada, for its part, is in an interesting situation among countries with similar economies, placing ahead of the Scandinavian countries, France, Spain and the United States.
Slow but tangible progress
The results of the same survey conducted in 2004 in Canada revealed that women occupied 22% of senior management positions. These data indicate that there has been a change in the proportion of women in senior management positions. “I’m very pleased to see that, internationally, we are in such an enviable position. It shows that many enterprises make it possible for their employees to climb the rungs of the corporate ladder and occupy management positions,” stated Louise Martel, Partner in Charge of the Executive Recruiting practice at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton.
However, a 2009 census of the 500 largest corporations in Canada indicates that the percentage of women on their boards of directors was 14%, up one percentage point from 20071. In 2009, in the United States, women’s representation on boards of directors was 15%2.
“While faster progress would be preferable, there is no doubt that women are occupying more and more management positions and their representation on boards of directors is increasing. In fact, in our executive search activities at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton, close to 30% of management vacancies posted by our clients were filled by women. Additionally, it should be noted that 58% of Quebec university students are women and we have attained parity at the Master’s level as well. These women will advance in a work environment that is far different from the one their predecessors experienced,” concluded Louise Martel.
To view the Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR): http://www.grantthorntonibos.com/index.asp
About Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton
Founded in 1948, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton is a leader in the fields of assurance, taxation, consulting and recovery and reorganization services. The Firm owes its success to over 2,000 employees, including more than 225 Partners in over 90 offices in Quebec, Eastern Ontario and New Brunswick. The scope of its network makes it a leader in its business segment. For the past 30 years, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton has been a member of Grant Thornton International Ltd providing its clients with the expertise of the member and correspondent firms in more than 100 countries.
About the survey
IBR is a survey of medium to large privately held businesses, researching the opinions of over 11,000 businesses annually. The target respondents are chief executive officers, managing directors, chairmen or other senior executives (title dependent on what is most appropriate for the individual country) from 39 economies primarily across five industries: manufacturing (25%), services (25%), retail (15%) and construction (10%) with the remaining 25% spread across all industries.
Locally, the sample tends to cover the industries mentioned previously, with some countries being able to have local valid data for specific sectors or regions when the sample size is large enough.
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1 Laura Jenner, Liz Mulligan-Ferry, et Rachel Soares, 2009 Catalyst Census: Financial Post 500 Women Board Directors, March 2010,
2 Rachel Soares, Nancy M. Carter et Jan Combopiano, 2009 Catalyst Census: Fortune 500 Women Board Directors, December 2009,