More women hold top corporate positions than ever in Canada, 8th annual report finds

With International Women's Day Friday, Rosenzweig report finds almost double the women in top executive jobs compared to its first survey

TORONTO, March 6, 2013 /CNW/ - Female leaders at Canada's biggest public companies are increasing in number and we may be approaching a tipping point in the not-too-distant future, where gender will no longer play a significant role in leadership hiring decisions, concludes the eighth annual report by global executive search firm Rosenzweig & Company.

The latest Rosenzweig Report on Women at the Top Levels of Corporate Canada finds 8 percent of the highest paying executive positions are held by women, almost double the 4.6 percent in the first Rosenzweig survey commissioned eight years ago.

"On the eve of International Women's Day, we release our 8th annual Rosenzweig Report with guarded optimism," says Jay Rosenzweig, Managing Partner of Rosenzweig & Company. "Guarded because the corporate world is still largely dominated by men; but optimistic because there is a trajectory of positive change. We choose to believe that the glass is half full and the tipping point is near."

Leslie O'Donoghue, who is on the list as Executive Vice President, Corporate Development & Strategy and Chief Risk Officer of Calgary-based Agrium Inc. (TSX and NYSE: AGU), says this year's Rosenzweig Report clearly indicates a positive trend.

"These results and upward trend are encouraging," says Ms O'Donoghue. "The more women achieve a presence in the boardroom and within the executive ranks, the more their value and contribution will be recognized in the corporate workplace, paving the path for other women to succeed."

Rosenzweig said women leaders at large Canadian companies are still the exception, not the rule - as they are in most of the world - but the upward trend is encouraging.

"Are there still obstacles in front of women as they vie for top leadership roles?" Mr. Rosenzweig asks. "Perhaps, but there are clear signs that things are changing; from shareholders, boards of directors and governments encouraging change; to women themselves asserting their talents and making it known that they want these top jobs. Half of Canada's provincial premiers are now women and they're governing 87 per cent of the population. We're seeing female leaders emerge everywhere and the corporate world will be no different."

Bonnie Crombie, a former businesswoman at Fortune 500 companies, a former Member of Parliament, and a current city councillor in Mississauga, said she has seen numerous studies that prove diverse organizations with more women in leadership roles are more successful.

"I know firsthand the challenges faced by women in business and public life," Ms Crombie says. "I'm pleased to see that the numbers of women in senior positions increasing - albeit slowly. I am confident that through analysis like the Rosenzweig Report, and the conversations it creates, we will continue to push these numbers higher."

The annual Rosenzweig report tracks the 100 largest publicly-traded companies in Canada, based on revenue, and examines how many of the top-paid leadership roles are held by women.

Rosenzweig & Company is a high-end global talent management firm that focuses on critical, specialized executive searches. The firm has offices and affiliates in Toronto, Calgary, Montreal, New York, Los Angeles, Dubai, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Mumbai and Sao Paulo.

For a copy of this year's report, visit: http://rosenzweigco.com/mediacenter/diversity/index.html

SOURCE: Rosenzweig & Company

For further information:

Ariel Katz
Rosenzweig & Co.
416-646-3912
akatz@rosenzweigco.com 

Bob Brehl
abc2 communications inc.
(416) 994-1470
bob@abc2.ca