Canadian women still held back as leaders in the workplace

Randstad Canada's Women Shaping Business study shows 47 per cent of those surveyed believe it's because employers fear absence due to family

TORONTO, Nov. 18, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Randstad Canada's fourth annual Women Shaping Business study – conducted in partnership with Ipsos Reid – has found that despite efforts to achieve equality in the workplace, nearly three-quarters (71 per cent) of working Canadian women are in roles below the management level, and cite the number one barrier to leadership at work is an employer's fear of absence due to family obligations (47 per cent). The study also discovered that only five per cent of working Canadian women are employed in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields, presenting a major inequality in these key areas for Canada's future workforce and economy.

"Change is hard, but it's critical for businesses that want to grow and flourish," said Faith Tull, senior vice president, human resources, Randstad Canada. "Our research shows that organizations that promote and support women perform better in an array of areas, including financially, but we're still seeing a large gap between men and women in leadership positions, particularly in those important STEM fields."

Other concerning findings from the 2015 Women Shaping Business study include:

  • More than three-quarters of working Canadian women believe there is a divide compared to men in the workplace when it comes to salaries, influence in making important decisions, promotions, and getting the best jobs, tasks or projects.
  • 42 per cent of working Canadian women believe they don't obtain leadership positions because their employer fears a possible maternity leave.
  • 27 per cent of working Canadian women who are not in a STEM field might have pursued a career in these areas if they had had the right support or guidance.
  • Confidence is a problem with working Canadian women within STEM fields, with 28 per cent of those surveyed who work in STEM fields citing their personal confidence as the reason they can't reach a leadership position - compared to only 21 per cent of all working Canadian women citing this same barrier.
  • In person lunches/coffee (38%) and social media tools like Facebook (37%) are the top ways women prefer to network.

View the full infographic

"In order to remain competitive, to attract top talent and promote gender diversity in more senior roles, Canadian employers need to enhance their offerings to alleviate workplace stress related to family obligations," Ms. Tull added. "Making leadership opportunities accessible and attractive for women starts with nurturing a work culture of flexibility, openness and empowerment."

About the Women Shaping Business program: Launched in 2012, Randstad Canada's Women Shaping Business program aims to explore the challenges and opportunities for today's Canadian women in the workplace. A key element of the program is a nationwide survey conducted annually by Randstad Canada in collaboration with Ipsos Reid, asking Canadian women how they feel the country has progressed toward more equal workplaces. This year, the survey was conducted between August 17 and 21, 2015. A sample of 1,005 working women (including 303 managers and executives) were interviewed online.

The full survey results can be found at

About Randstad Canada: Randstad Canada is the Canadian leader for staffing, recruitment and HR Services. As the only fully integrated staffing company in the country, it understands the recruitment needs and demands of employers and job seekers across all levels and industries. Through its insightful knowledge of local markets, employment trends and global network of recruitment experts, it is shaping the Canadian world of work. Visit for more information.


SOURCE Randstad Canada

Image with caption: "What prevents women from advancing to senior roles? (CNW Group/Randstad Canada)". Image available at:

For further information: or for interview requests, please contact: Sarah Blazak - or 416.721.3778; Lissa Mangano - or 416.847.1303; In Quebec, please contact: Marie-Noëlle Morency - or 514.350.5309 ext. 233; Patricia Archambault - or 514.710.1044


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890