Report from Catalyst and Women in Capital Markets Looks Towards
TORONTO, May 30, 2012 /CNW/ - Despite more than a decade of concerted
advocacy and good intentions by the industry, women continue to
struggle to break through the senior leadership ranks in Canadian
Capital Markets- and into the industry. According to Women and Men in Canadian Capital Markets: An Action Plan for Gender
Diversity, released today at a Women in Capital Markets luncheon, Catalyst found
the informality of male-dominated networks, the fact that poor
managerial skills are too easily overlooked and the persistent stigma
around work-life balance continue to impact women's advancement.
The action plan guide provides a solution-based roadmap to address these
challenges, as well as to bridge the gap between senior leaders'
intentions of enhanced people management and gender diversity, and how
these are perceived by men and women in the industry.
The guidebook, commissioned by Women in Capital Markets (WCM) and
conducted by Catalyst, finds the following:
Women in the industry are excited about and committed to their careers,
yet some industry leaders still hold perceptions that women are less
committed, lack initiative or do not have the mettle for leadership.
The majority of men at all levels are able to point to sponsors that
have supported their careers, while women struggle to identify sponsors
or mentors who can help them successfully navigate their careers in
Capital Markets- resulting in slower advancement for women and fewer
female women role models at the top.
A 'badge of honour', face time culture creates unsustainable
expectations that keep some talented, high performing women -and men -
from staying in the industry.
While the industry has made increasing efforts to attract more women,
there is a gap between Human Resources' intentions to drive gender
diversity and talent management and how these policies are understood
by both male and female professionals.
"Good intentions are there; however, creating a breakthrough requires
intentionality and commitment to change. Leaders, talent managers and
professionals need to renew action plans to close the gaps as it is
costing the Canadian Capital Markets the ability to genuinely attract,
advance, and hold on to the most talented women," said Deborah Gillis,
Senior Vice President, Membership & Global Operations, Catalyst. "With
this guidebook, we hope to help companies maximize the intake of the
best and brightest talent, increase the engagement and productivity of
both men and women and promote long-term business success."
Capital Markets benchmarking data show that women are just a fraction of
the industry with virtually no gains in the past decade. Compared to
the greater financial services industry where women account for 62 per
cent of workers1, their representation in Capital Markets is 23 per cent of Analysts and
Associates. In relation to the proportion of women being hired, they
are vastly underrepresented in senior Capital Markets position roles
where 17 per cent of Vice Presidents and Directors are women and only
10 per cent are Managing Directors.2
"It is imperative that banks in the Canadian Capital Markets industry
create a bold new action plan," said Martha Fell, CEO, Women in Capital
Markets. "To be most effective, this plan must inject extra scrutiny to
ensure fairness in decision making, zero-tolerance for poor management
and accountability for leadership behaviour."
The guidebook features innovative, game changing practices and
strategies from leading companies that can help create a breakthrough
and enhance the representation of women in the industry.
Generate buy-in for the business case for gender diversity among all
employees: Creating a gender-diverse and inclusive industry results in better
engagement, retention and profitability. Promote the vital link between
gender diversity and business results amongst all employees.
Test assumptions about women's abilities or commitments to their
careers: Invest in high-potential women via sponsorship, networks and programs.
Invite men at all levels to co-develop the strategy: Get men's perspectives and participation for lasting success. Increase
men's awareness and trust to advocate for women in leadership
Implement extra scrutiny at critical decision-making junctures, such as
during hiring, delegation of assignments and promotions: Reduce the potential for unconscious stereotyping and ensure that women
get their fair share of opportunities to be tested and trusted.
Adopt zero-tolerance towards inadequate people management: Hold individuals accountable for talent results and insist leaders
develop their talent stewardship, sponsorship and mentorship skills.
Promote the industry to a broader pool of women, and establish
gender-neutral recruitment and selection methods: Build awareness and promote the benefits of a career in Capital Markets
for women through informal relationships, traditional media channels,
and partnerships with universities.
Engage senior leaders as role models for work-life effectiveness and
valuing results over face-time and long hours: Optimizing team-based work processes that meet high performance industry
standards and employee performance and life needs.
Recognize the high cost of turnover and implement career path
flexibility as a core element for retaining top talent: Develop progressive and standardized leave polices and stay connected to
women on career breaks and create ways for them to re-enter the
"Women in Capital Markets has been advocating for the growth and
advancement of women in the industry for over 15 years with a
particular emphasis on mentoring, professional development and
networking," said Fell. "Yet, until the banks and firms make a genuine
strategic and cultural shift, I'm afraid our numbers from top to bottom
will continue to languish."
1. Statistics Canada, "282-0008,"CANSIM (2012). Category includes
Investment Banking & Securities, Portfolio Management, All Other
Financial Investment Activities, Insurance, Personal and Commercial
Banking, Pension Funds, Other Funds (i.e. Hedge Funds) and Financial
2. Sylvia Apostolidis and Rhonda Ferguson, Catalyst's Report to Women in
Capital Markets: Benchmarking 2008 (Catalyst 2009). In this time women
have slowly increased at junior levels from 20% to 23%, yet they have
stagnated at mid-to- senior level roles.
Four separate focus groups were held between October 5 and October 19,
2011 in which WCM and Catalyst invited 21 VP and Director men, 23 VP
and Director women, 33 Talent Management professionals working in
diversity and/or human resources, and 22 Group Heads, CEOs, Vice Chairs
and Executive Vice Presidents in Capital Markets.
Founded in 1962, Catalyst is the leading non-profit membership
organization expanding opportunities for women and business. With
offices in the United States, Canada, Europe, and India, and more than
500 preeminent corporations as members, Catalyst is the trusted
resource for research, information, and advice about women at work.
Catalyst annually honors exemplary organizational initiatives that
promote women's advancement with the Catalyst Award.
Women in Capital Markets
Women in Capital Markets is a non-profit organization that aims to
support and advance female leaders in business, foster accountability
for diversity in the industry, and recognize leaders who have
contributed significantly to the advancement of women in the capital
markets. More information is available at wcm.ca.
For further information:
APEX Public Relations
416 934 2123
Magda Jarota/Kristin Sawyer
MAVERICK Public Relations (on behalf of Catalyst)
(416) 640-5525 x242/ (416) 640.5525 x 228
firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com