Women closing in on 10 percent of top jobs, 10th annual corporate report finds

German-like quotas not yet required for Canada, Rosenzweig report finds as a tipping point approaches in the country's highest corporate offices  

TORONTO, March 18, 2015 /CNW/ - In its 10th annual report, global executive search firm Rosenzweig & Company finds that at no time during the past decade has it been more hopeful, more excited or more energized about the fact that real and lasting change is coming for the issue of gender equality in Canadian business.

The latest Rosenzweig Report on Women at the Top Levels of Corporate Canada finds 8.5 percent of the highest-paid executive positions are now held by women, almost double the 4.6 percent in the first Rosenzweig study commissioned 10 years ago.

"We were hoping for a '10 at 10' headline for our tenth annual report and we got close," says Jay Rosenzweig, Managing Partner of Rosenzweig & Company. "Still, there is a lot to be excited about as we approach a tipping point towards gender equality in business at the highest levels. Or, as Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg says in her best-seller Lean In, a time when 'there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders'."

Adds Rosenzweig: "We've been diligently following this issue for a long time and never have I felt more hopeful that real change is in the air and gender will have nothing to do with people reaching or not reaching leadership positions in Canadian business. And it's not just the numbers that make me feel bullish. It's also recent external events that point to the elimination of gender bias."

These external events include the new "Comply or Explain" regulations from the Ontario Securities Commission ("OSC") that began on January 1, 2015 that ask companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange to report how many women they have on their board of directors and in executive offices. Other events include university studies and new organizations being formed to further the cause of gender equality in business, and society in general. All are detailed in the Rosenzweig Report.

As well, the German government recently joined several other European countries and instituted a 30-per-cent quota for women to lead the largest companies in that powerful economy. While Rosenzweig & Company does not support quotas in Canada, the threat of a similar system to Germany may get Corporate Canada to speed things up.

"All these events, even the threat of possible quotas, are about education and information to help further change voluntarily in Canada as ways to eliminate gender inequality," Rosenzweig says. "There are still obstacles in front of women as they vie for top leadership roles, but there are clear signs that things are changing. As a father of a son and two daughters, I want all three to have the same opportunities, and I'm confident it's getting closer each and every year that we do these reports."

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.

SOURCE Rosenzweig & Company

For further information: For a copy of this year's report or interview with Jay Rosenzweig, contact: Ariel Katz, Rosenzweig & Co., 416-646-3912, akatz@rosenzweigco.com; Bob Brehl, abc2 communications inc., (416) 994-1470, bob@abc2.ca


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