Progress has been made, and optimism for the future persists, but still
many obstacles for women to overcome in the path to the corner office,
according to new Randstad Canada study
TORONTO, Sept. 11, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Much has been said about Canada's
progressive business environment removing the glass ceiling for women
in the workplace. But are our corner offices any more accessible for
women today than they have been in the past? According to the findings
of the recent Women in Leadership survey of 500 female managers and executives, conducted by Ipsos-Reid
on behalf of Randstad Canada in late June, there are still many
obstacles that women need to overcome in the workplace when striving to
reach the managerial and executive ranks.
Today, three in five (60%) women see managing work and family as the
most challenging obstacle that women face, though outdated perceptions
of women in managerial and executive roles (51%), limited opportunities
in the Canadian market (50%) and a lack of female mentors and training
(49%) remain difficult factors to overcome.
While managing work and family is the most challenging obstacle, the
vast majority of those polled (91%) felt they have been able to
effectively strike a balance between the two well. Additionally, nearly
half (43%) feel it is easier to manage work and home obligations today
than it was five years ago. With that said, nearly one in three (28%)
women felt it was actually more difficult to manage the two today than
in the past.
"What we're seeing are some very positive signs for women that are
striving to reach the managerial and executive levels of their
organizations, but some very real challenges and obstacles that they
are still facing," says Gina Ibghy, Vice President, Organizational
Development and Human Resources, Randstad Canada. "When it comes to
excelling both at work and outside of it, women face unique challenges
including, unfortunately, outdated perceptions that make it difficult
for women to move up the ranks."
In fact, the survey results indicate that many Canadian women in
managerial and executive roles continue to see a very real divide in
the way men and women are compensated and rewarded when reaching the
senior ranks. According to polling, more than three in four (77%) felt
there remained a moderate or large divide between the salaries women
can expect for performing the same roles as men, with Ontarians (83%)
feeling it most strongly in their market.
This divide extends to a number of other important elements, such as
promotions, influence in making important decisions and being given the
best jobs/projects. More than nine in ten (92%) women surveyed felt
there was at least some discrepancy between men and women in terms of
opportunities for promotions, while 70% felt men are more likely to be
given the opportunity to make important decisions than women.
Sixty-nine per cent of those polled also felt that men more frequently
receive the best jobs and projects when compared to women in similar
However, there have been positive changes made in the past five years to
encourage more parity between men and women. According to those polled,
the biggest change in the past five years is that there are more women
leaders seen demanding equal opportunity for promotions within
organizations (28%), followed by better work-life balance and flexible
working arrangements (16%) and more opportunities (12%).
In fact, more than half of those polled (51%) expect to see more women
in managerial and executive roles in five years compared to today -
with only three per cent feeling there will be less in the future.
Healthcare (58%) and Education (52%) are the two industries in which
those polled felt there would be the greatest opportunity for women to
move into managerial and executive positions over the next three years,
followed by Not for Profit (35%), Financial Services (32%) and
Hospitality (29%). Industries that have traditionally been seen as more
male dominated, such as Engineering and Construction (6%),
Transportation and Logistics (2%) and Manufacturing (1%) were seen as
providing much less opportunity for women to move into senior roles in
the coming years.
"It's apparent that many women still feel there is a very real divide
between what they can expect in senior roles, compared to their male
counterparts. However, there does appear to be optimism that more
opportunities are on the horizon for women" says Ibghy. "In order to
attract the top talent and truly promote gender diversity in more
senior roles, it will be important for Canadian employers to
demonstrate that the opportunities available to women in their
organization are every bit as attractive as they are for men in similar
Other interesting insights from the Women in Leadership study include:
Quebec appears to be one of, if not the, most progressive markets in
Canada, with fewer Quebec-based respondents noting challenges or
obstacles to overcome in their progression into management or
perceptions of a divide between men and women in terms of compensation
and responsibilities at more senior levels.
Personal goals/passion (37% of respondents) and a desire to be
self-sufficient (22%) have been the biggest sources of
support/inspiration for those polled to strive for a managerial or
Eighty-two per cent of respondents feel that the decision to raise a
family has a greater impact on a woman than it does a man looking to
advance their career.
Of the 500 women polled, over forty percent (41%) were already in an
executive position within their organization. However, nearly as many
(38%) responded that they did not personally aspire to a senior
executive role within their organization. Only 21 per cent of those
polled that were not already in a senior capacity responded that they
aspired to obtain that type of role.
More than four out of five (84%) women polled said their organization
had not provided them with a sponsor or mentor to help in their career
path, though 79% feel internal sponsors are an important factor in
helping more women obtain managerial and executive roles going forward.
Strong leadership abilities (98%), rational and quick decision making
abilities (98%), exceptional results (94%), networking skills (93%) and
self-promotion (89%) are almost universally seen as important skills or
factors to helping more women obtain senior roles in the next three to
On average, women are much more strongly represented in
middle-management roles (46.2%) than in senior management (31.3%),
senior leadership (28.4%) or executive board (24.5%) roles.
The majority of women (54%) are not interested in relocating, even to a
new city in their own province, for a 20% increase in salary. Less than
one quarter (23%) would be willing to relocate to a new country for the
same pay raise. For those that would not relocate, the main reasons are
because they are happy with where they currently live and work (73%) or
they're not interested in moving away from family or friends (40%).
Younger women (18-34) are more likely to consider relocation for a
substantial raise, with seven in ten saying they would consider a job
in a new city in their current province, while nearly forty per cent
(38%) would consider relocating to a new country for a 20% pay
Full results from the study are available online at randstad.ca
Survey Methodology: These are some of the findings from an Ipsos Reid survey conducted
between June 18 to 25, 2012, on behalf of Randstad Canada. A sample of
500 women who held managerial/executive roles in their organization
were interviewed online. Individuals were disqualified if they did not
meet management criteria. Weighting was then employed to balance
regional composition according to Census data and to provide results
intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an
unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate
would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 4.4% percentage points,
19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had the entire
population of female managers or executives in Canada been polled. All
sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error,
including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
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,
we understand the recruitment needs and demands of employers and job
seekers across all levels and industries. Through our insightful
knowledge of local markets, employment trends and global network of
recruitment experts, we are shaping the Canadian world of work. Visit randstad.ca
SOURCE: RANDSTAD CANADA
For further information: