Glass Ceiling Persists in Canada's Boardrooms, Survey Says

Survey says the glass ceiling is a real challenge for Canada's female business leaders.

TORONTO, Dec. 11, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - According to a poll of 500 female executives conducted by Ipsos Reid and comissioned on behalf of Randstad Canada, the country's Canadian leader for staffing, recruitment and HR Services, when it comes to salaries, promotions, important decisions and travel, the "glass ceiling" is a very real challenge for today's female business leaders.

Hanna Vineberg, Vice-President Central Ontario, Randstad Canada says that while equal opportunity in the Canadian workplace has progressed substantially over the years, much work still needs to be done when it comes to removing any and all gender issues in the workplace.

The survey results indicate Canada's female managers and executives are still seeing a divide on a range of factors when it comes to the differences between men and women in the workplace, with salary topping the list.

Seventy-seven per cent of those polled felt there remained a moderate (39 per cent) or large (37 per cent) divide between the financial compensation a man receives in a leadership role, compared to what a woman receives in the very same position. On the other side of the spectrum, just seven per cent believe that women's workplace salary is perfectly equal with their male equivalent, while 16 per cent say they notice a small divide.

On a regional basis, this is felt more in Ontario (83 per cent very large or moderate) than anywhere else in the country. Sixty-seven per cent of Quebecers, on the other hand, felt there was a very large or moderate divide, showing more parity in the market than anywhere else in Canada. In fact, Atlantic Canada was the only region in Canada where more than one in 10 (13 per cent) responded that salary was equal for both men and women.

Moving up in the organization also seems to bring about the same divide as salary, with 92 per cent of those women polled feeling there was at least some divide in the opportunities for men and women to be promoted. Nearly three quarters (72 per cent) felt the divide continues to be moderate or very large.

In fact, more than 70 per cent of respondents in every region in English Canada felt there remained a substantial divide in how women and men are considered for promotions, while three in five Quebec respondents (62 per cent) felt this to be the case. Additionally, none of Alberta's respondents felt that women had an equal consideration for promotions when considered directly with men.

A similar divide is also seen in terms of decision making, where 70 per cent of those polled felt that men are much more likely to be given the opportunity to make important decisions than women.

There also remains a wide gap in the perceptions of Canadian women as to who gets the best assignments in their workplaces. Nearly seven in 10 (69 per cent) feel that men are still frequently assigned the best jobs, tasks or projects compared to women in similar roles, with those in British Columbia (73 per cent), Ontario (71 per cent) and Atlantic Canada (70 per cent) feeling this to frequently be the case.

Even when it comes to business travel, there is still a divide between men and women. More than four out of five women (83 per cent) still felt than men are given somewhat more travel opportunities than women, with half of those polled (53 per cent) feeling there remains a very large or moderate divide when it comes to business travel.

According to Vineberg, "Based on the survey results alone, it is clear there are many divisions seen in the workplace and we still have a long way to go when it comes to salaries, promotions, decision making opportunities, choice assignments and even business travel," she says. "The persistence of the glass ceiling makes it particularly difficult for organizations to hold on to their best and brightest women. Dismantling the glass ceiling requires an accurate understanding of barriers to advancement that women are facing."

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


For further information:

Dayana Fraser
Marie-Noelle Morency

416.962.9578 x2317
514.350.5309 x233

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