Female execs need opportunities, mentors

September 11, 2012 | Last updated on September 11, 2012
2 min read

Women struggling to climb the corporate ladder lack opportunities and mentors, says a recent Women in Leadership survey released by Randstad Canada.

The survey finds Canadian women in managerial roles still see a divide when it comes to compensation. About 75% indicate a moderate-to-large split between the salaries women and men receive for the same roles, especially in Ontario.

But, this divide equally applies to promotions and workplace opportunities, with more than half (69%) saying men more frequently receive the best jobs, projects and training regardless of their skills and experiences.

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Women say they’re most often stifled by outdated perceptions of females in high-ranking roles (51%), limited opportunities in the Canadian market (50%) and a lack of available mentors (49%).

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“When it comes to excelling at work, women face unique challenges including outdated perceptions that make it difficult for them to move up the ranks,” says Gina Ibghy, vice president of organizational development and human resources for Randstad Canada.

There is a silver lining, though. Over the past five years, more female leaders have actively demanded equal opportunity from their employers (28%).

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Also, family obligations shouldn’t hold female execs back from promotions any longer. While more than half (60%) still find it challenging to balance their work and family lives, they also say it’s become easier to do so over the last five years (43%).

The vast majority (91%) says they’ve successfully balanced both their business and family responsibilities.

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Most women (51%) expect to see more females in managerial roles in coming years, with the healthcare (58%) and education (52%) industries offering the greatest opportunities to date.

Not for profit companies (35%), as well as the financial services industry (32%) and hospitality industry (29%) are also opening up to promoting their female execs.

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“To attract top talent and promote diversity in senior roles, it will be crucial for Canadian employers to offer attractive opportunities to women as well as men,” says Ibghy.

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Additional findings:

  • Quebec seems to be the most progressive market in Canada, with fewer Quebec-based women experiencing challenges or obstacles in the workplace.
  • More than 80% of women say their organization didn’t provide them with a sponsor or mentor to help in career development.
  • Women benefit most from leadership skills (98%), rational and quick decision-making abilities (98%), networking (93%) and self-promotion (89%).
  • Women are more strongly represented in middle-management roles (46%) than in senior management (31%), senior leadership (28%) or executive board (24%) roles.
  • The majority of women (54%) are not interested in relocating for a promotion or raise, especially if it’s out of the country. Most younger women (70%), however, would move to a new province for a substantial pay increase, and 40% would even move to a new country.

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