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Diversity Institute
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March 7, 2014  |  Toronto

DiversityLeads 2014 Report: Key Preliminary Findings

Comparison of the representation of women in senior leadership positions by sector, 2009 and 2014
Comparison of the representation of women in senior leadership positions by sector, 2009 and 2014

This report provides a five year perspective on the progress of women and visible minorities in senior leadership roles in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Specifically, it:

  • Measures the representation of women and visible minorities in senior leadership positions (including boards of directors and senior management) in six sectors: elected officials, public, corporate, voluntary, education, and appointments to government agencies, boards and commissions (ABCs); 
  • Examines similarities and differences between sectors, as well as variances within sectors; and 
  • Suggests best practices to advance women and visible minorities to senior leadership positions.

 

Key Preliminary Findings

DiversityLeads 2014 Key Preliminary Findings

Overall, female representation in senior leadership positions increased from 30.6% in 2009 to 32.5% in 2014, but women remain underrepresented, as they account for 51.5% of the population in the study area of the GTA.

Overall, the representation of visible minorities in senior leadership positions increased from 11.6% in 2009 to 12.8% in 2014, but visible minorities remain underrepresented, as they account for 53.7% of the population in the study area of the GTA.

The representation in senior leadership positions varies between sectors. In 2014, the corporate sector continues to have the lowest proportion of women (19.9%) and visible minorities (4.5%) among its senior leadership positions. The education sector (41.4%), government ABCs (40.7%), and elected officials (40.0%) have the highest representation of women. Elected officials (20.8%), the education sector (19.6%), and government ABCs (18.2%) have the highest representation of visible minorities.

Growth rates vary between and within sectors. From 2009 to 2014, representation of women has increased at a rate of 6.3% overall. In particular, the corporate sector has the highest growth rate of all sectors, at 20.5%. Within the corporate sector, there has been a 29.5% growth rate of women on boards and a 13.0% growth rate of women on senior management teams.

The proportion of women in senior leadership positions varies within sectors. Within the corporate sector, 16.7% of companies have no women on their senior management teams and 32.4% have no women on their boards. However, 11.9% of companies have at least 50% women on their senior management teams and 2.9% of companies have at least 50% women on their boards. We need to prompt action from corporate laggards and to share lessons from corporate leaders.

The representation of female visible minorities in senior leadership positions is significantly less than non-visible minority women, even though they are equally represented in the study area of the GTA. The ratio of non-visible minority women to visible minority women is 17:1 among corporate senior management positions analyzed. Overall, this ratio is 6:1 across all six sectors analyzed of the population in the study area of the GTA.

Download 2014 Key Preliminary Findings (PDF)

About DiversityLeads

DiversityLeads aims to:

  • Benchmark and assess the progress of diversity in leadership;
  • Examine barriers at the individual, organizational, and societal levels;
  • Explore leadership representation in media; and
  • Develop an integrated approach across sectors and levels for sustained change.


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