Although women say gender divide is getting better, nearly 50% don't grab for the brass ring
TORONTO, Nov. 17, 2014 - According to the third annual Women Shaping Business survey conducted by Randstad Canada, the gender divide has been shrinking in today's workplace. As salary continues to be a discussion point when it comes to gender equality, the survey revealed a decrease in the perceived salary gap between men and women - 65% this year in comparison to 78% last year. Other areas where women have also seen progress include, better work-life balance and flexible working arrangements.
Climbing the corporate ladder: senior roles unattractive to nearly half of Canadian women
Women have reported seeing an improvement in equal opportunity for promotions as well as seeing more focus by CEO's and media on women in leadership. But, when it comes to women aspiring to pursue a management or senior executive role, nearly 30% of Canadian women are undecided about wanting to move up the ranks while 48% of Canadian women don't aspire to hold these senior positions.
Family obligations a deterrent for moving up the ranks
If women say they believe it's getting better, what could dissuading them from seeing their name plate on the door of the corner office? It may well be that stale perceptions are holding some women back. Despite the acknowledged progress, 53% of women fear absences due to family obligations would prevent them from advancing in senior roles and 51% of women are worried about their maternity leave having an effect on their ability to move up.
"This year's survey reveals women still have hesitation when it comes to their employer understanding and accommodating home obligations and work obligations. And when it comes to moving up the ranks, women who may be juggling family life alongside their career may view the road to the corner office as a bit too steep," says Faith Tull, Senior Vice-President, Human Resources, Randstad Canada. "Organizations need to acknowledge these concerns and further enhance their offerings beyond maternity leave, to alleviate stress related to managing family obligations and make the pursuit of leadership opportunities stimulating and attractive for women. And it starts with nurturing a work culture of flexibility, openness and empowerment''.
Mentorship – undervalued or simply underutilized?
Mentorship is often mentioned as a key resource to help advance careers. But do women use it at all? According to our survey, mentorship is widely underused: 77% of women surveyed say they have never been provided or personally sought the support of a mentor. Last year 84% of respondents said they hadn't been provided a mentor from their employer. This year we broadened that question to find out if women were taking it into their own hands and finding themselves mentors. Results speak for themselves: only 5% of women have a mentor that they sought on their own and only 9% have a mentor that has been provided by their employer.
Other highlights from the study:
- 30% of women report that they believe their organizations do not have confidence in the leadership capacity of female leaders.
- 22% of women do not think managerial executive positions have become more attainable for women.
- 91% of senior managers and executives believe overall appearance plays a significant role in a woman's professional advancement, while just 49% say the same for men.
- 23% of women think that more female leaders demanding equal opportunities for promotion is the factor that had the most impact on increasing the number of female leaders in the workforce over the past 5 years.
"In order to remain competitive, to attract top talent and promote gender diversity in more senior roles, Canadian employers need to create and promote efficient and accessible support programs, foster the development and amplify the voices of the female leaders they have and demonstrate how career opportunities are as attractive for women as they are to men. That is why we have created Women Shaping Business Program, to sustain an ongoing and necessary dialog around critical questions that affect women in the Canadian workforce and to examine areas where progress still needs to be made, and come closer to finding out how today's organizations can start to affect change," adds Tull.
About the Women Shaping Business Program
Launched in 2012, Randstad Canada's Women Shaping Business program aims at exploring the challenges and opportunities for today's Canadian women in the workplace. We are hosting events across the country, inviting business leaders and guest speakers to discuss how women challenge stereotypes in their workplaces. A key element of the program, Randstad Canada conducts annually a nationwide survey in collaboration with Ipsos Reid, asking Canadian women how they feel the country has progressed toward more equal workplaces. This year, the survey was conducted between August 28 and September 3, 2014, on behalf of Randstad Canada. A sample of 1,004 working women (including 303 managers and executives) were interviewed online.
The full report can be found on www.womenshapingbusiness.ca
You can also find our campaign on Twitter with the hashtag #womenshapingbiz.
Join our Women Shaping Business Linkedin Group, created to help you build your network, engage in thought-provoking and enlightening conversations with respected female leaders and learn from the shared experiences of professional women working in your industry.
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