Despite decades of gains in the workplace, women continue to be underrepresented in leadership and decision-making positions, says a new report released Thursday by Statistics Canada.
The, titled “Immigrant women among board directors and officers: From admission in Canada to executive roles,” found that among all executives, immigrant women were the least likely to contribute on a board of directors, with 48% of immigrant women working as board directors and 52% as officers. In contrast, Canadian-born men (65%), immigrant men (61%) and Canadian-born women (53%) were all more likely to work as board directors.
“As officers, immigrant women were less likely to occupy higher top-level roles. For example, immigrant women officers (10%) were more than two times less likely to work as president of a corporation than immigrant men officers (22%), while immigrant women officers were more than two times more likely than immigrant men officers to hold a secretary position (11% for immigrant women officers, compared with 4% for immigrant men officers),” said the report.
“Canadian immigrants can be admitted under three broad admission categories: economic immigrants, family immigrants and refugees. The majority of immigrant executives were admitted under the economic immigrant category, accounting for two in three immigrant women executives (66%) and more than four in five immigrant men executives (82%).
“More specifically, economic immigrants can be admitted as a principal applicant or as a spouse or dependant. To be admitted as principal applicant, the individual must meet certain selection criteria, while a spouse or dependant is not assessed under selection criteria—they are automatically admitted with the principal applicant. Among directors and officers, immigrant women executives were more than two times (32%) less likely than immigrant men executives (66%) to arrive in Canada as principal applicants, while being more likely to be admitted as a spouse or dependant economic applicant (34% of immigrant women executives, compared with 16% of immigrant men executives).”
Additional information related to gender and corporations can be found in the Gender, Diversity and Inclusion Statistics hub, the Business Performance and Ownership Statistics portal, and the Representation of women on boards of directors and in officer positions: Visualization tool.
(Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran of the media industry for more than 40 years and named in 2021 a Top Ten Business Journalist in the world and only Canadian)
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