January 29, 2009

Canadian women making executive gains

A record number of Canadian women hold top executive posts in publicly traded companies, a Toronto placement firm reported Thursday.

The Rosenzweig & Co. report said 7.2 percent of top executives are women, with 36 women in senior positions in Canada's 100 largest publicly traded companies, up from 31 last year.

Managing Partner Jay Rosenzweig said there was a downside to the apparent good news.

The bad news is that the number remains inexcusably low and corporate Canada's 'old boys' network' continues to disregard such a diverse talent pool in the workforce for leadership roles, he said. Unfortunately, the tough economic times could well serve to slow the pace of change.

Among the 100 companies polled, there are 544 top officer positions, and 69 of the companies have no women executives in the top paid ranks, the report said.

The company said Canadian banks have the leading role in promoting women to top positions, including Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion, CIBC and the Bank of Montreal.