ICYMI: Women in executive roles make 56 per cent less than men, study shows

Of interest:

Women executives earned about 56 per cent less on average than men executives and this pay gap widened even further for racialized women, who earned about 32 per cent less than non-visible minority women, according to a new study from Statistics Canada that underscores the sweeping disparities in Corporate Canada.

Translated into dollar figures, there was a $600,000 difference between the average woman executive’s income ($495,600) and the average executive man’s ($1.1-million). The average compensation for visible minority women was $347,100, while visible minority men took home $681,900.


The research included data from the Corporations Returns Act, which collects financial and ownership information on mid-size to large corporations, and census information from 2016.

In unpacking the gender divide at the most senior levels, researchers looked at marital status, number of children, education, backgrounds, sector of work, job title and professional networks.

One of the study’s most shocking findings concerned the number of racialized women in executive roles. There were so few Indigenous executives – both men and women – that Statistics Canada was limited in what could be reported over concerns about violating the individuals’ privacy. About 1 per cent of executives were Indigenous, although this group represents about 4 per cent of the working population. Most of the women Indigenous executives worked at large corporations.

Over all, about one in 10 women executives identified as a visible minority. The most common groups represented were South Asian and Chinese, with fewer executives being Black and Filipino.

Paulette Senior, the president and CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation, said the report’s findings were extremely concerning.

“It’s worse than I thought,” she said. “This makes me wonder what have we been doing? What have decision makers been doing in addressing [these issues] – whether it’s a leaky pipeline, or who is sitting at tables during hiring. What has been going on that this is the picture in 2021?”

Statistics Canada’s findings are in keeping with an analysis that The Globe and Mail conducted as part of its Power Gap investigation, which has been examining gender inequities in the modern work force. The series found that among women in the top 1 per cent of earners, just 3 per cent were racialized. In general, women were found to be outnumbered, outranked and out-earned by almost every measure examined.

Elizabeth Richards, who co-authored the Statistics Canada paper, said one of the most intriguing findings concerned companies that operate in Canada but are American owned. The researchers found that visible minority women were five times more likely than non-visible minority women to work at one of these American-controlled companies. The same trend – to a lesser degree – was also found with visible minority men, she said.

“That’s a key takeaway,” Ms. Richards said. “That to me says there’s some more country-specific influences that maybe we don’t fully understand and we should dig into further in future research.”

The analysts also examined the family status of the executives. Women were less likely to be in a relationship – about 80 per cent of women executives were married or in a common-law relationship, compared with 90 per cent of men – or to have children. When they did have children, they had fewer of them. About 36 per cent of women executives had two or more children, while about 44 per cent of men did.

The report also found that women executives were, on average, younger than the men – 51 years old compared with 54 years old respectively.

Economist Marina Adshade, an assistant professor with the University of British Columbia, said the finding about age was interesting and perhaps a clue as to the cause of the pay gap. In her own research, she’s found that women are retiring early, perhaps before they can fully reach their potential on the corporate ladder.

Prof. Adshade said that, as a country, the focus has been on keeping women with young children in the work force – which is important – but there hasn’t been enough attention paid to what’s happening at the other end of the career spectrum.

“We are starting to lose women in the work force at 45, 55, 65,” she said. “Why are women leaving the work force? … They have other caregiving responsibilities: caring for parents, spouses, grandchildren, for example. Older women are so undervalued that literally no one wants to think about why they’re not in the work force.”

Prof. Adshade noted that the average age of a senior manager in the federal government is 53, so if women are starting to retire at 45, it’s not surprising they are underrepresented at the top.

Another rationale for the executive wage gap that has been suggested is that women’s networks are smaller. Ms. Richards said that she and her co-author Léa-Maude Longpré-Verret were interested in seeing whether this held true with their dataset – it didn’t.

“There is some previous research that suggests that being connected to more executives leads to higher pay,” Ms. Richards said, “but what we found is that women actually had more extensive networks of colleagues.”

The reason is that women were more likely to sit on large boards with more members. On average, women directors were found to be connected to 7.5 colleagues through their board positions, while men were connected to 6.7 colleagues. Women were also more likely to be connected to other women directors.

Ms. Richards said that in their report, the goal was to quantify the extent of the imbalances in as many ways as possible, but the root causes will be for someone else to explore.

“Hopefully this provides some valuable information for other researchers,” she said. “We wanted to leverage everything that we could from the analysis and share our findings, but it is preliminary and it is exploratory so we would recommend that the academic business community or other researchers continue to really provide more insights in this space.”

Source: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-gender-and-diversity-gaps-persist-in-corporate-canada-new-statistics/

StatCan: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/11f0019m/11f0019m2021005-eng.pdf

Osler: Diversity Disclosure Practices – Diversity and leadership at Canadian public companies

Useful comprehensive and detailed report, looking at representation at the board and executive levels, for Canada’s largest publicly trade companies, including sector breakdowns.

Previous reports have only looked at women’s representation, the current report includes all four employment equity groups. Summary below, along with tables for visible minorities, Indigenous peoples and persons with disabilities:

Women now hold over 21.5% of board seats among TSX-listed companies disclosing the number of women on their boards, an increase of almost 3% compared to 2019. The rate at which women are being appointed to fill newly created or vacated board seats declined slightly to 35%, compared to 36.4% in 2019. As in past years, Canada’s larger companies continue to lead the way as women hold 31.5% of board positions among the S&P/ TSX 60 companies and 28.3% of board positions among the 221 companies included in the S&P/TSX Composite Index. All-male boards continue to wither away, representing only 18.5% of the TSX-listed companies.

We anticipate that certain of our 2020 full-year results, including the percentage of board seats held by women, will be approximately 1% lower than our 2020 mid-year results as a significant number of issuers which historically have had below average diversity results took advantage of permitted extensions of normal deadlines to file their disclosure after our July 31, 2020 cut-off for our mid-year results.

The number of TSX-listed companies with written board diversity policies increased to 64.7% and approximately 97% of the time those policies included a specific focus on women on the board. This year we noticed a significant increase in companies disclosing that their board policy also considers other diversity characteristics – the most common of which was ethnicity/race, which was identified approximately 57.5% of the time.

However, we continue to see no progress being made at the executive officer level. The proportion of women executive officers has remained largely unchanged since 2015, and under 10% of TSX-listed companies have targets for women executive officers.

Our review of diversity disclosure by CBCA companies under the new CBCA requirements shows results on the representation of women that are comparable to those reported for TSX-listed issuers under the new CBCA requirements. However, there is a marked absence of directors from other diversity groups. Only 5.5% of the 217 disclosing CBCA company directors are visible minorities. And among the 2,023 board positions of the 270 CBCA companies that provided full or partial disclosure on their practices before July 31, 2020, there were only 7 positions held by Aboriginal peoples and only 6 positions held by persons with disabilities.

The key data tables:

Source: https://www.osler.com/osler/media/Osler/reports/corporate-governance/Diversity-and-Leadership-in-Corporate-Canada-2020.pdf

ICYMI: Huawei: Uighur surveillance fears lead [Danish] PR exec to quit: Time for Canadian executives to reflect

Canadian Huawei executives need to consider their position given overall the company’s links to the Chinese government, its repression of the Uighurs, the takeover of Hong Kong and last, but not least, the arbitrary detention of the two Michaels. Former political staffers in particular:

Tommy Zwicky had worked in the company’s Danish office for six months and was a former journalist.

It comes after internal Huawei documents were made public, which mentioned a “Uighur alarm” system that it had worked on with Chinese facial-recognition specialist Megvii in 2018.

Huawei said it opposed discrimination.

“We provide general-purpose connectivity products based on recognised industry standards, and we comply with ethics and governance systems around emerging technology,” it told the BBC.

“We do not develop or sell systems that identify people by their ethnicity, and we do not condone the use of our technologies to discriminate against or oppress members of any community.”

A spokeswoman for Megvii declined to comment, but the firm has previously said its systems are not designed to target or label specific ethnic groups.

It is believed that the Chinese government has detained up to a million Uighurs in Xinjiang province in what the state defines as “re-education camps”.

Beijing has consistently denied mistreatment and says the camps are designed to stamp out terrorism and improve employment opportunities.

Disputed title

Mr Zwicky had previously worked for a Danish newspaper, and before that was editor-in-chief of the Danish Broadcasting Corporation.

He officially remains under contract to Huawei until February and is unable to discuss his decision further.

He first announced his departure via Twitter and LinkedIn.

Following this, his boss characterised Mr Zwicky as being a low-level PR manager and Huawei also took issue with Mr Zwicky being described as a vice president of communications, as this signifies a senior role in its corporate structure.

However, articles published at the time of his appointment referred to the fact that this specific title had indeed been created for Mr Zwicky and quoted the chief of Huawei Denmark as saying: “Tommy is a well-known and respected name in the Danish media. With him on board, we feel confident that we can take communication to a new level.”

When asked about this, Mr Zwicky told the BBC: “My title was vice president of communications at Huawei Denmark. I have no further comments.”

His decision comes a week after French football star Antoine Griezmann ended his sponsorship deal with Huawei after raising his own concerns about “strong suspicions” that the company had been involved in developing an alert system to monitor the Uighurs.

‘Confidential’ tests

American surveillance research firm IPVM brought to light the Chinese-language documents on 8 December.

They were marked as confidential but were being hosted publicly on Huawei’s European website.

The report referenced an “interoperability test [in which] Huawei and Megvii jointly provided a face-recognition solution based on Huawei’s video cloud solution. In the solution, Huawei provided servers, storage, network equipment, its FusionSphere cloud platform, cameras and other software and hardware, [while] Megvii provided its dynamic facial-recognition system software”.

Among the functions of Megvii’s software that the report said Huawei had verified was a “Uighur alert”. 

IPVM said a separate box added to Megvii’s software was capable of determining ethnicity as part of its “face attribute analysis”.

The page became inaccessible shortly after the Washington Post asked the firm about its existence.

At the time Huawei said the document had referenced a “test”, which had not seen a real-world application. 

But the the Post later published a second article which said Huawei’s site indicated it had worked with four other companies on products advertised to have ethnicity-tracking capabilities.

In response, Huawei promised to carry out a follow-up investigation, but continued to deny it sold systems that identified people by their ethnicity.

Unsatisfactory response

Concerns about both firm’s activities in this area date back further,

The US added Megvii to a trade blacklist in 2019 over concerns that its tech was being used by the Chinese authorities to carry out “repression, mass arbitrary detention, and high-technology surveillance”.

And the same year, a group of 13 UK MPs and members of the House of Lords published a letter raising concerns that Huawei was “facilitating a programme of ethnic repression” against the Uighurs.

The BBC has been told that about this time, Westerners working for the firm asked head office for more details about work it was doing for the Chinese authorities in Xinjiang and felt they had never got a satisfactory answer.

But one noted that this it was not uncommon for companies to be wary about discussing sensitive matters with staff.

Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-55332671

Toronto immigrants face ‘thick glass ceiling’ when it comes to executive jobs, study finds

Would be interesting to see whether the numbers are different for those with Canadian under-graduate degrees, which the article suggests given that those with UK or US undergraduates were excluded:

Immigrants may have made progress reaching the first rung on their career ladder in Canada, but they are getting nowhere near the C-suites, a new report says.

Among the leading Greater Toronto Area employers across the public, private and non-profit sectors, only 6 per cent of executives — those at the level of vice-president or above — are immigrants, according to the study, “Building a Corporate Ladder for All,” to be released Thursday by the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council.

While the public and non-profit sectors are faring slightly better with 6.6 per cent of their executives being immigrants, just 5 per cent of corporate executives overall in the GTA are newcomers, says the study, which did not survey executives directly, but examined third-party public sources, such as LinkedIn, to determine immigrant representation.

Being a visible minority immigrant woman is a triple whammy as they only make up one in 100 corporate executives in the region, the report found, though women overall accounted for 36 per cent of the executive positions.

“Immigrants often have to begin their Canadian careers at more junior, even entry levels. This mid- or late-career ‘restart’ makes it unlikely that they will be able to climb up to the top of the career ladder. Taking a lower level position has the potential to affect an immigrant’s entire career in Canada,” says the report, referring to the limited upward mobility faced by newcomers as the “sticky floor” phenomenon.

“Employer reluctance to hire immigrant talent for management-level positions in particular, plays a significant role in limiting advancement … Cultural differences in management and leadership styles can play a role in this. There are certain cultural expectations in Canada around how a leader should behave.”

Report author and researcher Yilmaz Ergun Dinc analyzed the profiles of 659 executives from 69 employers through sampling from the 2019 GTA Top Employers listing by Mediacorp Canada. Only those with headquarters and executive positions in Canada were counted. Data was culled through company websites, annual reports, investor reports, LinkedIn and Bloomberg profiles, as well as other publicly available sources.

Although the findings are not definitive, the report offers a snapshot of immigrant representation in executive roles in the region.

“Immigrant” executives are defined as those who obtained their bachelor’s degree abroad, given only 2.1 per cent of Canadians studied overseas, making this a good indicator of an individual being an immigrant.

Those executives with an undergraduate degree from the United States and the United Kingdom were excluded because professionals from the two countries don’t tend to face the same barriers as others from non-English speaking countries.

The unemployment gap between newcomers and their Canadian peers has been shrinking over the past two decades. However, in the GTA, where newcomers make up 50 per cent of the population, almost half of immigrant men and two-thirds of immigrant women with a university degree were in jobs that required lower levels of education in 2016, compared to one-third of their male and female Canadian-born counterparts.

“As immigrants age, and hypothetically reach more advanced stages in their careers, their incomes should align more closely with people born here,” says the report. “Yet, the salary income gap seems to be growing with age.”

In the GTA, economic immigrants between the ages of 35 to 44 on average earn about 25 per cent less than people born in Canada. However, by the time they are between the ages of 45 to 54, they earn almost 40 per cent less than their Canadian-born counterparts.

Dinc says community efforts have traditionally focused on helping immigrants get their feet in the door in the job market through job and language training, and not enough attention is paid to supporting them in career advancement. It doesn’t help that the economy is shifting toward precarious work and that some organizations lack inclusive promotion processes.

“As more and more jobs are becoming temporary and contract-based and therefore without advancement opportunities, organizations are not investing in grooming these workers for leadership,” he notes, adding that many immigrants do not have senior executive mentors who can act as their champions when it comes to promotion.

To break the “thick glass ceiling” for immigrant professionals, the report recommends that employers establish leadership development and mentoring programs, inclusion training for managers and inclusive professional development strategies.

“We need to be applying our minds to the systematic barriers, especially for women and racialized people, that limit immigrants’ advancement once they do find work, and collaboratively implement the recommendations identified,” the study concludes.

“If our goal is to set Canada apart as a desirable destination for the world’s best and brightest in their fields, we need immigrant leaders that will help Canadian businesses, non-profits and public institutions to innovate, grow and prosper.”

Source: Toronto immigrants face ‘thick glass ceiling’ when it comes to executive jobs, study finds

‘Sunshine’ approach to diversity in federal public service working, [Policy Options] study says

Toronto Star article (excerpt) based on my Policy Options article, Diversity in the public service’s executive ranks:

An employment equity regimen that relies on public disclosure rather than a mandatory quota system seems to have improved representation from women, visible minorities and Indigenous people in the public service, according to a new study.

Women now make up 54.4 per cent of federal government employees while visible minorities and Indigenous people account for 14.5 per cent and 5.2 per cent of the workforce, respectively, according to the report by the Institute for Research on Public Policy.

The latest government statistics say 50.4 per cent of Canada’s population are women, 20 per cent are visible minorities, and 4 per cent are Indigenous. The Canadian government defines visible minorities as non-white people other than Indigenous people.

Under the Employment Equity Act, the federal government is obligated to report annually on diversity within the government and in the federally regulated private sector.

The growth has been steady for both women and Indigenous people, who started at 46.1 per cent and 2 per cent respectively in 1993 when data became available, said report author Andrew Griffith.

And the almost quadrupling of representation for visible minorities from a mere 3.8 per cent in 1993 was remarkable, he noted.

“The transparency, sunshine-law approach and the politics of shame has shifted the representation of public services by a remarkable extent,” said Griffith, a retired director-general with the Immigration Department and now an independent policy analyst specializing multiculturalism and diversity.

“The organic and uncontroversial approach may have worked better than a quota system that would have created more resistance and tension.” 

Source: ‘Sunshine’ approach to diversity in federal public service working, study says | Toronto Star

Diversity in the public service’s executive ranks

My latest, looking at how women, visible minorities and Indigenous people are represented in the highest ranks of the federal public service (DMs and EXs).

The following two charts summarize the historical evolution of how transparency and regular reporting have resulted in a more diverse public service at the overall and executive levels:

Source: Diversity in the public service’s executive ranks

People of color — especially women — aren’t being promoted in tech as fast as they should be – Recode

The latest diversity study:

While women and people of color are employed at tech companies in larger numbers than they used to be, their upward mobility at those companies has stagnated.

A study by the Ascend Foundation, an organization for Asian professionals in North America, examined tech professionals over a period of eight years using government data, and found that white men were consistently promoted at a higher rate relative to their non-white, non-male peers.

From 2007 to 2015, white men consistently composed a higher share of executive roles than professional roles at tech companies, the study found. It’s the reverse for Asians, Hispanics and blacks, especially if they’re women.

The study looked at Equal Employment Opportunity Commission data from 2007-2015 for manufacturing and information companies with more than 100 employees based in San Francisco and San Jose areas. This is used as a proxy for major tech hardware and software companies, which tend to be based there.

More than 1,000 Bay Area tech companies were included in this review, providing a wider lens than the data released by individual tech companies.

Some key findings:

  • Though Asian men and women were more common in entry-level professional jobs, white men and women were twice as likely as Asians to become executives.
  • Asian women were the least likely among any cohort to become executives.
  • Black and Hispanic professionals are much less likely than their white peers to become executives.
  • The number of black executives had increased by 43 percent in the time period examined. At the same time, there has been a decline in the number of black managers and black female professionals (which could spell trouble for the future executive pipeline).
  • Hispanics remained only 3.5 percent of all executives but declined from 5.2 percent to 4.8 percent of all professionals (also not promising for future promotions).
  • White women are now more likely to be executives than professionals, but they are still underrepresented generally — an issue with recruiting rather than promotion.

Source: People of color — especially women — aren’t being promoted in tech as fast as they should be – Recode

Federal government to extend sick-leave changes to executives

I was “lucky” that my cancer happened under the old rules:

Unlike unionized employees, executives can get an extra 130 days of paid sick days once in their careers – at the discretion of deputy ministers – which they don’t have to repay. They can use it all at once for a prolonged illness or draw upon it as needed for a recurring illness or during recovery. It’s expected this special leave would disappear under the Conservatives’ plan.

Many executives have banked more unused sick leave than other workers as a cushion in the face of prolonged illness. That stockpile would disappear too.

The government has paid 100 per cent of the executives’ premiums for disability insurance since 1990, while unionized employees contribute 15 per cent of their premium costs. It’s unclear what would happen to that perk.

Executives – along with diplomats and scientists – use the least amount of sick leave in the public service, although they claim more than their counterparts in the private sector. They typically take off less than half the number of sick-leave days of other public servants, who average about 11.5 days a year.

The Association of Professional Executives of the Public Service of Canada (APEX) said the latest five-year trend showed 75 per cent of executives took less than five days annually; 54 per cent took less than one or two days and 30 per cent took no sick leave at all.

Still, APEX, which has tracked the health and work of executives with studies for more than 15 years, found executives are taking more sick days than ever. They averaged 3.5 days in 1997; 3.3 days in 2002 – then 4.3 days in 2007 and 5.4 days in 2012.

Again, these changes will impact those struck with catastrophic illnesses, not those who are abusing the system. And as the stats indicate, little evidence that executives are in fact abusing sick leave and related provisions.

Federal government to extend sick-leave changes to executives | Ottawa Citizen.