You brought your daughter up to believe she could accomplish anything she sets her mind to. While that may be the case in some jobs, new research confirms that the “glass ceiling” is still a very real challenge for Canada’s female business leaders.
Based on 2010 data published in the blog “Canada MBA School,” it appears that the average number of women entering full-time MBA programs at five top Canadian schools has peaked at about 30 per cent.
However, a recent poll of 500 female executives for Ranstaad Canada reveals that Canada’s female managers and executives still see significant differences in the treatment of senior men and women in the workplace, with salary topping the list.
Over three-quarters of those polled said there is still a moderate or large divide between the compensation a man receives in a leadership role, compared to what a woman receives in the same position.
The number of women promoted as compared to men is also lower, with 92 per cent of the women polled indicating that there was at least some gap between the opportunities for men and women to move up in the company. Nearly three-quarters felt the disparity continues to be moderate or very large.
Seventy per cent of those polled also said that men are much more likely to be given the opportunity to make important decisions than women. In addition, nearly seven in 10 female survey participants think that men are still frequently assigned the best jobs, tasks or projects compared to women in similar roles.
Findings in the Ranstaad survey are consistent with academic studies discussed by PhD. candidate Karin Schnarr in the May/June 2012 issue of the Ivey Business Journal .Her research reveals that in spite of notable high profile exceptions like Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz, Kraft Foods Inc. CEO Irene Rosenfeld and PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi:
- Female CEOs get less base pay and incentive pay than their male counterparts.
- They are less likely to be given credit for strong firm performance, although they will be penalized less for poor firm performance.
- Women have a tougher time getting to the C-suite (i.e. Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Executive Officer) as they are either stuck on the bottom floor of the organization or caught in a mid-level firm bottleneck
She suggests that this will not change until company boards make a commitment to tie compensation to performance for CEOs of all genders in order to promote gender-neutral compensation for achievements at the highest corporate levels.
Related: How Luminato CEO pays herself first
Sheryl Smolkin is a Toronto lawyer and writer. Contact her through her website and follow her on Twitter @SherylSmolkin.