len's masthead

THE LEN LESSER REPORT  

THE LEN LESSER REPORT

 

londoner editor pic

 

ARCHIVED BLOGS

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

UNLUCKY, LAZY OR JUST FEMALE? WHY ARE THERE ARENíT MORE WOMEN IN THE TOP 100 CORPORATIONS IN CANADA

Imagine finding $7.96 million in your stocking Christmas morning. For Canadaís top 100 CEOs that day has arrived. These 100 Canadians earn more then 99.9% of the working population of Canada. But if you are not a women, the odds are that you are not on the chosen list. Not now, not ever.

A census of Canada's employment figures for female executives is quite dismal. The phrase "none is too many" would fit the hiring practices of many of our large corporations. The "Catalyst Group" from New York has checked out the numbers and has found that a mere three per cent of the CEOs of the 500 largest Canadian companies are women.


Half of the corporations had no females in position of authority. 5.1% of the Financial Post CEO companies have sought out and encouraged young women to climb the corporate ladder. B.C E., Seagram, Thompson Corp, Costco Wholesale, Ford, Nestle Canada have women in their top posts.

The majority of Canadian corporations surveyed by the Globe and Mail in January 2014 have no women on their boards of directors. In a recent survey, senior Canadian executives suggested that the lack of qualifications was the reason for the absence of women at the top. Senior executive suggested that women were less ambitious then their male peers. Yet, 80% of female MBA graduates seek corporate positions following graduation. For those women who do manage to get their foot in the corporate door, there is no lack of hours to work. Itís there pay that looks different. Women with MBAs earn on average $8,000 per year less then their male colleagues in their fist job after graduation . And the pay gap, just keeps on growing as they enter their 30s and 40s.

The sad truth for our daughters is that the tradition of hiring the best is often designated by one's sex. Women are often pigeon holed into careers that do not recognize their management skills. If we do not change our perceptions of women in the work force than we lose the opportunity to choose on the basis of excellence. We need to seek out and promote the best regardless of their sex, colour or religion, Hell, this is the beginning of the 21st century and we can not ignore the talents of half of our population.

To bring about meaningful change we need to alter our picture of our children. We have to educate and nourish our students to be the best that they can be. Lots of advanced maths, languages, sciences, technology, business and computers opportunities for all of our students. Deleting these core subjects severely restricts our childrenís career opportunities. If we are going to have change in the board rooms and executive offices than we are going to have to provide a highly educated motivated pool of candidates. Young men and women sharing similar academic and career goals will break down the walls of intolerance.

Let us look at the enrolment figures for our local college and university. It is true that more of our young people are attending post secondary education but the numbers are very interesting. Fanshawe College has 14,000 full time students with 52% female and 48 % male. The numbers look good until you check out the professional programs: Technology including architectural , civil engineering etc has 89% males and 11% females and Computer Programming has seven out of ten men in attendance. Not to worry the good old stand bye, Nursing has 91% women compared to 9% men in attendance.

The University of Western Ontario has 22,000 full time students with 12,000 undergrad females. The stats for undergraduates 2012-13 show the school of Engineering has 1,100 males vs 248 females, Health Sciences 917 males vs 2,266 Females. The faculties of Business has 626 males vs 439 females, Medicine is a pretty even split of 756 males vs 689 females. The Faculty of Education where very few are hired has a two for one split of 465 females vs 212 males The faculty of Law has a even number of females ( 247) to males (229) debating issues.

I am sorry to have had you look at the stats but it is very important for parents and teachers to face the reality that there has not been a vast change in the sexual orientation numbers to post secondary education. Girls are still enrolled in teaching and nursing and boys pursue sciences, technologies and trades. The colleges and universities offer a fair playing field for all to enter and go out of their way to attract young women into traditional male dominated fields.

So the question we have to ask ourselves: " how do we change the minds and aspirations of our young women." It all starts with the families role in raising and educating their children . We need changes in our teaching staffs starting with the early years, of a mixture of male and female instructors all the way through school. Women math, science, computer and technology teachers would be wonderful role models for our girls.

Too many of our young women are stereo typed into Arts, Social Science or the Humanities with little or no career direction. Leadership and a positive self concept have their roots developed early in life

Short changed from day one, with too few models/mentors to lead the way, and a lack of societyís interest to change, it should come as no surprise to women in the corporate sector that they make up less then 3% of the 0.01% of the top earners in Canada. That is not luck and it is not laziness. Itís discrimination. And it is not going to change on itís own.

Most men look at things as they are and wonder Why? I dream of things that never were and ask Why Not?

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com