Volume 93, Issue 74

Thursday, February 10, 2000


City questions anti-Semitic behaviour

Controversial photo gets pulled

Women still reaching for the top

Study finds home can make a good hospital

Hydro deregulation to push the industry

Newspaper challenges YOA



Caught on campus

Women still reaching for the top

By John Intini
Gazette Staff

There is clearly a lack of estrogen in the higher rungs of most Canadian companies, according to the results of a study released earlier this week.

Catalyst, a New York-based research company, reported although women make up 45 per cent of the labour force, 70 per cent of Canadian companies employ no more then one woman in senior positions.

As well, women account for 12 per cent of corporate officers in Canadian companies and only 3.4 per cent of jobs described as clout positions. Clout positions include such roles as chief executive officer, said Catalyst's senior assistant, Celia Moore. Women only hold 6.4 per cent of line positions, which often provide the necessary step to upper management, she said.

Five hundred and sixty of the largest Canadian companies were surveyed, Moore said.

Rachel Proulx, president of the Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs, said this kind of data was vital in helping the movement towards gender equality in business.

Proulx said there were a number of socio-economic reasons which explain the numbers. For instance, she said women compose many middle management positions. Middle management always suffer the greatest cuts when a company downsizes, she said.

Allen Morrison, professor at Western's Richard Ivey School of Business, said he puts little weight on the study's results since they simply assert facts people already know. "It's like saying smoking causes cancer. We know this in society," he said, "The real story is in the why."

The issue of why is very complex and has a long list of reasons, he said. "In order to make it to the top with large companies you often have to pay a tremendous personal price," he said, adding for whatever reason, women seem to have a tougher time making this sacrifice.

He added the numbers from the survey correspond with the number of females currently enrolled in Ivey's masters of business administration program, which is around 25 to 30 per cent.

Moore described0.25

the need for accurate numbers before efforts could be made to solve the problem. "In business, what gets measured gets done," she said, adding complete Canadian numbers did not exist before the Catalyst study.

To Contact The News Department:

Copyright The Gazette 2000