Although there have not been many changes in demographics within the office and related sector but we need to take a closer look at those running the organizations, as well as the issue of work-life balance.
At first glance, the latest word on the so called “Glass ceiling” issue looks positive. A report from executive recruiter Rosenzweig & Co. found that the number of female CEO’s at this country’s biggest 100 publicly traded companies tripled in 2006 from the previous year. Furthermore, the number of female executives occupying top oppositions at the same corporations jumped 50 percent on a year over year basis. At a time when women make up more than half of the population and 42.5 percent of the work force, 70 percent of companies rely exclusivity on male corporate officers to run the show. While some progress is being made, women are still having limited success breaking in to the most senior ranks. However, the fact remains, 97 of Canada’s largest companies are run
by males CEO’s. Of the 521 most senior and highest paid positions at these companies , 6.9 percent were held by women, a rise from 4.6 per cent in 2005 but a dominant 93.1 per cent are still held by men.
Work-life balance continues to be important for employers who are competing for Canada’s small pool of talent. Companies like HSBC Canada are taking steps to enhance and improve this portion of their benefit programs. They have improved their policies around work-life and have changed its culture to be more supportive and flexible by providing staff with such programs including Flex-time, Job-sharing, Emergency Child-Care. They also have set up a Valuing Diversity Committee which advises senior management on the issues that particular groups within the bank may face. Also during recruitment efforts, hiring managers noticed a rise in inquiries about HSBC’s work-life polices. Paying attention to specific requests has had an impact on new policy and program development in order to satisfy the needs and demands of current and future employees.