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Number of women in top Canadian corporate jobs hits record high – of 10.9 per cent

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March 9, 2023
By Talent Canada

(fizkes/Adobe Stock)

The number of women senior executives at Canada’s largest corporations has hit an all-time high, according to a new survey.

The 18th Annual Rosenzweig Report, which tallies the number of named executive officers (NEOs) at Canada’s largest publicly-traded companies, found that of the 523 business leaders (NEOs) at Canada’s largest publicly-traded companies, 57 are women, up seven from 50 last year.

This translates to 10.9 per cent of all the top jobs – it’s the first time the number has surpassed 10 per cent, it said.

“When we began doing this research 18 years ago, there were only 23 women in these leadership positions, or 4.6 per cent,” said Jay Rosenzweig, Founder and CEO of Rosenzweig & Co.


“On the one hand, the number has more than doubled,” he said. “But the pace of advancement continues to be painfully slow.”

Of the 23 initial women in that first report, only two remain on the list: Nancy Southern (Atco’s CEO) and Maureen Kelly (Russel Metals’ Information Systems Officer). There are 15 women on this year’s list for the first time – about 25 percent of the total – which indicates that upward movement for women executives is beginning to gain some momentum.

Another important subset to highlight in this year’s report is the number of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) women. Of the 57 women executives, only seven are BIPOC.

“This is a slight increase in percentage from last year,” Rosenzweig said, “but much more work remains to be done.”

The reality is that 466 of the 523 executives are men – or 89.1 percent.

“At Rosenzweig & Company, we have long stated that our wish is to put ourselves out of the job of publishing this annual report once the number of women NEOs reaches a minimum of 30 percent,” said Rosenzweig. “That time still appears to be on the distant horizon.”

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