Illustration of diverse women

2024 Annual Report Card on Gender Equity and Leadership

BY The Prosperity Project |
Feb 20, 2024 |

Annual Report Card on Gender Equity and Leadership

Executive Summary

In our fourth year of conducting the Annual Report Card on Gender Equity and Leadership (ARC), we have captured key data about the status of women in four levels of leadership in Canada: Corporate Director, Executive Officer, Senior Management and Pipeline to Senior Management. While there have been some minor increases in women’s representation since our 2023 ARC, there are still significant gaps that indicate there is much work to be done to move towards gender equity and diversity in Canada. According to the 2021 Canadian Census data, women make up 51% of the population, 26.8% of the racialized population are women, 27.4% of women have a disability and 0.34% identify as belonging to 2SLGBTQIA+ (Statistics Canada, 2021).  

The consistent theme of this report is the glacially slow or non-existent growth in the representation of women in leadership in Canada; particularly Black women, Indigenous women, Women of Colour, women with disabilities, and 2SLGBTQIA+ women. We discuss the importance of a continued focus on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) to ensure that all women continue to advance into leadership roles and argue that this will benefit the Canadian economy and the financial success of Canadian organizations.  

Data Highlights 

  • Women’s overall representation increased from 2023 by 2.9% in Corporate Director roles, 5.5% in Executive Officer roles, 1% in Senior Management roles, and 1.2% in the pipeline to senior management roles. These increases are insufficient in achieving gender parity and organizations need to do more when it comes to hiring, promoting, and retaining women in leadership.  
  • Women’s representation is the highest in the pipeline to senior management roles but has dropped by 10.7% since 2022. While the drop in women’s representation is alarming, what is also important to note is that women are still mostly represented in leadership roles that support roles to Corporate Directors and Executive Officers and are not fairly represented in senior leadership roles. The leaky pipeline needs attention and repair.  
  • Private corporations are slowly gaining ground towards gender parity, with the most significant indication of this being that women’s representation at the Executive Officer level was its highest (55%) in private corporations. But all industries are nowhere near achieving gender parity in all levels of leadership.  
  • The Finance and Insurance industry makes the strongest showing within the Pipeline to Senior Management role (45.4%) but few other industries surpass 40% representation of women at any level of leadership. Achieving gender parity is a challenge that many industries across Canada will need to overcome.  
  • The alarming lack of representation of Indigenous women (0.4%), 2SLGBTQIA+ (0.7%), and Black women (0.8%) at the Corporate Director level portray a corporate world that remains accessible only to white, cisgender men and women. Tokenism looms in the hallways of Corporate Canada and the glass cliff is a phenomenon that women breaking the glass ceiling need to caution.  

We are thankful to the organizations that participated in our survey, the Founding Visionaries, the Visionaries, our Board, and our Partners for embarking on this fruitful path in attaining a work environment that enables women to follow their ambitions and succeed within Corporate Canada.  

When women succeed, we all prosper. 

To join our mission; contact us about becoming a TPP Partner. 

Read the Full Report 

Read and Download the Executive Summary