News and Announcements

Catalyst Census: No Real Increase for Women in Financial Post 500 Senior Officer or Top Earner Ranks


TORONTO/MONTREAL (February 19, 2013)The 2012 Catalyst Census: Financial Post 500 Women Senior Officers and Top Earners, a biennial report tracking women’s advancement into senior leadership positions, finds no significant increase in the representation of women among senior officers or top earners at Canada’s Financial Post 500 companies.

Among the key findings:

  • Women hold 18.1 percent of FP500 senior officer positions, an increase of merely 0.4 percentage points since the previous Census in 2010.
  • More than one-third (35.9 percent) of public FP500 companies count no women among their senior officers.
  • There was no significant increase (6.9 percent vs. 6.2 percent) in women’s share of top earner positions at public FP500 companies over the past two years.
  • Less than one-quarter (21.7 percent) of public companies have 25 percent or more women senior officers, indicating no increase since 2010.
  • Industries with the highest representation of women senior officers include: Finance and Insurance, Retail Trade, and Utilities.
  • Read more.

Click the image below to watch the video.

“Despite these results, we see progress in organizations where advancing women to senior leadership is an essential and integrated part of the business strategy,” said Alex Johnston, Executive Director of Catalyst Canada. “The untapped, growing talent pool of potential women business leaders presents opportunities for corporate Canada. With women holding six of ten provincial premier posts, we ought to be asking ourselves, ”Why not advance more women into senior business leadership?”

According to Catalyst research, there is a strong case for increasing women’s representation in business leadership—specifically, better financial outcomes, on average, and innovation that is, in part, driven by gender-diverse leadership. For example, Fortune 500 companies with more women officers, on average, financially outperform those with fewer. They are also more philanthropic, as those Fortune 500 companies with more women officers and board directors, on average, engage in more corporate giving—by a significant margin. Concisely speaking: what is good for women is good for men, business, communities, and the economy. 

In response to these findings, Catalyst research offers some proactive strategies companies can use to increase the number of women among senior officers and top earners. For example, encouraging active sponsorship from influential leaders and providing access to the “hot jobs” that are proven to pave the way to top positions can be critical to women’s advancement.

Additional Resources:

Mentor Circle Sponsor: Ernst & Young

Research Partners:
Bloomberg, BMO Financial Group, Chevron Corporation, Credit Suisse, Dell Inc., Deloitte LLP, Desjardins Group, Deutsche Bank AG, Ernst & Young, General Motors Company, Hewlett-Packard Company, IBM Corporation, KeyBank, McDonald’s Corporation, PPL Corporation, Sodexo, UPS

About Catalyst
Founded in 1962, Catalyst is the leading nonprofit membership organization expanding opportunities for women and business. With offices in the United States, Canada, Europe, and India, and more than 600 members, Catalyst is the trusted resource for research, information, and advice about women at work. Catalyst annually honors exemplary organizational initiatives that promote women's advancement with the Catalyst Award.