News and Announcements

Latest Count of Top Women in Canadian Business Shows Little Progress Since Last Catalyst Census

Women hold 14.4 percent of corporate officer positions in Canada (770/5347 corporate officers), a less than one-half percent increase since 2002, according to the 2004 Catalyst Census of Women Corporate Officers and Top Earners of Canada, released today. This third-of-itskind census provides an accurate measure of women’s advancement to leadership in Canada’s 500 largest companies. 

Among the 2004 Catalyst Census key findings: 

Pyramid chart

  • Women hold 14.4 percent of corporate officer positions in the FP500, up from 14.0 percent in 2004.
  • 61.4 percent of FP500 companies have at least one woman corporate officer, downfrom 62.4 percent in 2002.
  • 95 FP500 companies have 25 percent or more women corporate officers, up from 87 companies in 2002.
  • Women hold 9.4 percent of line officer positions, up from 9.0 percent in 2002.
  • Women hold 7.1 percent of the highest corporate officer titles, up from 6.7 percent in 2002.
  • Women hold 14.8 percent of positions in the “Executive Pipeline,” up from 12.5 percent in 2002. 

“The story of women’s advancement in corporate leadership in Canada continues to be one of disturbingly slow growth.” said Dr. Susan Black, President of Catalyst Canada. “At the rate of change we are reporting on today, the number of women reaching the top ranks in Corporate Canada will not reach a critical mass of 25 percent until the year 2025. The 2004 Catalyst census is a strong call to action for Canadian companies to create a business environment where women can contribute critical skills and expertise to this country’s economic engine.” 

“The question we have to address in corporate Canada is whether we are doing the most and best we can to help clear the way for qualified women to aspire to and acquire our top jobs," said Tony Comper, President and CEO of BMO Financial Group and Chair of the Catalyst Canadian Advisory Board. "Based on the latest Catalyst census, the answer is starkly obvious." 

Industries with an above-average representation of women corporate officers (15 percent or greater) include: Credit Unions, Life & Health Insurance, Publishing and Printing, Property & Casualty Insurance, Diversified Financial Services, Specialty Retailers, Multimedia, Entertainment, Biotechnology/Pharmaceuticals, Gas/Electrical Utilities & Pipelines, and Conglomerates. The Breweries, Distillers, and Beverages industry is the only addition to this list. 

More traditional industries—such as Engineering/Construction, General Merchandising, General Manufacturing, Food Distributors, Paper and Forest Products, Gold Mining, Oil and Gas Field Services, Steel Productions, and Motor Vehicle—continue to have the lowest representation, at less than 10 percent. 

Sponsored by Bell Canada, EDS Canada Inc., Hudson’s Bay Company, Inco Ltd., Linamar Corporation, and Scotiabank, the 2004 Catalyst Census of Women Corporate Officers and Top Earners of Canada is the third census of women corporate officers in Canada. Catalyst has been tracking the progress of women in corporate leadership in Canada since 1999. Through the census, Catalyst counts the number of women corporate officers in order to establish accurate statistics on women’s advancement in the corporate community. Each census serves as a marker of accomplishment for corporations and of work yet to be done.

About the Census
As in the 2002 and 1999 Catalyst censuses of women corporate officers of Canada, this year’s census reports findings based on companies ranked in the National Post’s Financial Post 500 list (the “FP500”). Catalyst uses this list because it is comprised of the largest Canadian companies and is widely recognized in Canada as the standard measure of corporate performance and market clout.

About Catalyst
Catalyst is the leading research and advisory organization working to advance women in business, with offices in New York, San Jose, and Toronto. As an independent, not-for-profit membership organization, Catalyst uses a solutions-oriented approach that has earned the confidence of business leaders around the world. Catalyst conducts research on all aspects of women’s career advancement and provides strategic and web-based consulting services on a global basis to help companies and firms advance women and build inclusive work environments.