“Outdated perceptions” hold back 50% of women

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As a country  we’ve taken big strides  towards equality over the last few decades, but it seems the age old glass ceiling is still there for women - even if it now has a few cracks.

There are still  many obstacles facing women trying to reach the corner office, according to a Ranstad Canada survey  which interviewed 500 female managers and executives.

While the top rated problem was balancing work and family (60%), almost all of those interviewed (91%) said they had  found that balance. Other big issues facing  top women were outdated perceptions of women in managerial and executive roles (51%), limited opportunities in the Canadian market (50%) and a lack of female mentors and training (49%).

The hardest barrier is really at the executive level, Gina Ibghy, from Randstad Canada, said. “What this shows is that women are making more of an impact and taking more of the market at the middle management level, but as you go up the food chain it gets harder to get there. If we don’t start developing women in school and in early career we’re going to see these numbers stay stagnant or begin to drop.”

 Further, the survey results showed that many Canadian women continue to see a very real divide in the way men and women are compensated and rewarded when reaching the senior ranks.  More than three in four (77%) felt there remained a moderate or large divide between the salaries women  could expect for performing the same roles as men, with Ontarians (83%) feeling it most strongly in their market.

What we’re seeing are some very positive signs for women striving to reach the managerial and executive levels of their organizations, but also some very real challenges and obstacles that they are still facing, Ibghy said.

The  divide extends to a number of other important elements, such as promotions, influence in making important decisions and being given the best jobs/projects. More than nine in ten (92%) women surveyed felt there was at least some discrepancy between men and women in terms of opportunities for promotions and two-thirds said men more frequently receive the best jobs and projects when compared to women in similar roles.
“Many women still feel there is a very real divide between what they can expect in senior roles, compared to their male counterparts. However, there does appear to be optimism that more opportunities are on the horizon for women” says Ibghy.

According to  the survey respondents, the biggest changes of the past five years were that more women leaders could be seen demanding equal opportunity for promotions within organizations; followed by better work-life balance and flexible working arrangements; and more opportunities.


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