With our first annual survey, Report on Business intends to set a benchmark for gender diversity in corporate Canada. After evaluating hundreds of companies, we identified 73 at the forefront of women in leadership positions. On average, 44% of the executive roles for companies on the list are held by women. It’s not parity—but it’s not far off. This is what “good” looks like today. Consider it a starting point to track progress in the future.
To create the inaugural Women Lead Here list, Report on Business magazine evaluated the 500 largest publicly traded companies in Canada, as determined by our annual Top 1000 list. Assessments were done during November and December of 2019, and represent the state of each company during that time. Our researchers evaluated each company’s top three tiers of executive leadership (Tier 1: CEO or equivalent; Tier 2: C-suite, president or equivalent; Tier 3: generally EVP, SVP or equivalent), measuring the ratio of female-identifying to male-identifying individuals at each tier. We contacted each evaluated company by email to confirm the accuracy of data. We then applied a weighted methodology. We also took into account the company’s profitability, revenue growth and three-year return using 2019 financial data. The diversity of an executive team was also considered. We then assigned each company a score and applied a final screen to the top quintile: Companies with fewer than 30% of overall executive roles held by women were excluded, as were companies with only one woman-identifying executive.