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What are Canadian Businesses Doing to Empower Women in the Workplace?

Equal Pay Day

Happy Equal Pay Day!

To celebrate past achievements and to inspire future action, we are highlighting the efforts of a few Canadian businesses and organizations aiming to close the wage gap, empower women in the workplace and to ultimately achieve Gender Equality and Sustainable Development Goal #5!

Learn more about GCNC’s Gender Equality Leadership in the Canadian Private Sector project funded by the Canadian Ministry of Status of Women.

Baker Mackenzie

Baker McKenzie

To support women throughout their organization Baker Mackenzie has been implementing a range of initiatives aimed at bolstering gender diversity, including unconscious bias training for all employees, a structured sponsorship program for women and agile working arrangements. An internal award program was launched to recognize women and men that actively help their female colleagues develop. This is supported by Baker Mackenzie’s mentoring and executive coaching programs that are designed to assist women move into more of the Firm’s executive roles.

Baker Mackenzie has also developed a “Women’s Networking Group”, that is led by its partners, Nancy Hamzo and Stephanie Vaccari, to try and assist in the business development and educational efforts of the women in the Toronto office. The Group provides a forum for their lawyers to connect with their female clients and potential role models, and to hear impressive women speak (and learn from these role models). The Toronto Office has been extremely supportive and the Group has been running for over four years. Over the years the Group has had a number of leading female executives and some of the most reputable Canadian female in-house counsel address and educate Baker McKenzie’s lawyers, as well as its female clients, at its various education and networking events.

Learn more.

BMO

BMO

In 2016, BMO launched the BMO Women in Leadership Fund, the first impact investing mutual fund offered by a Canadian bank focused on gender diversity. The Fund provides investors with the ability to address a social challenge – the under-representation of women in leadership roles. The Fund invests in North American companies that have a female CEO or a board of directors with at least 25% female representation. This unique offering, which supports the advancement of women, provides investors with both financial and social value. The fund is another important proof point that having women in leadership roles drives better performance.

Women represent a large, growing and under-served segment in the wealth and business banking markets. To help better support women investors and entrepreneurs, BMO created a team dedicated to developing an understanding of the wealth and business advice needs of women.

BMO partners with women-focused organizations to develop training and education for female investors and entrepreneurs, as well as for our own front-line staff. We developed a national series of industry-leading two-day workshops that are designed to help support in building skills and improving business acumen by inspiring female entrepreneurs with new ideas. We also developed a webinar series, led by a wealth psychology expert, that was offered to our advisors and banking professionals to help them provide relevant and useful advice to women and couples.

Learn more. 

Catalyst

Catalyst

Catalyst’s mission is to work with organizations around the world to build workplaces that work for women.  They believe that to achieve this objective we must engage the highest level of corporate leadership- women and men – to take action on gender equality and overall workplace inclusion so that diverse groups can thrive and contribute their best. That is why Catalyst has established relationships with senior leaders of organizations, governments, academia and affiliated partners to drive the most impactful change.Catalyst research shows that much of the current gender pay gap is linked to barriers and biases—not a lack of skills and qualifications on the part of women. The needle isn’t moving fast enough to close this gap, and business leaders and organizations have an urgent responsibility to do more. A few solutions for organizations include:

  • Conducting internal pay equity studies and analyses to ensure that the organization does not have a gender wage gap, and to close it if it does.
  • Implementing a “no negotiations” policy.
  • Evaluating recruitment, promotion, and talent development systems for gender bias, and eliminating these where they exist.

Learn more. 

Goldcorp

Golcorp

In addition to high-level corporate leadership, Goldcorp is investing in a pipeline of diverse talent with programs such as the Creating Choices and Growing Choices, women’s training and development programs. Launched in 2011, over 1,700 Goldcorp women have graduated from these programs to date.

Creating Choices strengthens the ability of Goldcorp female employees to: understand opportunities for personal and professional growth; develop their self-confidence and courage; build strong partnerships with fellow employees and communities where they operate; gain access to mentoring; and receive recognition for their contributions to Goldcorp.

In 2015, the second component of the program was launched, entitled Growing Choices. Growing Choices teaches women to build leadership brands, create career plans and build professional relationships for career success. Graduates of these programs serve as role models to other women who will follow in their footsteps and go on to assume ever greater positions of responsibility and leadership not only at Goldcorp but also in their communities.

Learn more.

Plan International Canada

Plan International Canada

Discriminatory gender norms can be challenged, power imbalances between women and men can be changed, but they must be confronted before young women arrive in the workplace because they start at home, continue at school and pervade every area of our society.

For example, globally, ddigitizationand internet connectivity are driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Yet due to deeply entrenched ideas of what girls can and should do, young women continue to be underrepresented in STEM education. If they miss out on this wave, girls will be left behind and the global gender gap will widen. Conversely, if governments can double the pace at which women become technology users, gender equality could be achieved in the workplace by 2040 in the Global North and by 2060 in the Global South.

This is why Plan International works in communities around the world to change the calculus for the next generation, like our digital learning centres in India where girls ages 15-25 can develop math and science skills in a safe, all-female environment. While at the centre they also learn about gender equality and sexual and reproductive health rights and receive career counselling. But the project also works within the local communities to uproot and transform attitudes – so the young women who enter the workforce are not shut out or stigmatized for pursuing male-dominated fields.

Closing the pay gap will result in huge economic and social benefits to individuals and to society. But only if inequality is tackled, not just with laws and policies, but with an unrelenting commitment to shift the norms and attitudes that have guided how we think, live and work for so long.

Learn more.

Scotiabank

Scotiabank

Scotiabank believes that everyone deserves an opportunity to develop and advance in their careers. They also realize that while great progress has been made, women may still face added challenges, particularly in different parts of the world.

In 2016, Scotiabank established an International Inclusion Council comprised of eight influential SVPs and VPs to keep diversity and inclusion a priority throughout the year. Scotiabank hosted the first ever Power Of Inclusion panel where three LatAm Country Heads spoke candidly to over 300 employees in person and simultaneously through international webcasts, about the importance of gender equity and actions they are taking to address the cultural-gender gap.

Learn more.

Tahoe Resources

Tahoe Resources

Recognizing that women have typically been underrepresented in the mining and minerals sector, Tahoe Resources is actively working across its jurisdictions to remove barriers that discourage women from employment and upward progression in mining. We strongly believe that a diverse workforce creates positive value for our employees, communities and shareholders. As reported in our 2016 Sustainability Report, Tahoe’s remuneration is equal between men and women across our operations. Ensuring equal pay, however, is only the start to achieving the competitive advantage that a talented and diverse workforce can bring to a Canadian mining company like Tahoe.

Our commitment to gender equality is demonstrated through promotion of career development programs at our operational jurisdictions. We support the Mining Essentials Program in Canada where First Nations women learn skills necessary for work in mining processing, underground mining and surface mining. In Guatemala, we offer a College Support Program designed to develop and retain our exceptional pool of talent in the country, including, for example, two of our female metallurgists who have furthered their careers through advanced studies in material sciences. In Peru, we ensure substantial participation by local women in our annual offering of excavator operator training courses.

Learn more.

Teck Resources Limited

Teck Resources

Women have historically been underrepresented in the mining sector. Teck, Canada’s largest diversified resource company, is working to enhance diversity at all levels of their organization and throughout the industry. Teck recognizes that inclusion and diversity enables a greater range of perspectives, leading to more informed and balanced decision-making, and ultimately a stronger company. As of 2017, women make up 17% of Teck’s total workforce, which is a 31% increase since 2014, while 27% of Teck’s board of directors are women. In addition, Teck undertook a company-wide gender pay equity review in 2017 with the objective of ensuring that female and male employees across the organization receive equitable pay. The review found no indication of any systemic gender pay issue at Teck and similar reviews will be conducted regularly to ensure Teck continues to maintain pay equity.

While Teck has made positive progress in increasing diversity, they recognize there is more to be done and are focused on continuing to implement initiatives and support industry programs aimed at building diversity in mining. Measures introduced to date include launching a company-wide Inclusion and Diversity Policy, diversity-focused recruitment practices, and programs and training that support the advancement and development of under-represented groups.

Learn more.

Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters has taken action to measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality. They report their gender numbers as part of their CR&I annual report; specifically calling out Senior Exec; Director/VP; Manager; New Hires; and all employee stats.

As of the end of 2016, women represented 30% of the senior executive population across Thomson Reuters up from 24.5% in 2012. Representation among VPs and Directors increased from 28% in 2012 to 32% in 2016. Representation of female managers, all female employees and the promotion rate of women into the executive population all also continue to rise.

Thomson Reuters is firmly committed to driving the gender equality agenda and making their stats publicly available helps them stay on that path. Additionally, it shows their core stakeholders that they don’t just talk the talk. They walk the walk and interested persons can see how they improve year over year. The next generation workforce wants to work for a company that is diverse and champions inclusion. Thomson Reuters has made it their mission to be that place.

Learn more.

Some of the above spotlight examples were taken from the GCNC’s Gender Equality Awards 2017. View all entries from our Gender Equality Awards 2017.

Equal Pay Day