It’s no secret that having more women in the workforce is good for both the economy and a business’s bottom line. Increasing female participation in the Canadian workforce could mean $105 billion in GDP growth and research has shown that companies with more female directors report a higher return on equity.
The benefits of having women in senior positions are not only economical. Studies consistently find that women are better at communication and collaboration. They bring a diversity of opinion to problem-solving and foster a more inclusive working environment.
In Canada, there has been progress in recent years, but much remains to be done. In 2016 women made up 12 % of the corporate board seats, an increase over previous years.
The Canada-United States Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders, announced in February during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit with President Donald Trump, is hopefully one of these steps towards equality. The joint initiative, comprised of 5 female executives from each country, sets out to produce concrete solutions to the barriers women face in the workforce, particularly entrepreneurs and those in senior executive positions.
Canada is extremely well represented on this council. The five Canadian executives are Elyse Allen, President and CEO of GE Canada and former Canadian Chamber Board Chair; Dawn Farrell, President and CEO of TransAlta Corp.; Linda Hasenfratz, CEO of Linamar Corp.; Tina Lee, CEO of T&T Supermarkets; and Monique Leroux, Chair of the Board of Directors from Invetissement Québec.
It’s through steps like these that we will build towards a more equal, more successful Canada.