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Where are we with Gender Equity? More behind than you think...

This week, we pulled statistics on Gender Equity. Some are from the USA but most are from Statistics Canada (Census 2016). As you read through these stats, think of what you can do individually or how you can support your leadership team or organization in creating awareness around these statistics and make your work place more equitable for under-represented groups.


  • Groups formerly seen as “minorities” may reach majority status by 2044

  • 48 percent of Generation Z are racial or ethnic minorities

  • Diverse companies enjoy 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee

  • Diverse management has been shown to increase revenue by 19 percent

  • Gender-diverse companies are 15 percent more likely to beat industry median financial returns

  • More than 3 out of 4 workers prefer diverse companies

Gender Diversity in the Workplace Statistics

  • Women are expected to make up 47.2 percent of the workforce by 2024. But there’s a long way to go to make it a more equitable environment.

  • Women’s wages are 82 percent of those of men’s

  • 42 percent of women have faced gender discrimination at their jobs

  • Men are twice as likely to be hired, regardless of the hiring manager’s gender

  • Just over 8 percent of fortune 500 ceos are women

  • Women are more likely to be hired with blind applications ○ One study conducted by Harvard University and Princeton University researchers found that when men and women submitted blind applications or auditions for a job, a woman’s likelihood of getting the job increased by 25 to 46 percent. And under these conditions, women were more likely to be hired than men.

  • Women obtain 4-year college degrees more than men ○ More and more women are getting higher education degrees, making them more competitive candidates in the workforce compared to their counterparts who do not have a degree.

  • Senior-level women are twice as likely as senior-level men to focus on diversity, equity and inclusion ○ In a 2021 report, McKinsey found that women in senior management were twice as likely as men in similar roles to spend “substantial time” on DEI work falling outside their normal job responsibilities, such as supporting employee resource groups.

  • For every 100 men promoted to manager, only 86 women are promoted

  • Women ask for pay raises just as often as men at similar positions. But they receive them 5 percent less often than men do.

Important Diversity and Inclusion Statistics in Canada

  • 61.4% – The proportion of Canadian women who participated in the labour force in June 2019, compared to 70.1% among men.

  • In 2016, less than 1/5 of all leadership roles were held by women

  • 11% – The proportion of young women (aged 15 to 24) who have a mental health-related disability in 2017, compared to 5% of men.

Other highlights on Diversity in Canada from Stats Canada:

  • In 2018, 23.6% of Canada’s population is foreign-born – the highest proportion in the G8 countries. The majority of this population lived in Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec and Alberta.

  • Canada’s largest source of immigrants from 2006 to 2020 was from Asia.

  • 40% of racialized people in Ontario who were surveyed by the Ontario Human Rights Commission in 2017 report experiencing discrimination because of race or colour in the last 5 years.

  • Almost 6,264,800 people identified themselves as a member of a visible minority group.

  • The vast majority of the visible minority population lived in the 3 largest census metropolitan areas: Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

So what does that mean for me as Employers and Business Owners in Canada:

Business opportunities, growth and return on investment:

  • According to the 2016 census data, approximately half of Toronto’s population is an immigrant and visible minority.

  • The population of Toronto and Canada is very diverse in their needs for services, products and communication. Attending to these diverse needs translates into business opportunities, growth, better engagement and relationship & community building.

  • To better understand and serve those needs, to tab into your large existing and potential customer market, a diverse workforce representative of your customers and Canada’s current and evolving population of Toronto is valuable and can bring you return-on-investment.

Opportunity to leverage talents and innovation that may be lacking in the company:

  • Talents from overseas, different cultures, sectors and backgrounds can bring fresh perspectives, insights, wider range of skills, ideas and innovation that your current workforce may be lacking.

  • They can bring successes that have worked into your company, lessons learnt from failures, innovation that has brought return to investment into a new market that has not seen this innovation yet.

  • Leverage the extensive range of backgrounds and skillsets to enhance creativity, innovation, problem solving, productivity and profits.

  • Diversity gives you competitive advantage in the market.

To build corporate branding to attract and retain diverse talent:

  • Improve reputation

  • Become an employer of choice

  • Attract better talents

  • Reduce employee turnover by fostering an inclusive work environment

  • Enhance employee engagement and sense of belongingness

Article Resources

Article Written by Denise Young, WIL National Diversity and Inclusion Advisor and CEO and Consultant of Tiger’s Eye Advisory Group, a people-focused business solutions company that values collaboration and empowerment. She creates collaborative work spaces where “everyone is at the table”. She has a Bachelor of Management and a Masters of Arts in Communication and Technology from University of Alberta.

Reach out to Denise if you or your organization is interested in Diversity and Inclusion Programs, Leadership Workshops or Communication Strategic Planning.

Connect with Denise:

LinkedIN: Denise Young





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