Hess Associates

The December 2013 Financial Post Magazine devoted ¾ of its publication to listing and describing the achievements of 2013’s 100 extremely impressive Canadian female executives in the Private, Public, and NFP Sectors in 013. Amongst their ranks were 46 CEOs/Presidents/Founders, 9 C level Sales and Marketing Executives, 7 General Management/C level Operations/Controllers, 12 eVPs/Sr. VPs, 16 Partners/Directors/Managers, 3 high level media women, 3 high ranking military women, and 1 government official – people such as Judy Goldring, eVP and COO, AGF Management Limited, Chair Governing Council, U Toronto, Jane Riddell, COO, Goodlife Fitness, Beth Horowitz, Corporate Director, HSBCBank Canada, Heather Reisman, Founder, Chair, and CEO, Indigo Books and Music, Inc., Nancy Venneman, President, Altitude Aerospace, Ilse Treurnicht, CEO, MaRS Discovery District, Leslee Thompson, CEO and President, Kingston General Hospital, Marilyn Dennis, Host, Marilyn Dennis Show, and so on.

Taking up where our July 2013 blog post left off, the Canadian Board Diversity Council found that women accounted for 15.6% of corporate board seats of FP 500 companies in 2013, up from 10.9% in 2001 – a very gradual and infinitesimally slow growth pace.

Similarly, the research firm Catalyst, found that women have head roles in a mere 5.5% of FP 500 corporations. It does seem however that boards are coming under greater scrutiny, partly from the OSC, and will have to address the paucity of female representation.

Interestingly Beth Horowitz (see above), suggests that companies will have to employ search/recruiting firms that look for the best talent, not just the best man – competency and experience, but also potential – a factor often overlooked re women. EOE, is often claimed, but until now, not necessarily observed. Judy Goldring suggested that a strong female networking and mentoring structure within an organization can be extremely effective, for example, the Women’s Alliance Network she founded at AGF.

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