Gender Gap in Canadian Finance Persists: While the Wage Gap for Women Might Be Closing Slowly, Critical Sectors like Finance Are Showing No Signs of Progress toward Greater Equality. Canada Is No Exception

Article excerpt

The Canadian capital markets industry, which includes all areas of finance that involve issuing, trading, and selling stocks or bonds, shows a lack of growth in the proportion of women employees despite unprecedented job growth over the past decade.

Women held 17 percent of client service positions in the Canadian capital markets industry in 2008, the same percentage as in 2000, according to a recent report titled "Catalyst's Report to Women in Capital Markets: Benchmarking 2008," conducted by Catalyst, a research agency.

"If you look at the entire field and put all the positions together, the line positions make up the predominant professional client-facing roles. The 17 percent number is the strongest representation of the fact that we're not moving ahead because these are the positions that we need to move the dial on," says Martha Fell, CEO of Women in Capital Markets.

When looking at positions by rank, the study found that there were no dramatic changes in female representation at any level, with the proportion of women growing smallest at the highest levels. Women's share of positions at the managing director level and above dropped from 11 percent in 2000 to 9 percent in 2008. The percentage of women in branch management dropped 6 percentage points to 15 percent. Women working as investment advisors held steady at 16 percent, up by only 1 percentage point since 2000.

In the investment business, women's share of client service positions was 20 percent, the same as in 2000, even though the total number of line positions increased considerably since 2005. Women working in sales positions dropped to 26 percent compared with 34 percent in 2000. …