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Top Reasons to Support Women’s Leadership and Gender Parity

Gender parity is a social and economic imperative.

A recent McKinsey Global Institute report suggested an additional $150 billion for Canada’s economy by the year 2026 if women participated more substantially in the labour market, with BC named as one of the provinces with the largest potential for additional GDP growth. At Minerva BC, we know that achieving gender parity in executive leadership is more than an ethical responsibility – it’s an economic imperative.

Currently, 45% of the Canadian entry-level workforce is female, but only 15% of Canadian CEOs are female. This alarming statistic highlights how women become less and less represented at every level of the leadership ladder, with a decreasing chance of promotion as they move up. Promotion from director to vice president is a particular bottleneck, where men are 3x more likely to be promoted at this stage than women. 

This year marks the third edition of Minerva BC’s Face of Leadership™ Score Card where we present current data on gender diversity in BC’s top 50 revenue-generating companies. By highlighting BC’s gender gap in executive leadership and board representation, the Score Card serves as a point of reference and a call to action.

In the most recent edition of the Score Card, we prepared a list of top reasons why companies should actively invest in women’s leadership development.

Attendees at Minerva BC's Heart Centred Leadership Luncheon. Photo: Ida Adamowicz

Attendees at Minerva BC’s Heart Centred Leadership Luncheon. Photo: Ida Adamowicz

Top reasons why companies should invest in women’s leadership development and support gender parity:


  • The data is clear. Companies with more women on boards and in leadership positions outperform those with fewer women. McKinsey & Company, 2017


  • It’s good for workplace culture and employee retention. Studies suggest women leaders are more likely than their male counterparts to cultivate potential in others, provide mentorship and help to define a bright future for their employees. Gallup News, 2017


  • Canada is at a significant crossroads with an aging population, falling fertility rate, and smaller future workforce. It’s essential to empower and activate all available talent for our own economic livelihood. Catalyst Canada, 2016


  • Millennials are now the largest generation in the Canadian workforce. As a cohort, they’re attracted to companies that not only take a stand, but live and breathe their values. In a tight labour market, an organization that walks the talk on diversity and inclusion will have an easier time attracting top talent. Forbes, 2017


  • Women drive 70-80% of all consumer purchasing, through a combination of buying power and influence. Companies that reflect the diversity in the market have a clear competitive advantage. Harvard Business Review, 2009


  • More women = better problem solving. Blending different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives within a team leads to cognitive diversity, which can lead to better problem-solving, team performance, and innovation. Harvard Business Review, 2016


We encourage companies to take the first steps towards gender parity by signing our Diversity Pledge. Signatories of the Pledge will be invited to join Minerva BC’s Inclusive Leadership Forum to meet on a quarterly basis to discuss specific topics related to diversity, inclusion and accelerating women leaders. 

the face of leadership is changing

but it's not changing fast enough.

Minerva BC is a Vancouver-based charity that is
dedicated to advancing the leadership of women and girls.

Our office is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

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