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Blog: Diversity Leads: Women and visible minorities in senior leadership positions.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018   (0 Comments)
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A recent report produced by Ryerson University and affiliates finds that women are still underrepresented in senior leadership positions in Greater Montreal. Additionally, while visible minorities make up 20.3% of the Greater Montreal population, they occupy only 4.6% of leadership positions. These findings point to the increasing need for diversity and inclusion policies in Greater Montreal and the report outlines an ecological way to move forward. 


News article talking about the report:


Link to the PDF:


Link to the website & report:


Diversity Leads: Women and visible minorities in senior leadership positions: A profile of greater Montreal



  • Five-year perspective on the progress of women and visible minorities in senior leadership roles in Greater Montreal

  • Women are still underrepresented in senior leadership positions, while women account for 51.3% of residents in Greater Montreal, 37.5% of senior leadership positions across sectors were held by women in 2015

  • The highest representation of women in senior leadership positions was in the voluntary sector (50.8%)

  • There are differences across organizations within each sector suggesting that some organizations who make it a priority can recruit and retain qualified candidates

  • Visible minority individuals made up 20.3% of Greater Montreal’s population in 2015 but held only 4.6% of leadership positions, a decline from 5.5% in 2012

  • Female visible minorities made up 11.5% of the general population but only 2% of senior leadership positions in 2015

  • The proportion of visible minorities varies between sectors


The way forward

  • The ecological model to effecting change: individual level, organizational level, societal level

  • Societal level can change through policies, culture and structures which influence the way leaders are conceived, developed and supported

  • Can apply the diversity lens to advertising and communications challenging the status quo and shaping public perception to be more inclusive

  • Organizational level by enhancing diverse leadership to encourage efficiency, innovation, access to markets and financial performance

  • Recognize that diversity is a strategic priority from the top-down, this can transform organizations and influence broader social notions of who can and cannot be a leader

  • Need strong and transparent human resource practices, flexible and supportive workplace, measurement and tracking of diversity, integration of diversity across the value chain and development of a diversity pipeline to inspire the next generation of leaders

  • Individual level to learn from the experiences of successful women and visible minorities in Greater Montreal

  • Young women and visible minorities should be encouraged to set their goals high and pursue access to networks, coaching and support



about Ascend

Ascend Canada was founded in 2012 to enhance the presence, visibility and influence of current and future Pan-Asian business leaders. Today, with the support of our more than 3,000 members and numerous corporate partners, our objectives are to develop the full potential of our members by leveraging our networks and providing programs and events that inspire, as well as educate. 

Vision: To have a diverse and inclusive Canada where pan-Asian talent can achieve its full potential.

Mission: Partner and progress with Canadian Organizations to develop and advance pan-Asian talent.

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