More Canadian women are actively pursuing their career goals, but face persisting progression challenges – HomeTown TV12
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More Canadian women are actively pursuing their career goals, but face persisting progression challenges

More Canadian women are actively pursuing their career goals, but face persisting progression challenges

TORONTO – To mark International Women’s Day (IWD), PwC Canada published the results of a global survey that included insights from 237 Canadian professional women (aged 28-40) around their career development experiences and aspirations.

The report – Time to talk: what has to change for women at work – reveals that women are confident, ambitious and ready for what’s next, but many want more open communication with their employers to talk about career development, expectations, promotion opportunities and advancement challenges. While 83% of Canadian women are confident in their ability to fulfill their career aspirations, 35% believe gender, ethnicity, age or sexual preference can be a barrier to career progression in their organisation. A significant number of women are also concerned about the negative impact that starting a family or using work-life balance and flexibility programs could have on their careers.

“Having more top female talent represented at all levels of business is key to the success of our economy. As leaders, we have an important role to play in accelerating progress on gender equity and the advancement of women by: educating ourselves and our teams on unconscious biases; engaging in thoughtful dialogue around the challenges and opportunities for greater inclusion; and coaching and sponsoring top female talent. Ultimately, it’s our diversity of thought, perspectives and backgrounds that will help us become a more  progressive, successful and innovative business community and society.”

Seventy-one percent of the Canadian women surveyed were actively seeking career advancement opportunities.  At PwC Canada, we created the Women in Leadership (WiL) Program to help them do just that. Our WiL program supports the advancement of top female talent within the firm and our  business commitment to achieve 50/50 gender parity among new partner admits by 2020. WiL is an intensive six-month program that provides women with personal and professional development focused on four areas: insights, tools, networks, and experience.  More than 200 women have graduated from the program, including 61 graduates in 2017. Five graduates of the program were promoted to partnership last year.  The WiL program was selected as the Best Social Collaboration & Knowledge Sharing category of the Leadership Excellence and Development Awards (LEAD) for 2018.

“The WiL program has become an important forum for thoughtful dialogue around career advancement challenges and opportunities for women at PwC. And we have a number of male and female leaders who are also engaged throughout the program to listen and bring that feedback to their leadership tables, and provide mentorship and sponsorship for women in the program,” adds McFarland.

Three actions to #PressforProgress to accelerate the advancement of women in the workplace are:

Work-life flexibility demands are important to everyone; it is not only a life-stage or gender issue. While many organizations are re-designing maternity/paternity leaves and re-entry programs many people don’t partake because they believe it creates stereotypical biases and will hurt their careers. Leaders and coaches must recognise that everyone has flexibility needs and they should be encouraged to use these support programs to help them become stronger, more engaged professionals.

To access the full report, click here.

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