Small Business Minister says more diverse CEOs crictical for economic growth  

Mary Ng

Minister of Small Business Mary Ng delivered a call to action to Canadian business executives that more diversity at the top is key to Canada’s economic success.

“Building a more inclusive economy is not only the right thing to do — it’s what’s best for our economy. The evidence is clear: companies that are diverse at the board and executive level outperform their peers,” said Ng.

Minister Ng delivered the keynote address at an event co-hosted by Diversio, an AI-powered platform helping uncover diversity gaps and systemic biases in the workplace, which was attended by leading Canadian business executives. 

During the discussion that followed, business executives highlighted the systemic challenges facing women and racialized individuals at the corporate level and called on the Canadian private and public sectors to take concrete, metrics-based action to rectify these issues.

Platforms like Diversio, which use technology to uncover diversity gaps and systemic biases in the workplace, should be employed to assess equality at the executive level of business.

“We see women time and again outperforming in executive operating roles. We need to identify what is holding back women and people of colour and treat this issue as a systemic one, like you would with any other business issue. Metrics can and should be tracked to help rectify inequalities,” said Laura McGee, CEO and co-founder of Diversio.

Diversio has a database that tracks diversity and inclusion across the S&P, FTSE and TSX. This tool has shown that there is underrepresentation of roughly the same magnitude, across all three regions. For example, in the US only 23% of executive positions are held by women and only 13% are held by people of colour. Far too few of these are at the highest level, such as CEO and COO positions.

Diversio has collected extensive data in aggregate that reveals deep insights into the changing workforces of major Canadian and international companies.