Building the case for gender equality

There are business advantages for organizations with more women in leadership roles. See why gender equality is not only the right thing to do, but the bright thing to do.

Advancing Women in Leadership: Business Case Q&A considers the advantages for organizations that include more women in leadership roles.

What is the issue?

Like many other professions and industries in Canada, the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) profession has a gender pay gap. Female CPAs earn 83 per cent of the median total compensation earned by male CPAs.

Women represent approximately 43 per cent of CPA Canada’s overall membership and more than 50 per cent of our accounting graduates entering the profession in the last 20 years. That proportion, however, is not reflected in the ratio of female partners in professional services firms, where women make up less than 25 per cent of the partners; nor is it reflected in the number of female CEOs, board directors or senior officers.

What hurdles do women face?

A crop of the Gender Equality infographic with the words, "Download Infographic."

Women experience and navigate their career journey differently than their male counterparts. Women often face barriers on the path to advancement such as unconscious bias, lack of mentors and sponsors, lack of access to female role models, biases in talent management systems and challenges with work-life integration.

What are the three cases for gender equality?

CPA Canada’s Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) identified three cases for gender equality in the CPA profession:

  • the business case
  • the personal case
  • the moral case

What can be done?

The WLC offers resources and education to further the advancement of women in the profession and provides support through a variety of initiatives such as webinars, profiles, conferences, and resources, including two flagship toolkits: Career Navigation: Toolkit for Women and Female Talent Management: Toolkit for Organizations.