As Canada reaches its 150th birthday during this Black History Month, a photo project showcases 150 successful black women from across the country who are making their marks as leaders in different sectors.
Putting the spotlight on the success of black women in an environment where their contributions and representation are overlooked has a significant importance in inspiring and encouraging upcoming young women leaders and also breaks down certain stereotypes that are commonly perpetuated about black women in our society.
In Canada, we now have a gender-balanced cabinet, however when it comes to women’s position in leadership in corporate and other levels of government institutions, gender gap still remains. For instance, a group that tracks the gender gap in top financial companies reveals that, 30% of the companies didn’t have a single woman in their highest leadership positions.[i] Even though women’s participation in the workforce and their level of education highly increased, their representation on the decision-making table on boards is still notably very low. Corporate Canada falls far behind with 45% of companies having no female representation on their boards. In 2012, only 10.3% of seats on Canadian corporate boards[ii]and 31% of federal government boards were held by women[iii].
While we talk about gender diversity in leadership, it is also important to note that the number is even lower when it comes to the representation of visible minority, aboriginal and immigrant women. A new report released by Western University in September 2016 found out that while visible minorities are generally underrepresented in senior leadership positions in Ontario’s agencies, boards, and commissions, visible minority women representation is even lower.[iv]
What makes it interesting to see the group of women in this CBC photo project is that ‘success’ can’t just be defined by having a high-level position in a corporation but also in making a difference from small business, arts, activism, volunteerism and soon.
Take a look at HERstory in Black and get inspired by the awesomeness of these black women and their contributions to the changing faces of Canadians leaders.
[iv] Visible Minorities and Women in Senior leadership Positions: London, Hamilton and Ottawa, Western University October 2016
Source: Herstory in Black