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Press Release

Progress on women in senior leadership stalling globally

New report draws on global insights to investigate how businesses can accelerate progress towards parity  

Toronto, ON (March 8, 2023)— A pandemic-prompted change in working practices has brought about progress for women in senior leadership roles, however it’s concerningly slow. According to Grant Thornton’s International Business Report (IBR), just 32.4% of women in mid-market businesses across the globe hold senior positions. That’s an increase of only 13% since 2004. To investigate barriers towards progress and identify facilitators of change, Grant Thornton International launched its 19th annual Women in Business report today. 

Women in Business 2023: Accelerating parity across leadership and beyond highlights how some businesses are succeeding—and where opportunities lie—to progress women to leadership roles in Canada and across the globe. Our research identifies several factors which could support this acceleration, including: 

  • Having women in leadership roles could lead to new strategies focused on increasing diversity at a senior management level and driving gender parity. 
    • Canada ranks above the global median with 39% of senior management positions held by women, an increase of 17% since 2004. 
  • Businesses which offer hybrid or flexible models outperform when it comes to women in senior management. 
    • 53% of Canadian mid-market businesses offer a hybrid model.
  • External pressures around Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors demand a push towards greater diversity and more women in senior leadership. 

While many aspects of business continue to change, transforming how we do business and who leads it will help us all thrive. “Women in leadership is good for business. It boosts performance, brings fresh perspectives to the table, and results in better outcomes and decisions,” says Kevin Ladner, CEO and Executive Partner, Grant Thornton LLP.  

Sharon Healy, Chief People & Culture Officer, Grant Thornton LLP adds: “In addition to ensuring that our organizational systems support equitable access to opportunity, we’re inspiring women to dream big and to ask for what they need so that we can support them in fulfilling their aspirations.” 

For more information, download Women in Business 2023: Accelerating parity across leadership and beyond.  

About Grant Thornton LLP in Canada  

Grant Thornton LLP is a leading Canadian accounting and advisory firm providing accounting, audit, tax and advisory services to private and public organizations. We help dynamic organizations unlock their potential for growth by providing meaningful, actionable advice through a broad range of services. Grant Thornton LLP is a Canadian member of Grant Thornton International Ltd, whose member and correspondent firms operate in over 130 countries worldwide. To learn more visit  

For more information or to arrange an interview with a spokesperson, please contact: 

Lindsay Barnes
Senior Manager, Media Relations and External Communications, Grant Thornton LLP
(t): 905 999 6448 


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