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Survey : Only 10 per cent Canadians picture a woman CEO 

A brand new survey seeking young Canadians’ views on leadership reveal only 10 per cent picture a woman when they think of a CEO. Commissioned by children’s rights group Plan International Canada and conducted by Nanos, the online survey polled over 2200 Canadians ages 14 to 24 between September 15 and 24. It revealed all genders show confidence as the top trait a leader should possess, but only 55 per cent of girls and young women are confident.

Meanwhile, only 81 per cent say they at least occasionally doubt they have what it takes to be a good leader. According to the poll, only 53 per cent of male participants described girls and women as “emotional”, but only 10 per cent applies that adjective to a good leader. 57 per cent said ‘strong’ is a top descriptor for a good leader. However, lesser than a third described girls and women as strong.

On the other hand, almost 60 per cent of girls and young women said they sometimes feel pressure to change how they act to attain their leadership goals. Director of gender equality at Plan International Canada, Saadya Hamdani said, “The disconnect between ambition and how girls and young women in Canada perceive their capabilities to lead is complicated, but it begins to make sense when focus is placed on the systemic barriers and the role gender socialisation plays in shaping attitudes and perceptions from an early age.”

They added, “It’s not the potential or capacities of girls that is the problem, it’s the reality of the social and institutional environments the are faced with.”


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