New Report Shines Light on Canadian Finance Industry, Presents Innovative Roadmap Toward Equity

Underrepresentation of Women, BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+ in Canada’s Finance Industry Being Addressed

TORONTO--()--WCM, a not-for-profit with the mission of accelerating equity, diversity and inclusion in capital markets, has released The Equity Equation, a new report focusing on the experience of women, BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+ employees in Canada’s finance industry.

After decades of genuine effort from the key players in the financial industry, there are some encouraging success stories, however there is more work to be done as inequalities, structural barriers and inequities persist. Employees in underrepresented groups (women, BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+) continue to face considerable disadvantage across all areas of work, from treatment, to hiring, advancement, and compensation.

Key findings, from survey data in 2019 from 600 professionals in Canada’s capital markets, include:

  • Only 55% of women believe they are treated equally and 48% say they have equal access to opportunities as other genders at their work.
  • Equal pay remains a concern, with 34% of women believing they are paid equally to other genders.
  • Half of women (48%) and more than half (62%) of the LGBTQ2S+ community recognize bias in their workplace.
  • There is a persistent opportunity gap for Black women: 41% believe they have equal opportunities to men at their firm, and 29% report having someone who creates stretch opportunities and advocates for them (ie: a sponsor).
  • Advancement processes are an opportunity for progress: less than half of women (47%) and LGBTQ2S+ employees (46%) believe the feedback and review process at their workplace is fair and objective, and only 29% of women believe the promotion process is fair.
  • More than 50% of women and 60% of LGBTQ2S+ employees believe it is time to introduce quotas at both the Board and executive level for a set period of time.

“Achieving equitable and inclusive workplaces is one of the most critical issues for Canada’s financial industry and Canadians can be proud of the strides the industry has taken thus far, but there is more work to do,” says Camilla Sutton, President and CEO of WCM. “The recommendations WCM proposes in The Equity Equation are bold and innovative approaches to accelerating equity and diversity and we’re encouraged by the finance industry’s commitment to doing what it takes to achieve equitable workplaces for all.”

The Equity Equation includes a roadmap that would allow the industry to make substantial gains when it comes to diversity, and includes specific recommendations to achieve equity in the workplace along with a detailed checklist for organizations that are not sure where to begin. The report is available here.

Visit WCM’s website to learn more:

About WCM

Accelerating equity, diversity and inclusion in finance.

WCM is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1995. Our initiatives aim to amplify diverse talent, build the industry’s equity literacy, and unite firms to drive change on an industry-level. We do this through advocacy, research, programming and recruitment.

Our partners include the major Canadian bank-owned dealers, independent and foreign dealers, asset managers, insurance firms, major pension plans, and advisory firms. Our community of 3,500 professional and student members makes WCM the largest network of professionals in Canadian finance who have come together to vote for increased equity, diversity and inclusion, and our initiatives have impacted the careers of countless students and professionals across the country.

Support our movement towards equity and diversity in finance by joining WCM at


Camilla Sutton


Camilla Sutton