People in positions of power need to be committed to increasing the representation of women on boards and in other leadership roles, or it won’t happen, says Monique Leroux.
Monique Leroux: It is quite important to have more [women] on boards, but a significant impact will be first to work to have more [women] in senior management positions. I guess that that’s really a context where the CEO has a more direct influence. You can have in your organization programs--mentoring, coaching, networking--which will help [women] to progress in the organization. And if you have that progress and this evolution with more women taking more senior roles, obviously you will have a larger funnel of candidates to go on boards going forward. So that’s a very important step.
You need to be committed. Personally, as a Chairperson of Desjardins Group and CEO of our organization, I’m very committed to have better representation, and it starts at the top. If you don’t have that commitment, it will not happen. There will be a lot of issues, problems--anti-selection, if I may say it that way--that will, you know, eliminate some very good candidates to go to the top positions.
So, for example, we have more than 60 percent [women] in terms of our senior managers; board members—more than 30 percent, which is quite impressive. I’m not saying that everything is resolved, but I think that we are making a lot of progress because we are committed to that objective and we want to make the difference.
Directed / Produced by Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd