ARTICLE 1:” THALES CANADA REPORTS WOMEN ARE NOW 16 PER CENT OF EMPLOYEES IN ENGINEERING ROLES’ SOURCE: http://diversityintheworkplace.ca/wordpress/2013/03/08/thales-canada-reports-women-are-now-16-per-cent-of-employees-in-engineering-roles/ TOPIC: DIIVERSITY IN THE WORKPLACE
DATE: APRIL 5, 2013
DIVERSITY IN THE WORKPLACE: THALES CANADA REPORTS WOMEN ARE NOW 16 PER CENT OF EMPLOYEES IN ENGINEERING ROLES
The New Oxford American dictionary defines Diversity as “ the state of being diverse: “having variety”. Workplace diversity is the creation of an inclusive environment that embraces and accommodates people's individual differences and provides equal opportunities for all staff to achieve their full potential. This involves respect, acceptance, and understanding that people irrespective of race, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, source of income, and political beliefs all have something unique to offer.
Diversity in the workplace recognizes individual differences and explores these differences in a safe, positive and nurturing environment. It promotes understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.
Canada has a rich multicultural population, and makes continuous efforts to attract immigrants. This places an even higher demand on companies, recruiters and the society at large to accommodate, utilize and integrate a diverse workforce. Diversity in the working place is a necessary strategy for business, and the benefits are immeasurable, and have contributed immensely to the growth and success of the economy at large. Historically, the woman’s place has always been in the home, and women who worked outside the home faced a lot of criticism. On the 31st July 1913, Alys Mckey Bryant was recognized for being the first woman pilot to fly an airplane in Canada. The role of women has since changed, with more women taking on roles that were traditionally accepted and recognized as men’s roles in the workplace. Women are increasingly becoming the biggest talent pool and the largest source of new clients for businesses, and major decision makers in most homes. In recent time many women have been seen to head many successful companies such as Kirstine Stewart- Executive VP, CBC; Moya Greene CEO – Royal-mail Group. In this article, Thales Canada, a technology leader focused on the urban transportation, defence & security, and the aerospace business sectors, celebrated a rise to 16% in the number of women in engineering roles that were traditionally for men. The company has increased the number of female employees over the past decade to 24 per cent of its 1,300 workforce.
While these are excellent numbers for Thales Canada, it however raises a big question on the issue of gender inequality. Despite efforts made by Thales Canada and several companies to attract and retain women in the workplace, there still exists a major gender gap in the workforce particularly in management roles, as well as, traditionally recognized men’s roles such as engineering.
According to "Newsweek," women earn just 78 cents for every dollar that a man earns, which can add up to a $500,000 difference in earnings over a lifetime. Looking beyond pay, women represent just 3 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs, and make up only a third of law firm partners. These gaps in pay and power continue despite the fact that women make up the majority of college and law school graduates. From an employee perspective, and most importantly as a woman, these statistics are not encouraging and show that despite efforts to promote equal opportunities in the workplace, there is still a major gap. Underlying issues causing these gaps need to be addressed. Juggling family and a career can be challenging, and...