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Inequality in capital markets sector continues to hurt women, BIPOC and LGBTQ: report

TORONTO — A new report says a culture of inequality continues to persist in Canada’s capital markets and the brunt of it is felt by women and people who are racialized, Indigenous or identify as LGBTQ.

According to a study of 600 Canadian finance workers conducted by Women in Capital Markets in 2019 but released today, only half of women believed they were treated equally and had the same access to opportunities as other genders at their firm and just one-third thought their company was free from gender bias.

Nearly 60 per cent of men said their workplace was free from gender bias, a rate double that of women, and 75 per cent of men believed harassment wasn’t at their employer.

The study reveals that Black women were the least likely to believe they were treated equally by their firm and manager and the least likely to perceive they have equal career opportunities, but most likely to report being afraid for their personal safety at work.

Data also showed that more than half of people identifying as LGBTQ2S+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or two-spirited) in Canada’s capital markets industry refrained from talking about their personal lives at work for fear of others making assumptions about them and this group reported the lowest satisfaction with their employer’s efforts to promote diversity and inclusion.

The report suggests companies work toward fixing these problems by committing to pay equity, requiring a diverse slate of candidates when hiring, implementing representation targets with clear timelines and establish an ombudsperson office to deal with complaints of harassment.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published October 28, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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