John Molson School of Business has become the first business school in Canada to be certified by Women in Governance.
A national non-profit organization, Women in Governance aims to support women with advancing their careers, gain further leadership skills, and have an opportunity to serve on boards.
“I am tremendously proud that the efforts our business school has put into working toward parity have been recognized by an organization that is dedicated specifically to that cause,” said dean of JMSB Anne-Marie Croteau.
JMSB will be one of 48 organizations to be recognized for their commitment to gender equality in the workplace.
“It gives a clear message to society and to its students that diversity and gender parity is important and that chances and opportunities for men and women should be, today and going forward, equal,” said Nathalie Perreault of Women in Governance.
The Parity Certification, which was first inaugurated in 2017, is earned by businesses and organizations where women have been historically underrepresented. The certification evaluates the parity of an organization and also gives recommendations on what they can do better in terms of gender equality and equity.
“In order to attain this certification, JMSB demonstrated not only a commitment to ensuring parity through its policies, practices, strategic direction and decision-making, but also that the school’s strategies have resulted in progress being made in terms of the distribution of women to men being recruited and promoted,” said Croteau.
Perreault explained the certification evaluation process is a questionnaire that is divided into three categories. The first is governance and vision. More specifically, the culture and strategy of the organization when it comes to parity and how they communicate it to their employees.
Second, they look at collective enablers: the practices and programs in place within the organization to help women grow and get promoted within the organization, ensuring a better work-life balance. Perreault explained they also look at the presence of harassment and discrimination policies, mentorship programs, if there are different policies that address leadership skill development, and if the organizations promote the status of women with other associations.
The third is equity. Perreault said this is where Women in Governance ask the organizations to “take out their calculators and crunch the numbers.” Here they look at turn-over ratios and wage-gap ratios.
“As an institution, we embrace accessibility and inclusion and firmly believe that we draw strength from diversity,” Croteau said. “Inclusiveness is one of the school’s core values and is identified as such in our strategic plan.”
JMSB is set to officially receive the certification at the Women in Governance’s Annual Recognition Gala at the Palais des congrès de Montréal on Sept. 25.
Feature photo by Britanny Giuseppe-Clarke and @sundaeghost