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PARITY Propelling Women’s Careers is Our Job

At The A Effect, we know why ambitious women think about leaving their companies.

In February 2022, we surveyed Canadian women, to understand their aspirations and challenges at work. One striking finding: 80% of Canadian women say they’re ambitious, and 1 in 3 women say they are highly ambitious*. And their expectations of their employer have changed.

STATISTICS Women Are Still Held Back in Their Careers

Women get interrupted 23% more often than their male colleagues.
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A study by Brigham Young University* shows that women are interrupted 23% more often than their male colleagues.

The result: many women speak up less, and some become invisible. Yet there are numerous practices that can easily be put in place to counter this situation, including allocating speaking time and using the expertise of everyone around the table to determine speaking priority.

To benefit everyone’s talents, developing inclusive practices starts with creating an environment where everyone’s voice can be heard. The world of work can become an ally for gender parity, with simple actions that can make all the difference.

*Strength in Numbers: A Field Experiment in Gender, Influence, and Group Dynamics. Olga Stoddard, Chris Karpowitz, Jessica Preece, 2020.

80% Canadian women say they’re ambitious, but are seriously rethinking their aspirations.
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Canadian women’s aspirations have shifted since the pandemic, according to the results of The A Effect x The Globe and Mail 2022 study. Career plans are not what they once were; priorities have changed. For Canadian women, the very definition of success is no longer the same.

Already in 2015, women’s ambition was seriously eroding within two years of their entry into the workforce, according to a study by the Harvard Business Review.

Companies have a direct impact on the situation. Lack of career opportunities is one of the first organizational barriers to ambition mentioned by women, especially ambitious women. This is followed closely by several organizational barriers: lack of support from direct supervisors, lack of incentives, or (yes) the male-dominated workplace culture.

Learn why women want to leave their companies.


One in 5 women thinks the only way to get a promotion is to change companies.
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Companies are struggling to provide meaningful career opportunities to retain talent, according to Gartner. Indeed, this is one of the reasons mentioned by self-identified ambitious women, as justification for wanting to leave their company.

When properly supported, women’s ambition becomes a performance driver: it promotes greater diversity and a higher rate of engagement from teams and ambitious women themselves. Ambition allows for greater innovation and risk-taking, better collaboration between teams, and greater talent retention (The A Effect x Léger study, 2020). Ambition thus generates an irresistible energy that is transformed into a powerful lever for growth through action.

By failing to clearly support women’s ambition, we run the risk of depriving ourselves of their talent.

In Canada, only 1.5 out of 10 board members are women.
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Yet, more women on boards means more profit for companies! By evaluating 2,400 global companies, Credit Suisse, an international investment bank, determined that high net worth companies with women on their boards performed 26% better than those with only men.

Still on the topic of boards, McKinsey, an American consulting firm, reports that boards are 28% more profitable when they are diversified. Who’s to be credited for this? Women directors are, for their ability to attract the best talent and better understand the client base.

Despite showing (slow) improvement in the state of the talent pool in organizations,  the higher women climb, the lower their representation. One of the breaking points in this pipeline? Getting to the first level of management is the hardest: for every 100 men who become managers, only 87 women are promoted.

And worse still, as of 2019, far more women managers are leaving their companies than men managers: for every woman manager who is promoted to the next level, two women in management choose to leave their company.

So, how can you retain your female talents and support them if they want to move up the ladder? Find out more about what is holding back your female talent.

The A Effect in The Workplace

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The A Effect introduces its new newsletter to provide you with all the latest news about female talents in order to build a world in which parity is the standard. Named “Parity Leaders”, this quarterly review brings together the trends and best practices for building your female talent and pushing for parity in your organization. Discover rich content, relevant case studies and insights to elevate the conversation around gender equality in the workforce.

DEVELOPING WOMEN’S TALENT How Can We Retain Ambitious Women?

If we do not clearly support women’s ambition, we run the risk of depriving ourselves of their talents. What do you intend to do to create the conditions necessary to stimulate this talent?

Welcome to the new era of women talent development.

Read the Ambition Series

*The A Effect x The Globe and Mail study, 2022
**Gartner, Top 5 Priorities for HR Leaders, 2023

The A Effect Your Parity Partner

In 2015, The A Effect was born out of the observation that gender parity would not be achieved for 135 years if nothing was done to accelerate it.

We believe that the world should be just, equal, and prosperous. We also believe that to achieve this, women must be able to express their ambition and take their rightful place. By helping companies offer women the ideal environment in which to thrive, we are proudly contributing to creating a world where diversity and equality are the norm.

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This is why we created The A Effect, an initiative that aims to propel women’s professional engagement and support companies toward workplace equality. Through our professional training programs, we mobilize corporate communities and help women position themselves in business. By presenting inspiring leaders from a variety of backgrounds, we offer a new perspective on female ambition and concrete tools adapted to the realities of professional women and managers.

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EQUALITY PARTNERS Companies Who Trust Us

Our partners care about the position of women within their companies. Nearly 50 organizations have chosen The A Effect to support the professional development of their female employees and to create an equal work environment.


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