Canadian HR Reporter

February 2020 CAN

Canadian HR Reporter is the national journal of human resource management. It features the latest workplace news, HR best practices, employment law commentary and tools and tips for employers to get the most out of their workforce.

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www.hrreporter.com 11 pared to men, it's a good idea for orga- nizations to have an automatic genera- tion of a potential applicant pool for any promotion opportunities, rather than requiring people to put themselves up for the role. 'Old boys' club' The concept of the "old boys' club" remains stubbornly in place, despite years of fighting against it, says Marshall. "I practise in employment law and I see tons of cases of workplace harass- ment, ageism. I can tell you, the old boys' club is alive and well." The gender barrier becomes more apparent as people age, she says. "Women coming into my office, once they hit age 50, their value plummets as a worker. But if you're a man, it sky- rockets. We may be living in a world of equal pay legislation and feminism and the #MeToo movement, but the stereo- organization, promotions are easier to come by for women, but "the higher you go up, the harder it is to hire and pro- mote women." "The whole idea that most jobs are found by somebody saying, 'I'm looking for a job, do you know anybody who's hiring?' That kind of word-of-mouth recruitment is still the dominant mode of labour-market matching even in the digital age," he says. And because men dominate upper management, this contributes to the barriers persisting. "Our social contacts tend to be similar to ourselves. Men's social contacts tend to be more male and women's social contacts tend to be more female," says Rubineau. One way human resources depart- ments can correct the imbalance is to reconfigure the promotions process, says Rubineau. Since women tend to feel they need more qualifications com- typical old boys' club — this is still very much there." Many women in their 30s, in their prime earning years, are being discrim- inated against, says Marshall, "passed over for promotions and paid differently because they're pregnant or because they have young children or because they recently got married and the assumption is they will be having chil- dren soon." Another barrier is also caused by the traditional structure of company boards, she says. "There are not enough women at the top of the corporate structure and real positions of power and influence," she says. "If you look at the top law firms, for example, and you look at their top exec- utive structure, you're going to see over- whelmingly men. There are women, definitely, but the men outnumber the women and that has had an impact because to succeed in the business world, you do need that mentorship, you do need people helping to open doors for you." CHRR "It's not just one mechanism, it's not just one process — there are a broad range of processes at multiple levels that all contribute." Brian Rubineau, associate professor at McGill University

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