The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

International Women’s Day: let’s celebrate leadership among women!

On March 8, the Chamber marks International Women’s Day by paying tribute to business women to underscore the importance of equality between men and women and to reflect on the ground we have gained.

March 8

International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world on March 8. Its origins lie in female labour and suffragette movements from the beginning of the 20th century. Women demanded improvements to their condition and advances in their rights. This day is the perfect opportunity to mark the headway we have made, while keeping in mind that effort is still required to achieve equality between men and women.

A board of directors with women in the majority: a source of pride for the Chamber

The Chamber is proud to have, for the first time, a board of directors where women are in the majority. We have come a long way since Manon Vennat was appointed president of the Chambre de commerce de Montréal in 1986.

Ms. Vennat is a Québec attorney who is still active in the Montréal community.

Leadership that has to be encouraged every day

Although women have an increasing presence in companies and on boards of directors, a great deal of effort is still required to achieve equality. In 2014, barely 15.7% of Canadian SMEs[1]were owned by women. Women are also less likely to want to become entrepreneurs: 16.7% of women had that intention in 2017, compared with 25.7% of men[2].

These numbers show the extent to which entrepreneurship and leadership among women must be encouraged. But there is good news: the gap between men’s and women’s intentions to become entrepreneurs is closing among young people in Québec. In fact, 34.6% of female business owners are 55 or older, whereas over 42.8% of owners are 18 to 34 in Canada.

We need to continue encouraging leadership among women on International Women’s Day, and every day. Let’s keep promoting these female entrepreneurs, managers, executives and professionals.


[1]http://deleguescommerciaux.gc.ca/businesswomen-femmesdaffaires/assets/pdfs/Majority-Female_Owned_Exporting_SMEs_Canada_fra.pdf

[2] https://www.reseaum.com/documents/20182/64353/IEQ2017infographic_FINAL.pdf/ec0a8e76-cadd-4017-b775-15f1827c1226

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