Written for Mediaplanet’s Women in Business and Tech campaign published in the Maclean’s magazine on February 10, 2016.
During Kirstine Stewart’s first week at CBC as the Head of English Language Services, a co-worker stopped her in the hall and handed her a piece of paper. Assuming the new executive was an assistant, they asked, “Can you give this to Kirstine, please?”
“Human beings will make generalizations based on traits like gender and age,” says Stewart, adding that this is one of the numerous challenges women face as leaders.
Though women represent just under half of the Canadian workforce, only 26 percent of Canada’s top 500 companies have women CEOs. And, according to Statistics Canada, women have been consistently earning approximately 71 percent of men’s average annual income since the 90s.
Stewart is no stranger to these struggles, saying that her career often involved working double duty, doing her job in addition to proving that she deserved to be there.