May 19, 2020

Gender inequality costs Canada $150bn, finds McKinsey report

gender inequality
pay gap
Callum Rivett
2 min
Gender inequality costs Canada $150bn, finds McKinsey report

Gender inequality costs Canada around $150bn in lost potential income, according to a McKinsey report on the gender gap. This is despite Canada ranking in the top 10 countries for gender equality as recently as 2015, but a fall has seen them slip to 35th. 

The findings offer the frustrating realization that progress on the gender equality front has stalled in Canada for the past 20 years. At current rates, the WEF have predicted that it would take another 170 years for the gender pay gap to close, with females currently being paid $8,000 less than their male counterparts for the same work - a gap that the United Nations says is twice the global average.

By taking steps to address the issue, McKinsey found that Canadian provinces could add an extra 4 to 9% to their GDP, which would translate to a 6% growth domestically.

Ultimately, the problems are widespread and as such, Canada has lost its place as a driving force of women's rights. For instance, only 26% of their 338 members of parliament are female whilst Rwanda boast laws that require equal representation in parliament, and Iceland has 30 female MPs out of 63. 

Around 53% of degree holders in Canada are female, yet only 45% of all entry level employees are female and this number decreases the higher in a company's pecking order you look. 25% of vice presidents are female whilst they occupy only 15% of roles as CEOs.

Figures like these suggest that at each stage, women are less and less likely to earn a promotion, which is not due to a lack of ambition but to a lack of opportunity.

This is further amplified by the fact that half of the companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange do not have a single female director on their board. 

Looking forwards, there is a distinct lack of female representation in science, technology, engineering, and math - collectively known as STEM - due to a lack of women teachers, an absence of role models and a dominance of male employees, which would cause problems as those fields are where the higher-paying jobs of the future currently sit. 

Women still tend to dominate the 'traditionally feminine' fields such as nursing and social care, with the figures of representation not differentiating too much from 1987, whilst 75% of jobs in professional sciences are occupied by men.  

McKinsey's report does praise Canada for reducing the pay gap in the past, but the lack of progress since the turn of the century and the glass ceiling is holding back the Canadian economy. 


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Jun 8, 2021

Six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda

Kate Birch
4 min
As businesses accelerate their transformation journeys, tax leaders are under increasing pressure to add strategic value. Deloitte reveals six tax trends

New Deloitte research reveals that tax leaders are under increasing pressure to add strategic value as companies accelerate business model transformation, from undergoing digital transformations to rethinking their supply chains or investing in green initiatives.

According to Phil Mills, Deloitte Global Tax & Legal Leader, to “truly deliver value to the business, the tax function needs to rethink its resourcing model and transform its technology infrastructure to create capacity and control costs”.

And the good news, according to Mills, is that tax and business leaders have more options at their disposal to achieve this.

Reflecting the insights of global tax and finance executives at global companies, Deloitte’s Tax Operations in Focus study reveals the six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda.

Trend 1: Businesses seek more strategic counsel from tax

Companies are being pushed to develop new digital products and distribution channels and accelerate sustainable transformation and this is taking them into uncharted tax territory. Tax leaders say their teams must have the resources and skills to give deeper advisory support on digital business models (65%), supply chain restructuring (49%) and sustainability (48%) over the next two years. This means redrawing the boundaries of what tax professionals focus on, and accelerating adoption of advanced technologies and lower-cost resourcing models to meet compliance requirements and free up time.

According to Joanne Walker, Group Tax Director, BT Group PLC, "There’s still a heavy compliance load today, but the vision for the future would be that much of that falls away, and tax people become subject matter experts who help program the machine, ensure quality control, and redirect their time to advisory activity.”

Trend 2: Tipping point for resourcing models

Business partnering demands in the tax department are on the rise, but 93% of tax leaders say their department’s budget is remaining flat or falling. To ensure that the tax function can redefine itself as a strategic function at the pace that is required, leaders are choosing to move increasing amounts of compliance and reporting to a combination of shared service centers, finance departments, and outsourcing providers that have invested in best-in-class technology.

Trend 3: Digital tax administration is moving faster than expected

in addition to the rising focus of the corporate tax department partnering with their business counterparts, transformative changes to the way companies share tax information with revenue authorities is also creating an imperative to modernize operations at a faster pace. Nine in 10 (92%) respondents say that shifting revenue authority demands on digital tax administration will have a moderate or high impact on tax operations and resources over the next five years—and several heads of tax said the trend is moving faster than expected.

"It’s really stepped up in the last couple of years," says Anna Elphick, VP Tax, Unilever. "Tax authorities don't just want a faster turnaround for compliance but access into a company’s systems. It's not unreasonable to think that in a much shorter time than we expect, compliance will be about companies reviewing a return that's been drafted by the tax authorities."

Trend 4: Data simplification and lower-cost resourcing are top priorities

Tax leaders said that simplifying data management (53%) and moving to lower-cost resourcing models (51%) must be prioritized if tax is to become more proactive at delivering strategic insights to the business. Many tax teams are ensuring that they have a seat at the table as ERP systems are overhauled, which is paying dividends: 56% of those that have introduced NextGen ERP systems are now highly effective at supporting the business with scenario-modeling insights. Only 35% of those with moderate to low use of NextGen ERP systems said the same.

At Stryker, “we automated the source P&L process for transfer pricing which took a huge burden off of the divisions," says David Furgason, Vice President Tax. "Then we created a transfer price database to deposit and retrieve data so we have limited impact on the divisions. We are moving to a single ERP platform which will help us make take the next step with robotics.”

Trend 5: Skillsets are shifting

Embedding a new data infrastructure and redesigning processes are critical for the future tax vision. Tax leaders are aligned — data skills (45%) and technology process experience (43%) are ‘must have’ skills in a tax department of the future, but more traditional tax specialist knowledge also remains key (40%). The trick to success will be in tax leaders facilitating the way these professionals, with their different backgrounds, can work together collectively to unlock lasting value.

Take Infineon Technologies, which formed a VAT technology and governance group "that has the right knowledge about how to change the system to ensure it generates the right reports", according to Matthias Schubert, Global Head of Tax. "Involving them early was key as we took a greenfield approach, so we could think about what the optimal processes would look like and how more intelligent systems could make an impact 

Trend 6: 2020 brought productivity improvements

Improved productivity (50%) and accelerating shifts to remote working (48%) were cited as the biggest operational benefits to emerge from COVID-19-driven disruption. But, as 78% of leaders now plan to embed either hybrid or fully remote models in the tax function long term, 34% say maintaining productivity benefits is a top concern. And, as leaders think about building their talent pipeline and strengthening advisory skill sets, 47% say they must prioritize new approaches to talent recognition and career development over the next two years, while 36% say new processes for involving tax in business strategy decisions must be established.

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