Canadian Glass Ceiling Parts; Pay Gap Remains

October 16, 2002 ( - The glass ceiling that had blocked many women from top positions at Canadian associations has apparently parted, but Canadian female chief executive officers (CEO) still lag male counterparts in the size of their paycheck.

A new study of executive compensation at Canadian associations by the Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE) shows that despite a fairly even gender split among CEOs, the average male CEO will earn $101,655 in 2002. That is 34% higher than the average for females at $75,875.

Researchers pointed out that men are dominant in many Canadian associations and that male CEOs are also much more prevalent among associations with more members and with higher revenues, both of which are factors correlating to higher pay. The average cash compensation for an association CEO in Canada is $90,660, according to the study.

According to the study, the associations offering bonuses tend to reward their CEOs for achieving financial targets rather than meeting member needs measured through:

  • member satisfaction and growth
  • service levels
  • issues management
  • program participation.

Even the pay disparity is improving, according to the survey. Last year’s CSAE poll found an average 41% salary difference between male and female chief executives.

The 2002-2003 survey examined salary and benefits in nearly 700 industry, professional, charitable and issue-specific associations across Canada.