Where women lead, money follows

These are the women running Canada’s fastest-growing sustainable companies, proving that gender diversity in senior leadership is good for business

With files from Rick Spence and Susanne Ruder.

The glass ceiling at Canada’s greenest companies is getting pretty thin, and the women at the top have their sights set on climate change. “I personally don’t know of any senior leaders in Canada that don’t think [climate change] is a risk, and I couldn’t say that five years ago,” says Laura Zizzo, CEO of Manifest Climate.

In 2019, Corporate Knights reported that gender diversity on boards had become the leading issue investors wanted directors to address, alongside executive compensation and climate change.

But have corporations actually prioritized female leadership in the years since, when pandemic-related job loss affected women disproportionately? In March, Equileap found that “there are more CEOs named Michael and Mark than female CEOs in Canada”.

There’s been a sliver of progress in the U.S., where women run 8.8% of Fortune 500 companies, and the percentage of women on the boards of that country’s 1,000 largest public companies increased by 4.4% from 2019 to 2021.

This isn’t just for optics. It’s actually better for a company’s bottom line, according to the Harvard Business Review, which found that in 2021 that “firms with more women in senior positions are more profitable, more socially responsible, and provide safer, higher-quality customer experiences.”

The women leading Canada’s fastest-growing green companies prove that expertise coupled with entrepreneurial acumen can lead to funding opportunities and growth. With growth rates starting at 103%, these visionaries are leaving the naysayers in their dust.

Manifest Climate | Laura Zizzo
GROWTH RATE: 260%
LEARN MORE
Clear Blue Technologies | Miriam Tuerk
GROWTH RATE: 103%
LEARN MORE
Summit Nanotech | Amanda Hall
GROWTH RATE: 158%
LEARN MORE
Polystyvert | Nathalie Morin
GROWTH RATE: 139%
LEARN MORE
Previous
Next

For public companies, growth rate is based on their one-year revenue (generally, 2021 sales over 2020 sales). For privately held companies, growth rate is based on the S&P Capital IQ database, with data on recent fundraising rounds, and sorted based on percentage growth of capital raised from the two most recent years of fundraising rounds.

 

Latest from Leadership

current issue