Why do the majority of your executive lunch profiles feature men? How about a greater proportion of females?
Monique Morden from Vancouver asks: “Why do the vast majority of your executive lunch profiles involve men? How about a greater proportion of females?” Claire Neary, a senior editor in Report on Business who works on The Lunch, explains:
You’re right. Since we launched The Lunch in October of 2010 we have featured more men than women, and we know we need to do better at bringing more diversity to the popular Saturday feature and to the Report on Business in general.
Four years ago, we set out to sit down with big names and get them speaking about timely and provocative subjects. We tried to bring our readers some of the biggest names in corporate Canada and beyond and use our unique access as journalists to give readers a closer look at prominent business figures and what drives them. We’ve featured a number of Canadian and international CEOs and leaders, including Air Canada’s chief Calin Rovinescu, former Pimco boss Bill Gross, activist investor Bill Ackman, Kinross CEO Paul Rollinson, Virgin Group head Richard Branson and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz – and yes, like the c-suites of many of our biggest companies, we’ve had a lot of men.
But we’ve also featured some very powerful women, including media mogul Arianna Huffington, former Lululemon CEO Christine Day, former U.S. federal deposit insurance corporation chair Sheila Blair, former Rio Tinto Alcan CEO Jacynthe Côté and Ontario Teachers Pension plan chair Eileen Mercier.
This year in particular, we’ve tried to find lunch subjects beyond the corporate world to feature leaders making waves in various sectors. Recently we’ve lunched with copyright crusader Ruth Vitale, former Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion, Peng-Sang Cau, an entrepreneur who escaped Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge and founded an innovative manufacturing company, India’s first female bank CEO Chanda Kochhar, McGill principal and vice-chancellor Suzanne Fortier, business journalist Amanda Lang and British investment executive and advocate for women on boards, Helena Morrissey.
And we’ve got our eye on many more. Not everyone is comfortable opening up to a journalist for a feature like the lunch and sometimes our requests get turned down, but we’ll keep trying.
Follow Claire Neary on Twitter, and tell her who the ROB should have lunch with next.