CEO: ‘We wouldn’t be foolish if we had a go at the ‘old Canada-only’ model’

Well, yeah, maybe so. But we’re not used to companies doing any kind of international business. Most of us would be blind if we asked you how many seats in a bus are bilingual.

The English-Canadian economy is growing at a slower rate than the English-English economy. So if we’re trying to really broaden our horizons and increase the number of Canadians who speak English as a first language, I would say that it’s a good idea. Why not? It’s tough to start a company. Any company in the world now. It’s not just Silicon Valley, it’s basically anywhere in the world. There’s competition everywhere.

I do agree with Schellenberg’s idea that in many of our cases, companies will look for regional bilingual leadership. We know that our women are less represented in our middle-management ranks. And there are a number of factors that contribute to that. A woman in her 30s has a greater chance of becoming a CEO if she has at least a post-secondary education than if she has a two-year degree. Many of our best people are bilingual and, certainly, I think as companies become more global and that competition increases, the importance of leadership will increase in the future.

Again, it’s not that we want to see a return to the old Canada-only model. Canadians value bilingualism. But I do think that we would be foolish if we didn’t at least take a look at the future of our country, at our economy, and at our people and whether we really need to revert back to the old Canada-only model.

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