Cultural intelligence

 
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Canada - Tops for women!

Canada is a country in the northern part of the continent of North America. It extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, and is the second largest country in the world (after Russia) in terms of total area. Canada’s common border with the United States forms the world's longest land border. It has a population of around 37 million. The capital is Ottawa but the largest city is Toronto.

The official languages are English and French. Canada is culturally diverse and people are encouraged to retain their cultural identities, traditions, languages and customs.

Canada’s main exports are machinery, automotive products, metals and plastics, forestry products, agricultural and fishing products, energy products. Its main imports include rubber, wood pulp, new vehicles and aircraft. It also imports vegetables, mineral and chemical products, and coffee, cereals and fertiliser.

A recent poll conducted for Thomson Reuters Foundation, found Canada to be best G20 country for women, based on factors such as health care, freedom of violence, women in politics, workplace opportunities and access to education. 62% of university graduates in Canada are female and one third of Canada’s federally appointed judges are female.

Because of its family-friendly policies and investment in women, Canada is an emerging hot spot for female entrepreneurs. In March, the Business Development Bank of Canada announced $700-million in earmarked funding to finance women-owned businesses. However, Canadian women face a confidence gap when it comes to starting businesses. According to a recent study, 46 per cent of women feel that women are portrayed in stereotypical ways and do not believe they have adequate business skills.

Due to Canada’s regionalism and cultural diversity, it is difficult to specify any national trait in terms of communication. In general, meetings are well-organised and adhere to an agenda. Businesspeople are polite, easy-going and usually informal. However, academic titles are important in Quebec and are used with the honorific Monsieur or Madame. If you are visiting Quebec, have one side of your business card translated into French and hand the card over so that the French side faces the recipient.

Canadians are reticent to discuss their personal lives with business associates. They expect people to speak in a straightforward manner. When presenting information, it is important to have facts and figures to substantiate claims and promises. Canadians are essentially rational and logical and thus they will not be convinced by emotions, passion or feelings.


Share your Canadian business experiences

Sources: Wikipedia, The Globe and Mail, bbc.com, Kwintessential, Huffington Post

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