One in 100: Canada's 'embarrassing' lack of female CEOs among top TSX companies

By Jon Erlichman | BNN Bloomberg | July 06, 2018
Read Source

At the recent G7 Summit in Charlevoix, Quebec, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau placed gender equality at the top of the priority list. 

“One of the main points we’re putting forward is understanding that gender equality and including women in our success is not just a moral argument, it’s very much an economic argument,” Trudeau told Bloomberg’s Stephanie Flanders during an interview in Toronto ahead of the G7 meeting.

While Trudeau has made gender equality a priority, female chief executives and board chairs remain noticeably absent from Canada’s C-Suite.

BNN Bloomberg reviewed the 100 most influential companies within the S&P/TSX Composite, a group of companies that represents 88 per cent of the index. Within that industry-spanning group there is currently one woman serving as a CEO: Nancy Southern, who runs Calgary-based Canadian Utilities, which is controlled by ATCO Ltd. 

“Those numbers are embarrassingly low,” Anita Anand, J.R. Kimber Chair of Investor Protection and Corporate Governance at the University of Toronto, told BNN Bloomberg in a phone interview. “I find it astounding that, in 2018, there are no women in those positions.”

The S&P/TSX Composite is Canada’s dominant stock market index, representing 246 leading companies. The influence of companies within the index is based on their market cap. Many leading mutual funds and exchange-traded funds invest in stocks based on the composition of the index.

Southern is certainly not the only female CEO of a public company in Canada. Other leading executives include Linda Hasenfratz of Linamar, Dawn Farrell of TransAlta, Heather Reisman of Indigo Books & Music, Susan Riddell Rose of Paramount Resources, and Sophie Brochu of Valener, which controls Énergir. Those companies fall outside of the top 100 identified in Bloomberg data.

How to Improve Canada's Push for More Female Execs

How to Improve Canada's Push for More Female Execs

Camilla Sutton, president and CEO of Women in Capital Markets, tells BNN Bloomberg what needs to happen to boost the proportion of women executives in...

Read more
BNN Bloomberg
How This 23-year-old Became the Only full-time Woman Trader at the New York Stock Exchange

How This 23-year-old Became the Only full-time Woman Trader at the New York Stock Exchange

Working in an industry where you are one of very few women can be challenging enough — but imagine what it's like to be the only woman on staff.

Read more
CNBC
WCM 2018 Return to Bay Street Award Winners

WCM 2018 Return to Bay Street Award Winners

WCM is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Return to Bay Street Award Program.

Read more
WCM

What is your reaction to the fact that the 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women will be chaired by a man?