Q&A: What a Bay Street star says it will take to boost women's ranks in finance industry

By Meegan Read | CBC Business| March 10, 2018
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'We haven't seen the change that we would like to see,' says Camilla Sutton, CEO of Women in Capital Markets

For 25 years, Camilla Sutton has been a mover and a shaker on Bay Street.

At the Bank of Nova Scotia, she did everything from equity research to running the bank's global foreign exchange.

In January, she became president and chief executive officer of Women in Capital Markets, tasked with improving the role of women in Canada's finance industry — no small feat.

Sutton recently sat down with CBC to chat about her new role.

Can you tell me about your new job? What's the overall goal?

Absolutely. Women in Capital Markets is an organization that has been around, really, since I entered the markets. It started in 1995, and it works to accelerate the pace of change and the pace of gender diversity that we're seeing across capital markets and finance in Canada. We've seen some increases at the lower levels, but we really haven't seen it shift into leadership and executive levels.

Are you talking quotas? The Ontario Securities Commission already has "comply or explain," a policy to increase gender diversity on boards. 

Quotas are a touchy subject. I think what we've seen in terms of things like boards, we've had comply or explain in Canada now for several years, and the results haven't been as great as some of us would have hoped when we entered that system. In Ontario, the OSC is re-evaluating that and [asking] is it time now to introduce things like targets? Is it time to broaden the discussion around quotas? And I think, increasingly, as we haven't seen the change with comply or explain, we really are looking at what are the other ways we can accelerate this change.

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