TSX-Listed Firms See More Women On Boards, But Top Tier Still Stagnant: Report

The Globe and Mail | September 17, 2018

The number of women occupying seats in the boardrooms of Canada’s large, publicly listed companies is inching higher, but gender diversity is stagnating at the executive level, according to a new report.

Women occupied 16.4 per cent of the board seats at Toronto Stock Exchange-listed companies at the end of July, up about two percentage points from a year ago, according to a report published on Friday by law firm Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP.

But the number of female executive officers remains virtually unchanged since 2015, when Canadian securities regulators introduced a “comply or explain” policy. The rules require companies to disclose each year the number of women in executive positions and on their boards. The Osler report is based on those disclosures.

Women occupied, on average, 15.8 per cent of the executive officer positions at TSX-listed companies, up marginally from 15 per cent, where it has sat for the past three years.

Camilla Sutton, president and chief executive of Women in Capital Markets, said she expects the Ontario Securities Commission to introduce further rules to speed up the process.

“As we have seen over the last several years, progress is slow, and the attempts to drive change to date have not yielded the results we would have hoped,” she said.

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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?