Diversity’s future less than clear – Listed Magazine

Andrew MacDougall

Oct 13, 2016

Listed Magazine has published an article examining the issue of gender diversity on the boards of TSX-listed companies, and particularly the lack of progress in increasing the proportion of women appointed as directors and executive officers at those corporations in the wake of the introduction of the Ontario Securities Commission’s “comply or explain” regime. Based extensively on the conclusions drawn in 2016 Diversity Disclosure Practices, a report about gender diversity in Canadian boardrooms researched and published by Osler, the article elicits commentary from various experts, including Andrew MacDougall, a partner in Osler’s Corporate Group and co-author of the report.

“I was really hoping to see an increase in the proportion of women directors compared to last year,” Andrew says. “We need the boards to show leadership, we need them to expand their search parameters, not just focus on CEOs, that’s too much of a blinder in looking for candidates.”

Despite the fact that the number of women on boards hasn’t really increased over last year, Andrew is heartened by the heightened level of discussion about the issue. “It’s in the public discourse. When the OSC was directed to go out there and see what changes should be made, this wasn’t in the public discourse at nearly the degree of the conversations we’re having today. The disclosure obligation has been very good at forcing conversations to happen at the board and when you force conversations to happen, things start to snowball.”  

Read the entire article “Diversity’s future less than clear” in the October 10, 2016 issues of Listed Magazine. To learn more about gender diversity on TSX-listed boards, download Osler’s 2016 Diversity Disclosure Practices report.