Virtually no change in getting women on boards in Canada, stats show – Toronto Star

Andrew MacDougall

Oct. 3, 2016

Toronto Star business reporter Vanessa Lu has written an article examining the state of gender diversity on corporate boards in Canada – and the fact that recent disclosure results reveal that there’s been virtually no improvement over the past year in increasing the number of women appointed to the boards of TSX-listed companies. In addition to referring to comments made by Maureen Jensen, chair and CEO of the Ontario Securities Commission, during an address to the Toronto Region Board of Trade, Lu consults Andrew MacDougall, a partner in Osler’s Corporate Group and co-author of 2016 Diversity Disclosure Practices, a report about gender diversity in Canadian boardrooms researched and published by Osler. Andrew expresses his opinion that companies should appoint women to boards based on their needs and not in response to externally-imposed quotas, but believes that it’s critical for them to set targets – which many companies simply aren’t doing.

“I call that a big disappointment,” Andrew continues. “If you don’t set a target, if you don’t have a goal, how are going to reach it?”

He also notes that 46% of companies have all-male boards. “It’s surprising in this day and age that there should be such a large number of issuers without a woman on their board.”

For more information about gender diversity in corporate Canada, read Vanessa Lu’s full article “Virtually no change in getting women on boards in Canada, stats show” in the September 28, 2016 edition of The Toronto Star or download Osler’s 2016 Diversity Disclosure Practices report.