May 26, 2017
Though the movement has been slow, progress is being made in increasing gender diversity on the boards of Canadian publicly traded companies, according to a recent article by Bev Cline in Lexpert. Under Canada’s “comply or explain” regime, companies are turning their attention to appointing more women to their boards, with financial institutions and banks leading the way. Cline consults a number of lawyers about the board diversity issue, including Osler partner, Noralee Bradley, who offers insight into the process of finding qualified women to invite to join the board.
“The exercise of ensuring you have diversity on the candidate list may take some additional time and resources,” she says, “but I think boards are pleasantly surprised with the results – there’s a lot of talent out there. They just need to look for it.”
Noralee also points out that corporate Canada has become more accepting of the need for diversity and has been approaching it in a more “constructive way” in the past few years.
“When the ‘comply or explain’ regulations were first released, the diversity issue was an annoyance to many,” she comments. “Now, when talking to clients, it is automatically on the agenda and the conversation is about how to get access to that talent list – to ‘comply’ rather than what is the bare minimum I have to disclose to ‘explain.’”
Read Bev Cline’s full article “’Progress begets progress’” in Lexpert.