All on Board, Does Disclosure Help Create More Inclusive Boardrooms? – Conference Board of Canada

Andrew MacDougall

Apr 14, 2021

A new report from the Conference Board of Canada indicates that disclosure requirements haven’t accelerated the speed of change when it comes to increasing the number of women on corporate boards.

The report: All on Board, Does Disclosure Help Create More Inclusive Boardrooms? states that there is “no compelling evidence that comply or explain disclosure requirements — as implemented in Canada — were associated with an increase in women’s representation on corporate boards.”

To date, the level of representation of women on boards has risen from 10.7% in 2015 to 15.1% by 2018. The year-to-year changes, though, have averaged 1.5 percentage points during the period. Overall, the pace of change has remained steady from 2011 to 2018.

Osler’s Andrew MacDougall, a partner in the firm’s Corporate Governance practice, provided insight as a member of the All on Board series Research Advisory Board.

The report reveals that companies that have adopted diversity practices had a higher representation of women on their boards, but there is little evidence to show it is related to disclosure requirements.

For many companies, achieving critical mass (i.e., 30% representation of women on board) is still “years away,” according to the report, which can be found on the Conference Board of Canada’s website.