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"25 in 5" Increasing Women on Corporate Boards - 2013

Category:EMPLOYMENT CONDITIONS
Sub-Category:GENERAL & EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES
Resolution Number:200.10.29
Club:Barrie
Year:2013
Status:Open
Reaffirmed:
Comments:

Background: The Conference Board of Canada 2002 report “Women on Boards, Not Just the Right Thing...” outlines the business case for Canadian boards of directors to increase the number of women directors, by linking improved corporate governance and better financial performance over the long term to board diversity. /The 2011 Catalyst Census: Financial Post 500 Women Board of Directors found that only 14.5% of board seats in Canada were held by women versus 9.8% in 2001. /By 2012 The Globe and Mail reported the following statistics in the S&P/TSX composite index: Companies with no women on the board 41%; companies with 25% - 33% women directors 9%; companies with at least 33% women directors 3%. “Glacial progress” was the apt description. /A 2012 Credit Suisse report answered the question “Does Gender Diversity Improve Performance?” Answer: a 26% stock return outperformance by companies between 2005-2011 with at least one woman as a director on its board. / In Canada, the ratio of women to men graduating with MBA’s has increased swiftly since 2000 to 33%. Sadly, the ratio of women on Canadian boards today is closer to the 1975 rate of women MBA graduates of 11%. /Canadian women make up 47% of the labor force but only 14.5% of board seats among Canada’s Financial Post 500 companies. /European governments have introduced mandatory or voluntary requirements for companies to increase the number of women on boards. A “ comply or explain” strategy promoting an increase in the ratio of women in the composition of both corporate and public boards to 25% in 5 years should be adopted. This allows companies the flexibility to voluntarily choose to adopt this target for board diversity. Those boards that do not comply must explain why to its shareholders, customers and the Ontario public. / In Ontario, a major economic powerhouse in the country, our government must lead this initiative to ensure our province’s economic success in the 21st century. / REFERENCES:
Women on Boards, Not Just the Right Thing…But the Bright Thing www.conferenceboard.ca/temp/ebb42d4c-038b-4328-8501-5f4b3cdb10df/341-02rpt.pdf ;
2011 Catalyst Census: Financial Post 500 Women Board Directors www.catalyst.org ; www.eurekablog.ca/wpcontent/uploads/2009/02/qt_women_in_mgmt_in_canada.pdf ; Glacial Progress of Women on Canada’s Boards Prompts Call for Reform www.theglobeandmail.com /report-on-business. November 26, 2012/article 5644350 ; Gender Diversity and Corporate Performance Credit Suisse Research Institute 2012 https:/infocus.creditsuisse.com/data/_product_documents/_shop/360415/csri_gender_diversity_and_corporate_performance.pdf ;
What Does It Take to Get More Women on Canadian Boards? www.financialpost.com/2012/11/26/what-does-it-take_to_get_more_women_on_boards ;
Coalition for a Balanced Representation of Women and Men on Canadian Boards of Directors Senator Celine Hervieux-Payette www.eurekablog.ca/?page_id=9 ;
Minister Rona Ambrose at the Edmonton Women’s Symposium September 2012 www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/med/spe-dis/2012/0915-eng.html ;
Comply or Explain” Gains Traction for Getting Women on Boards www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business. November 26,2012/comply…/article5649372

RESOLUTION: THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that BPW Ontario urges the Government of Ontario, Minister of Finance, Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues and Minister of Economic Development and Innovation, to implement a strategy to increase the ratio of women in the composition of both corporate and public boards to a minimum of 25% in 5 years, letting companies voluntarily choose to adopt this target for board diversity; AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that BPW Ontario urges the Government of Ontario, Minister of Finance, Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues, Minister of Economic Development and Innovation, and the Ontario Securities Commission to include a reporting mechanism for those boards that do not comply with this voluntary target for board diversity and those who do not comply must explain why to shareholders, customers and the Ontario public.

 

©BPW Ontario www.bpwontario.com

Article ID: 4367

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