Canadian securities regulators announce results of seventh annual review of representation of women on boards and in executive officer positions in Canada

Toronto – Today, participating Canadian securities regulatory authorities published the results of their seventh annual review of disclosures relating to women on boards and in executive officer positions, and provided new guidance to help improve the consistency and comparability of this disclosure.

The notice, which was published by securities regulatory authorities in Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan and Yukon (the participating jurisdictions), details review findings from the corporate governance disclosures of 599 non-venture issuers. The notice also outlines new guidance that recommends issuers present certain data related to representation, targets and term limits in a common tabular format to make it easier for investors to identify and evaluate the information.

A few key highlights of the year-over-year findings:

  • Twenty-two per cent of total board seats are occupied by women, representing an 11 per cent increase since 2015.
  • Eighty-two per cent of issuers have at least one woman on their board, reflecting an increase of 33 per cent over the past seven years.
  • Six per cent of issuers have a female chair of their board.
  • Sixty per cent of issuers have adopted a policy relating to the representation of women on their board, marking a 45 per cent increase since the existing framework was adopted in 2014.

“In addition to building in new guidance intended to improve the comparability of diversity-related disclosure information between issuers, we’re forging ahead with consultations that will give us insight into how to evolve our current diversity disclosure framework to include broader diversity considerations,” said Louis Morisset, CSA Chair and President and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers.

Consultations announced earlier this year by the CSA on broadening existing diversity initiatives and disclosure requirements are underway. They will serve to assess how the needs of investors and corporate governance practices have evolved since the existing framework was implemented by the participating jurisdictions in 2014.

More information about the seventh annual review and the new guidance can be found in CSA Multilateral Staff Notice 58-313 Review of Disclosure Regarding Women on Boards and in Executive Officer Positions (Year 7 Report), available on CSA member websites.

The CSA, the council of the securities regulators of Canada’s provinces and territories, co-ordinates and harmonizes regulation for the Canadian capital markets.

For investor inquiries, please contact your local securities regulator.

Source: Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA)

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