Government advisory council recommends 30% target for women on boards

July 2, 2014

Last week, the Canadian government's advisory council studying ways to increase gender diversity on corporate boards issued a report recommending that women make up 30% of corporate boards nationally within five years. The report also recommends, among other things, that a "comply or explain" approach be implemented to incentivize public companies to meet that goal.

As we've previously discussed, the Ontario Securities Commission proposed amendments to corporate governance disclosure obligations earlier this year that would require TSX-listed and other non-venture issuers reporting in Ontario to annually disclose, among other things: (i) the board's or nominating committee's consideration of the representation of women in the director identification and selection process; (ii) targets regarding the representation of women on the board and in executive officer positions; and (iii) the number of women on the board and in executive officer positions.

The OSC's Statement of Priorities for the upcoming fiscal year suggests that final rules are forthcoming.

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