Transforming Canada's Boardrooms

The Canadian Gender and Good Governance Alliance the ‘Alliance’ – is an unprecedented partnership of the leading not-for-profit organizations focused on research, advocacy and education in the areas of governance and gender diversity. The Alliance aims to amplify and coordinate efforts to increase gender parity on boards and in executive positions, and contribute to public policy as an advisor for the government and regulators. 
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The first joint initiative of the Alliance is the creation of this Directors’ Playbook, which presents a curation of practical tools that organizations can use to achieve gender balance on boards through deliberate action.

Canada Now

  • Women hold approximately 14% of all board seats of TSX-listed companies.  
  • Only 26% of open board positions are filled by women candidates.
  • About 39% of companies have no women directors and 38% have no women executive officers.
  • Only 11% of companies have three or more women on their board.  
  • Only 26% of open board positions are filled by women candidates.
  • Assuming board vacancies filled by women increase over time to 50%, it will still take over 30 years to reach parity.

Endorsements

“We must continue driving real change in Canada’s boardrooms, executive offices and workplaces in order to achieve gender balance. The only path forward is inclusion - where we leverage differences and work towards building a stronger, more dynamic corporate Canada. We need progressive and collaborative efforts like the Alliance to motivate collective action, advance progress for Canada’s talented women and strengthen our economic future.”
- Victor Dodig, Chair of the 30% Club Canada and the Catalyst Canada Advisory Board 
 
 “We are thrilled to see so many leading organizations come together to form the Canadian Gender and Good Governance Alliance and produce such a user-friendly document. We hope our issuers will find this Playbook to be a useful tool as they continue on the path of increasing gender diversity at both the Board and executive officer level.”
- Maureen Jensen, Chair and CEO, Ontario Securities Commission
 
“Gender diversity has been shown again and again to be a winning corporate strategy. The Business Council of Canada heartily supports the work of the Canadian Gender and Good Governance Alliance and is proud to be associated with the launch of this Directors’ Playbook.”
- The Honourable John Manley, President and CEO, Business Council of Canada
 
“The reasons for more diverse boards are clear: they are key to helping companies advance, innovate, profit and grow. This Playbook helps us move past the rationale and towards more practical tools to realize diversity.”
- Rahul Bhardwaj, President and CEO of the Institute of Corporate Directors
 
 “CCGG believes that, given the very slow rate of progress on increasing the number of women on boards in particular, investors and other stakeholders need to do more to effect more rapid change. The Alliance’s Playbook provides a great, practical tool to do just that.”
- Julie Cays, Chair, Canadian Coalition for Good Governance
 
 “CCGG’s institutional investor members welcome this important initiative and the opportunity to lend our collective voice to furthering the goal of enhancing gender diversity on Canadian boards and in senior management.”
- Steve Erlichman, Executive Director, Canadian Coalition for Good Governance
 
 Canada continues to lag behind other developed nations in terms of gender balance on corporate boards, and there is urgency to turn the tide. Catalyst looks forward to continuing to contribute to this important new Alliance, and to accelerate progress for women.”
- Tanya van Biesen, Executive Director, Catalyst Canada
 
 “Women in Capital Markets is proud to be a member of The Canadian Gender and Good Governance Alliance. By working together and presenting a united voice in advocacy we can make a bigger difference than has been achieved in the past. This is a critical issue that all Canadians should be concerned with so that Canadian businesses can be more profitable and more efficient – a result that numerous studies have shown to be very clear.” 
- Jeannie Collins-Ardern, Interim CEO & President, Women in Capital Markets
 
 “The Clarkson Centre has studied Canadian corporate governance for more than 15 years, and there is no area where we have seen less progress than women on boards. The Alliance shows that all sides of the table are unanimous that urgent improvement is needed, and we will provide the tools to facilitate change.”
- Matt Fullbrook, Manager, Clarkson Centre for Board Effectiveness, at Rotman School of Management
 
 “Each of these organizations brings a wealth of expertise, passion and commitment to advancing gender equality. Bold action is required to advance women at executive levels and together, we are prepared to be bold.”
- Professor Beatrix Dart, Executive Director, Initiative for Women in Business, Rotman School of Management, and Co-Chair of the CGGGA
 
 “The Alliance is unifying industry-leading research, education and advocacy perspectives to drive critical change. We are committed to partnering with businesses, investors, governments and regulators to address the persistent challenges.”
- Ekta Mendhi, Co-Chair, Women in Leadership, Women in Capital Markets and Co-Chair of the CGGGA
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