Starting Jan. 1, companies must disclose the number of women on the board and in executive officer positions, policies regarding the representation of women at the director level and director term limits.
Finance Minister Charles Sousa says the rule changes will result in the promotion of more women through a "comply or explain" model, rather than using specific quotas.
Of 448 companies that responded to a government survey, 57 per cent have no women directors, and 53 per cent have women in fewer than 10 per cent of their executive officer positions.
Women make up 48 per cent of the workforce, but account for only about 16 per cent of board members of Canada's FP500 companies.
Sousa says having more women on companies' boards and in senior management will make corporations more productive, help attract new investment and grow the economy.
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