09/29/2015 08:19 EDT | Updated 09/29/2016 05:12 EDT

No Female Executives At Many Canadian Companies, Securities Regulators Find

Business people having on presentation at office rendered by computer graphic 3D.
istocksdaily via Getty Images
Business people having on presentation at office rendered by computer graphic 3D.
TORONTO — A review of more than 700 companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange has found that the number of women on corporate boards and in executive positions varies by industry and company size.

For example, about 60 per cent of TSX-listed companies with a market capitalization more than $2 billion reported having at least two female board members. And 59 per cent of the reporting issuers of that size said they had at least two female executive officers.

Meanwhile, 62 per cent of the TSX-listed companies with a market capitalization below $1 billion had no women on their boards and 48 per cent said they had no women in executive positions.

Utilities and the retail sector had the highest number of women on their boards, with 57 per cent of utilities reporting two or more female directors, as did 43 per cent of retailers listed on the TSX.

That contrasted with the mining, oil and gas and technology sectors, in which 60 per cent of the TSX-listed companies said they had no female executive officers and half reporting zero female executive officers.

The review was conducted by securities regulators in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the Yukon.

Regulators in those jurisdictions implemented rule amendments at the end of last year requiring issuers to annually disclose the number of women on their boards and in executive positions.

They were also required to provide targets for how many women should sit on boards or in executive positions and disclose their policies relating to how women are identified and nominated for such posts, among other things.

The rule changes state that if a publicly listed company chooses not to implement targets for female composition and other related policies it must explain its reasoning.

Nearly half — 49 per cent — of the 722 companies included in the review had at least one woman on the board, while 60 per cent had at least one woman in an executive officer position.

Of the issuers included in the review, 15 per cent said they had added at least one woman to their board this year.


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