Pamela Jeffery, the founder of the Canadian Board Diversity Council, says that although Canada is heading in the right direction, the pace of change is too slow. Jeffery says securities regulators should force publicly traded companies to have written board diversity policies rather than merely requiring the companies to disclose whether or not they have such a policy in place. "It's disappointing to me that companies did a lot more explaining instead of complying," Jeffery said in an interview. In the United Kingdom, there are no all-male boards in the FTSE100 — the 100 largest London Stock Exchange-listed companies based on market capitalization. In the FTSE250, the next 250 largest companies on the London Stock Exchange, that are only 15 companies that have no women on their boards. In comparison, 109 of the companies in Canada's FP500 have boards comprised entirely of men, said Jeffery. "In the context of board diversity at a global level, Canada is falling behind," said Jeffery.
"It's disappointing to me that companies did a lot more explaining instead of complying."
Lack Of Candidates A Problem?Jeffery says one of the reasons commonly cited by companies for not having more women on their boards is a lack of qualified candidates. However, Jeffery points to the Diversity 50 — a list of 50 diverse, board-ready candidates published annually by the Canada Board Diversity Council — as proof that qualified candidates do exist. "Don't tell me there are no women with the skills to be on executive teams and boards of directors in 2015, because the rest of the world is proving us wrong," Jeffery said. — Follow @alexposadzki on Twitter.