The Conference Board of Canada asks: Do disclosure requirements increase women’s representation on corporate boards?

Ottawa, ON, Feb. 11, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — (Globe Newswire) OTTAWA, FEBRUARY 11, 2020 – Board seats are some of the most influential positions in the corporate world. While there has been an increase of women in leadership roles in recent years, women’s representation on boards remains low.The Conference Board of Canada launches a new research project to help answer why Canada missed its national target of 30 per cent women on boards by 2019 and how advancements are otherwise made in women’s representation.All on Board – Turning Evidence into Action for Women’s Leadership aims to fill the knowledge gap. This is an important and unique study that looks at the drivers of change for women’s representation on boards. Specifically, the research will look at the effectiveness of the 2014 Canadian Securities Administrators “comply or explain” disclosure requirement for women’s representation on corporate boards between 2015-2019. Findings of this research will be released later in the spring.“It’s important to know whether different policies and regulations actually make a difference in giving a voice to more people of different backgrounds and identities,” says Dr. Maria Giammarco, Senior Research Associate at The Conference Board of Canada. “This project is an opportunity to look at how behaviour – whether people’s behaviour or organizational behaviour – can change for the better. One important step in answering bigger questions around diversity and inclusion is to understand what works for women’s leadership.”“The comply or explain approach is a nudge in the right direction, but the path to leadership and a seat at the board table is a complex journey,” says Dr. Susan Black, CEO of The Conference Board of Canada. “To see real change, individuals and organizations have to be intentional in their efforts to increase representation of women and other equity groups in leadership. It’s about recognizing the biases that exist in corporate structure, operations, and individual human behaviour and being accountable for the changes that need to happen at these levels” explains Black. “This research will produce evidence, an anchor to inform those conversations, policies, and practices to inform change.”Visit our research landing page to learn more about the challenge, why it matters, what questions will be addressed, and what’s next.The Conference Board of Canada also assembled a Research Advisory Board comprising external experts to inform its work throughout the process, and to ensure the research meets the highest standards for relevance, rigour and impact. Members are:Beata Caranci, Chief Economist & Senior Vice-President of TD Bank GroupDr. Beatrix Dart, Professor and Executive Director of the Initiative for Women in Business, Rotman School, University of TorontoAndrew MacDougall, Partner (Corporate), Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLPDr. Sylvia Fuller, Professor, University of British ColumbiaCatherine McCall, Executive Director, Canadian Coalition for Good GovernanceKristine Remedios, Chief Inclusion and Social Impact Officer, KPMG CanadaThe project All on Board – Turning Evidence into Action for Women’s Leadership is supported by KPMG in Canada and S&P Global Market Intelligence.-30- About the Conference Board of CanadaThe Conference Board of Canada is Canada’s foremost independent, non-partisan, and evidenced-based applied research organization.  We equip leaders and decision-makers with the economic reports, custom research, data, networks and events they need to solve our country’s most pressing challenges. Our focus areas include Canadian Economics, Energy & Environment, Innovation & Technology, Immigration and more. We stand at the intersection of research and policy, where insights meet impact.Follow The Conference Board of Canada on Twitter @ConfBoardofCda Corporate Communications
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