Securities regulators in 10 provinces and territories released CSA Multilateral Staff Notice 58-307 Staff Review of Women on Boards and in Executive Officer Positions – Compliance with NI 58-101 Disclosure of Corporate Governance Practices (Staff Notice 58-307).
The review looked at the disclosure practices of over 700 TSX-listed issuers focusing on the number of women represented on their board of directors or in executive officer positions.
"These disclosure requirements were adopted to increase transparency and to provide meaningful additional information that investors can consider when making investment and voting decisions. While we found that some issuers have carefully considered the new disclosure requirements, we strongly encourage all issuers to review the guidance in the notice published today to improve the quality of disclosure and increase transparency regarding the representation of women on boards and in executive officer positions," said Louis Morisset, CSA Chair and President and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers.
The results of the review revealed that among the issuer sample, 49% have at least one woman on their board, 60% have at least one woman in an executive officer position and 15% have added one or more women to their board this year. The review also found that issuer size and industry were the most significant indicators of whether issuers had adopted initiatives to increase the representation of women on their board or in executive officer positions.
One of the more troubling statistics found in the review include the fact that only 7% of the issuers had formal targets for the appointment of women to the board and just 2% when it came to the appointment of women as executive officers.
Also troubling is the fact the mining, oil and gas and technology industries had the most issuers with no women on their board of directors, at 60% or more each while 50% of issuers in the biotechnology, mining, oil and gas and technology industries do not have any female executive officers.
“Our review indicates that many non-venture issuers require additional guidance concerning the level and detail of disclosure that is necessary to satisfy the requirements of the Rule,” the CSA’s report concluded.