The University of Calgary's Haskayne School of Business and
the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) released
the results of the first-ever Alberta Women on
Boards Index on September 22, 2015 (the Index).
The Index is intended to be an annual study led by an advisory
committee generally comprised of senior business leaders in the
The study, based on a survey of 453 companies from 2015 and 474
companies in 2014 for which the ASC is the principal regular, found
that in general, female corporate board members have been on the
rise, with roughly 22% of all new board directors of TSX-listed
Alberta issuers appointed in 2015 being women. Overall, women hold
9% of TSX-listed board positions of Alberta issuers, which is an
increase from 8% in 2014. Additionally, women hold 20.3% of all
board positions of Alberta issuers in the TSX/S&P 60 Index,
which is on point with the entire TSX/S&P 60 Index. In terms of
number of females on each board, the report found that 29% of the
boards surveyed had one woman or more, while just 3% have three
women or more, which again, is an increase from 25% and 2%,
respectively, in 2014.
While these results indicate an increase in female board
members, an article in the Calgary Herald, highlights the
fact that these numbers are still less than half of the national
average. Historically, Alberta's female board representation
has been low, exemplified by a survey detailed in the article,
completed by Global Governance Advisors, finding that in 2013, just
9% of board members of Calgary's Top 100 publicly traded
companies were women. This percentage dropped to 6% when referring
specifically to the energy sector, Alberta's dominant
One of the co-chairs of the study, Loren Falkenberg,
Haskayne's associate dean of research, indicated that this
trend should continue given that females account for up to 60% of
university graduates today. With more stringent disclosure
requirements now in place in respect of female representation on
boards and in executive officer positions, aimed at increasing
transparency, boards in Alberta and across the country may also
feel additional pressure from the investment community to continue
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