Canadian public companies remain under sustained pressure to improve gender diversity. In this chapter, we provide a snapshot of the current state of gender diversity among Canadian public companies, which reveals meaningful progress on a number of diversity-related metrics. We also explore how institutional investors continue to incorporate diversity-related guidelines into their voting decisions; with increased investor attention on promoting gender diversity, in 2019, for the first time in Canada, a majority of investors voted in favour of a shareholder proposal relating to gender diversity. We also discuss the ever-expanding framework of gender diversity–requirements and guidelines from corporate and securities regulators, the Toronto Stock Exchange, proxy advisers and governance watchdogs, and provide practical tips on how boards and senior management can continue making headway in increasing diversity.
This chapter appears in the 2019 edition of Davies Governance Insights, our comprehensive annual report on the trends and issues most important to Canadian public companies.
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