Toronto (June 5, 2014)—The composition of Canada’s corporate boardrooms is being transformed, thanks to the support of Canada’s savviest business leaders. Today, Catalyst Canada announced that the list of Catalyst Accord signatories—companies pledging to increase the overall proportion of FP 500 board seats held by women to 25% by 2017—has grown to include 26 leading corporations.
“By publicly committing to boardroom diversity and setting goals, these companies serve as role models for others, demonstrating that leadership and accountability start at the top,” says Alex Johnston, Executive Director, Catalyst Canada. “We celebrate these corporate leaders for sending a powerful message that the status quo is not acceptable when it comes to the dearth of women on corporate boards.”
The Catalyst Accord calls for participating companies to accelerate the pace of change and help lift the average representation of women on FP 500 boards to 25% by 2017 by setting their own goals. Catalyst makes available to all Accord signatories its directory of CEO-sponsored board-ready women.
According to the 2013 Catalyst Census: Financial Post 500 Women Board Directors, women’s representation on FP 500 boards increased from 14.5% in 2011 to 15.9% in 2013. While these numbers represent the first signs of meaningful growth and momentum, four out of 10 (41.7%) public companies continue to have no women on their boards.
“The leadership of these 26 companies is a significant step in accelerating change around the boardroom table, but there is still much work to be done. We encourage all FP 500 corporations to set goals and commit to the Catalyst Accord,” says Ms. Johnston. “It has never been more evident globally that women leaders are essential to business success. Gender diversity on boards helps drive better business results and strengthens Canada’s economic competitiveness.”
CATALYST ACCORD SIGNATORIES: LEADING THE WAY
Catalyst salutes and thanks the following Accord signatories: BMO Financial Group, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, CIBC, Chubb Insurance Company of Canada, Cineplex Entertainment LP, Coast Capital Savings Credit Union, Deloitte LLP, Dentons Canada LLP, Desjardins Group, EY, HSBC Bank Canada, Intact Financial Corporation, KPMG LLP Canada, Linamar Corporation, Manulife Financial Corporation, McCarthy Tétrault LLP, Metro Inc., MTS Allstream Inc., National Bank of Canada, PwC Canada, RBC, Scotiabank, Talisman Energy Inc., TELUS Corporation, WestJet Airlines.
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Founded in 1962, Catalyst is the leading nonprofit organization expanding opportunities for women and business. With operations in the United States, Canada, Europe, India, Australia, and Japan, and more than 700 preeminent corporations as members, Catalyst is the trusted resource for research, information and advice about women at work. Catalyst annually honours exemplary organization initiatives that promote women’s advancement with the Catalyst Award.
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Francine Beck, FB Strategies Inc.
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