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Catalyst Canada to Confer Special Recognition for Board Diversity to Intact’s Claude Dussault at The 2012 Catalyst Canada Honours

TORONTO (October 10, 2012)—Catalyst Canada announced today that it will honour Claude Dussault, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Intact Financial Corporation, with Special Recognition – Board Diversity Champion for his work advancing women to board leadership. For the first time, Catalyst includes this special recognition in its The Catalyst Canada Honours celebration to underscore the significant role of corporate boards in achieving gender diversity in business leadership.  

The Catalyst Canada Honours recognizes individuals who exemplify exceptional leadership in advancing women in their organizations, industries, and communities. Mr. Dussault joins a distinguished group of 2012 honourees: Gordon M. Nixon, President & CEO, RBC (Company/Firm Leader); Anne-Marie Hubert, Managing Partner, Advisory Services, Ernst & Young (Business Leader); and Jane Allen, Partner & Chief Diversity Officer, Deloitte Canada (Human Resources/Diversity Leader).

Catalyst research shows that women hold only 14.5 percent of board seats in FP500 companies—only 10.3 percent of board seats in FP500 public companies—and over 46 percent of FP500 public companies have no women on their boards at all. “The continued underrepresentation of women in Canada’s boardrooms is unlikely to change without intentional action, commitment, and sponsorship from leaders like Claude Dussault,” said Deborah Gillis, Senior Vice President, Membership and Global Operations. “That's why we launched the Catalyst Accord—to provide role models who work to change the current picture, understanding that women’s advancement to board leadership is essential—and why we are delighted to recognize Claude Dussault for his personal championship.”

Mr. Dussault’s championship of women on boards continues his tradition of ensuring that women are well represented in business leadership. Prior to becoming Chairman of the Board, he served as Intact’s President and Chief Executive Officer and built a strong foundation for supporting and embracing a diverse work environment. Today, Intact’s commitment to diversity is demonstrated by the work of its Diversity Council and initiatives such as diversity training, flexible work arrangements, and employee networking groups. He set a new standard when Intact became public by inviting three women to join the Board.

Under Mr. Dussault’s direction, Intact developed a board matrix to map the diverse composition, skills and strengths of its board members and bring a greater breadth of experience to the company. In the broader business community, Mr. Dussault shares Intact’s successes and lessons learned across boardrooms. He encourages greater diversity and promotes the continuous advancement of women as part of his other board affiliations. Through his involvement with the WomenOnBoard™ Mentoring Program, Mr. Dussault fosters the growth and supports the progression of talented, skilled, and experienced women.

This year's Champions and Special Recognition Champion will be celebrated at The Catalyst Canada Honours dinner on Monday, November 5, 2012, at The Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. For the first time, The Catalyst Canada Honours will host a half-day conference on the same day held at CIBC’s Toronto office. The conference will kick off with a luncheon beginning at 12:00 p.m.

Catalyst Canada initiated the Catalyst Accord, which calls for Canadian corporations to increase the overall proportion of FP500 board seats held by women to 25 percent by 2017. To date, nine companies, including Intact Financial Corporation, have signed the Accord.

Founded in 1962, Catalyst is the leading nonprofit membership organization expanding opportunities for women and business. With offices in the United States, Canada, Europe, and India, and more than 500 preeminent corporations as members, Catalyst is the trusted resource for research, information, and advice about women at work.

The Catalyst Canada Honours celebrates champions of women in Canadian business. Recognizing that what’s good for women is good for business, these exceptional individuals are personally and visibly committed to the advancement of women and serve as powerful role models for Canadian corporate leaders.