News and Announcements

Catalyst’s Women On Board® Initiative Selects 15 New Women Corporate Director Candidates

TORONTO (October 2, 2013)Catalyst today announced the 15 women corporate director candidates selected this year to join Women On Board®, a Catalyst initiative that combines the power of mentorship and sponsorship to promote the appointment of women to corporate boards.

Since 2007, Women On Board® has been a leading force advancing women to corporate boards in Canada. With 34% of program alumnae appointed to corporate boards to date, it provides solutions to both the lagging representation of women on FP500 boards and the increasing demand for greater diversity in the boardroom.  

“The Women On Board® initiative takes a practical approach to getting more women appointed to boards,” says Alex Johnston, Executive Director of Catalyst Canada and member of the federal government’s Advisory Council on women on boards. “These 15 women are already strong candidates for corporate boards. Women On Board® gives them what they need most—a sponsor—someone who will provide strategic advice, help them build their board networks and champion their candidacy."

Each of the 15 women is paired with an experienced corporate board member who will mentor and sponsor her as they work toward attaining a corporate board appointment.

“I am very honoured to be selected to be part of Women On Board®,” says Sherry Cooper, Special Advisor to the Board of MDC Partners and former Chief Economist of BMO Financial Group and BMO Nesbitt Burns. “My board sponsor, Thomas O’Neill, is a very well-respected director on numerous boards including Bell Canada, Bank of Nova Scotia and Loblaw Companies. I am very grateful for the opportunity Women On Board® has provided to work with Tom and to have his support.”

Advancing women to corporate boardrooms is a critical focus for Catalyst in Canada and globally. Additional Catalyst board-related initiatives and resources include:

  • Women On Board® Source, an online listing of Women On Board® corporate director candidates.
  • Catalyst Research Center for Equity in Business Leadership, an endowed research center.
  • Catalyst Accord, a call to action for FP500 companies to commit to representational targets for women on their boards.
  • Catalyst Corporate Board Resource, an opportunity for Catalyst member companies to connect CEO-sponsored women to board opportunities.

Founded in 1962, Catalyst is the leading nonprofit organization expanding opportunities for women and business. With offices in the United States, Canada, Europe, India, and Australia, and more than 600 members, Catalyst is the trusted resource for research, information, and advice about women at work. Catalyst annually honors exemplary organizational initiatives that promote women's advancement with the Catalyst Award.

Women On Board® is a Catalyst initiative that promotes the appointment of women to corporate boards by selecting and pairing women corporate director candidates with mentors and champions and by promoting their candidacy for corporate boards in an online listing, Women On Board® Source. It provides solutions to both the lagging representation of women on FP500 boards and the increasing demand for diversity in Canada’s corporate boardrooms.