2011 Catalyst Census: Financial Post 500 Women Board Directors: MethodologyMar 08, 2012
The Catalyst Financial Post 500 (FP500) Census utilizes a research methodology that counts a population. This
design differentiates Catalyst’s research from studies that utilize survey methodologies because it removes the need
for a representative sample, thereby ensuring a precise picture of women’s status and progress.
Catalyst studies Financial Post 500 companies as the population not only because these are the largest companies
by revenue in Canada each year, but also because they are widely recognized as the most powerful and influential
In the past, Catalyst requested that every company on the Financial Post 500 list independently verify the accuracy
of the data we had collected. This year, to increase the rigor of the data and further align with the methodology of
our Fortune 500 Censuses, we implemented a methodology change and now request verification from non-public
companies (i.e., private companies, Crown corporations, and cooperatives) only.
For public companies, Catalyst gathered public data filed with the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) via the
System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (SEDAR) as of June 21, 2011 (the publication date of the
Financial Post 500 list, which appeared in the June 2011 issue of Financial Post Magazine). Data submitted to the
CSA comply with federal or provincial requirements governing the content and timing of the filings.
For non-public companies, Catalyst used a verification process to authenticate data gathered from public sources.
In July 2011, Catalyst sent a letter to contacts at each non-public Financial Post 500 company. The letter requested
that each company verify:
- The total number of board directors.
- The total number of women board directors.
- The name, position, and gender of each board director as of June 21, 2011.
For this Census, 88.4 percent of non-public companies participated in the verification process. Companies that
did not respond to the initial email inquiry were contacted by telephone, email, and fax multiple times over a period
of three months. For four non-public companies that did not verify their data, Catalyst used public data that was
included in the company’s most recent public annual report.
Catalyst did not include a company’s data in the Census if it was not filed with the CSA, verified by the company, or
published in a formal public annual report. See the Excluded Companies section for more information. To provide
additional points of comparison, Catalyst analyzed Financial Post 500 companies by regional headquarters’ location
and North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) industry sectors.