Voluntary Board Diversity

Country or Region





March 8, 2012

Target (Pledge)

Target: Determined by company, with the goal of overall representation of women on Financial Post 500 (FP500) boards to reach at least 25%
Companies: FP500
Deadline: 2017
Mechanism: Companies sign the Catalyst Accord, making a public pledge
Interim Target: Companies provide Catalyst with confidential interim goals
Additional Information:

  • Members of the Catalyst Canada Advisory Board will provide to companies that sign on to the Catalyst Accord a roster of board-ready women who they personally sponsor.

  • To monitor progress Catalyst will continue to publish the biennial Catalyst Census: Financial Post 500 Women Board Directors.

Proponent: Catalyst Canada


March 1, 2011

Target (Pledge)

Target: 40% WBD3

Companies: Publicly traded in Europe
Deadline: 2020
Mechanism: Companies sign public pledge
Interim Target: 30% WBD by 2015
Sanctions: Because significant progress was not made within a year of its introduction, the Commission is considering other avenues to improve gender balance on company boards
Proponent: Vice-President of Justice, Fundamental Rights, and Citizenship, European Union Commission


Prior to April 2014


Suggestion: Disclose women’s representation on the board of directors
Companies: Publicly Traded
Mechanism: With consent from the company, the government will disclose company data on its website to help make women’s participation visible to everyone, including investors, consumers and job seekers.
Proponent: Gender Equality Bureau Cabinet Office


May 28, 2008

Target (Charter– comply or explain)

Target: Determined by company; six months to measure baseline women’s representation and establish target and strategy for success
Companies: Any
Deadline: Determined by company
Mechanism: Companies sign public charter acknowledging the importance of gender diversity and committing to annually disclose progress
Sanctions:  The Independent Monitoring Commission can remove non-compliant companies from signed charter
Rewards: Naming and praising of good examples; “employer of choice” reputation
Proponent: Talent to the Top



February 24, 2011 Target and recommendations

Target: 25% WBD
Companies: Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) 100 & FTSE 250
Deadline: 2015
Mechanism: Disclosure in annual report
Sanctions: If significant progress is not made in one year, regulatory action may be considered
Proponent: Lord Mervyn Davies’ review of gender equality on boards

  • Chairmen of FTSE 350 companies should set and review WBD targets for 2015.
  • CEOs of FTSE 350 companies should set and disclose targets for women on executive committees and in senior management for 2015. Targets should be in place by September 2013.
  • Executive committee members should be granted permission to serve on outside boards for talent development purposes.
  • Listed companies should pilot advertising open board seats to determine potential benefits and pitfalls.
  • Quoted companies should disclose percent WBD, WEO, and women employees.
  • UK Corporate Governance Code should require listed companies to establish and disclose boardroom diversity policy (measurable objectives and progress).
  • Board chairs should sign charter supporting recommendations.
  • Disclose meaningful information about director nomination/ appointment process and how it addresses diversity.


November 2010

Target (Pledge)

Target: 30% WBD
Companies: UK
Deadline: 2015
Mechanism: Company chairs commit to fulfilling goals and to recruiting other chairs to join
Proponent: 30% Club


November 26, 2010

Target (Pledge)

Target: 20% WBD
Companies: Publicly traded and private
Deadline: 2020
Mechanism: Companies sign public pledge
Interim Target: Add a woman to the board within two years of signing the pledge
Proponent: 2020 Women on Boards