Canadian execs form new gender equality alliance

Seven organizations team up to help corporations support and promote female leaders.

A number of Canadian organizations have formed the Canadian Gender and Good Governance Alliance to promote gender parity in executive positions and on corporate boards.

The alliance’s founding members include the Business Council of Canada, Canadian Coalition for Good Governance, Catalyst Canada, the Clarkson Centre, the Institute of Corporate Directors, Women in Capital Markets and the 30% Club Canada, which leads the effort.

“Canada continues to lag behind other developed nations in terms of gender balance on corporate boards, and there is urgency to turn the tide,” said Tanya van Biesen, executive director at Catalyst Canada, in a press release.

The group’s first initiative is the launch of its Director’s Playbook, a tool kit for corporate directors to support equal female representation in leadership roles. It includes guidance on codifying gender policies and recruitment strategies, board evaluation best practices and suggests policy changes such as term and age limits.

“The reasons for more diverse boards are clear: they are key to helping companies advance, innovate, profit and grow,” said Rahul Bhardwaj, president and CEO of the Institute of Corporate Directors, in a statement. “This playbook helps us move past the rationale and towards more practical tools to realize diversity.”

A McKinsey & Company study from 2016 showed women make up less than 20% of all c-suite jobs, and only 6% of Canadian CEOs are women.

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