Canada’s largest institutional investors are calling for a boost in the representation of women on board and executive management teams of S&P/TSX composite index companies to 30 per cent by 2022.

Within the 215 largest issuers on the index, women occupied only 18 per cent of board seats as of September 2016, according to a review by the Canadian Securities Administrators.

“Gender diversity is a critical component of good corporate governance. It is well established that diverse boards and executive management teams are more likely to achieve better outcomes for investors by introducing a broader spectrum of perspectives, skills and experience,” the statement reads. “As members of the Canadian 30% Club Investor Group, we are committed to exercising our ownership rights to encourage increased representation of women on corporate boards and in executive management positions in Canada.”

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The statement notes companies can move towards that goal by disclosing their diversity policies; adopting an approach to board nominations to base them on merit with the benefits of gender diversity in mind; and committing to scrutiny of director and executive performance and regular refreshing of the board.

Investors can also advance the target by monitoring companies’ efforts in the area and entering into dialogue with them, the statement said.

The 30% Club is an organization devoted to engaging with board chairs and chief executive officers on reaching better gender balance at executive and board levels. The significance of the number 30 is that “30 per cent is the level at which critical mass is achieved and contributions of a minority group cease being representative of that particular group and begin to be judged on their own merit,” according to the statement.

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The 16 investors, which manage a total of $2.1 trillion in net assets, are:

  1. AGF Management Ltd.
  2. The Alberta Investment Management Co.
  3. BMO Global Asset Management
  4. The British Columbia Investment Management Corp.
  5. The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
  6. The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
  7. CIBC Asset Management
  8. The Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology Pension Plan
  9. The Desjardins Group pension plan
  10. The Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan
  11. The Investment Management Corp. of Ontario
  12. The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System
  13. OPSEU Pension Trust
  14. The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan
  15. The Public Sector Pension Investment Board
  16. RBC Global Asset Management

Copyright © 2017 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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