Women held 26 per cent of the total 5,112 board seats among Canadian companies providing disclosure for 2022, up from 23.4 per cent in 2021, according to Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP’s latest diversity report.
The report tracked companies subject to the Canada Business Corporations Act that disclosed the number of women, Indigenous peoples and visible minorities represented at the board level and in executive positions in 2022 up until July 31.
“After eight years, the change to board composition in Canada is now obvious and widespread as Canadian boards have surpassed several important diversity milestones on their journey to include more diverse perspectives in decision-making at senior levels within the organization,” noted the report.
Among S&P/TSX 60 companies, women held 36 per cent of all board seats and, among the broader S&P/TSX composite index, a third of all board seats were held by women. For the first time, there were no all-male boards among S&P/TSX composite index companies, noted the report, and none of the S&P/TSX 60 companies had fewer than two female directors. Across all TSX-listed companies, only 11.6 per cent of boards had no women directors in 2022, compared to 47.1 per cent in 2015.
More than two-fifths (43 per cent) of executive teams included at least one woman and one in every five executive officers (19.8 per cent) was a woman, up from 13.5 per cent in 2015. Just 12 per cent of TSX-listed companies had targets for women executive officers, up slightly from 10.7 per cent last year.
However, just 10 per cent of board positions were held by directors who are members of visible minorities, Indigenous peoples or persons with a disability.
“Eight years is a long time to achieve the milestones that have been reached to date,” said the report. “And it will take considerable, sustained effort to achieve gender parity and representation by other diverse groups that approximates the demographics of the population in Canada.”