Women on Boards of Directors of Canadian companies
The imbalance of women serving on Board’s of Director’s of Canada’s corporations continues to persist despite significant evidence that diverse boards are better boards, diverse boards deliver superior financial returns, and most of the country’s securities regulators have instituted “comply or explain” regulations to begin to redress this disparity.
In 2013 ITAC’s Diversity Advisory Council commissioned a white paper titled ‘Gender Diversity of Boards of Directors of Canadian ICT Companies’, to understand the situation within the technology industry and to identify any obstacles to appointing women to boards. The author, Karen Wensley, discovered that only 16% of Canadian ICT boards had women directors and this low participation rate was due to qualified women not generally being part of their network, nor did they know where to reach out to find them. By 2015, women held less than 10% of ICT board positions, and 55% of publically traded Canadian ICT companies had no women at all.
ITAC strives to address issues and opportunities that drive Canadian ICT company competitiveness. The Diversity Advisory Council was established based on the foundational belief that “Workplace Diversity is a proven solution for increased prosperity and competitiveness, therefore, the mandate of this committee will be to develop and recommend measures and initiatives to raise awareness and increase diversity for our ITAC members, partners and stakeholders.”
ITAC Women on Boards
In order to facilitate ICT companies in addressing this imbalance, ITAC’s Women on Boards committee has established a registry of technology experienced women who are qualified and interested in Board of Director’s appointment. Candidates were invited to participate in “Board Discovery Days” where thought-leaders and educators from Rotman/Institute of Corporate Directors and Degroote/Director’s College shared the qualifications, requirements and roles of Boards of Director’s in providing excellence in governance. Following these sessions interested women were invited to submit their resume to be included on the list.
The Vinetta Project (formerly “Girls Raising”)
As part of our efforts to boost female entrepreneurship, ITAC supports the initiatives of The Vinetta Project (formerly “Girls Raising”) – an international resource community created to assist ambitious female founders with starting, building, funding and growing their businesses. ITAC partners in Vinetta Project events and is committed to providing ongoing sponsorship. ITAC members interested in providing long-term support for joint Canadian efforts are being sought.
Join the conversation on the ITAC Diversity Forum