TORONTO, Oct. 22, 2013 /CNW/ - The Head of ACCA Canada (the Association
of Chartered Certified Accountants) today called on Canadian public
companies to provide more young women with a path to leadership and
adopt the 30 per cent rule - ensuring that at least 30 per cent of
their board members are women.
"We know that a finance background helps women get corporate board
positions," said Suzanne K. Godbehere. "But we also know that too few
women have corporate board positions."
Women are poorly represented on Canadian boards, comprising only 14.5
per cent of the nation's 500 largest company boards. Many countries
report an even lower percentage.
"As the global body for professional accountants, we have 428,000
students in 173 countries," said Godbehere. "Half are women. Many of
these young women will aspire to positions of senior leadership,
including board positions. It will simply be smart business for public
companies to promote the most qualified to their boards."
A recent report by ACCA, 'Paving the way to opportunities: women in leadership across the
Commonwealth', stated that the 30 per cent rule has been widely accepted as the
baseline level for the proportion of women on boards to be sufficient
to have an impact.
A "30 % Club" was launched in the United Kingdom in 2010. Its members
are Chairmen of UK companies who have voluntarily committed to bring
more women onto the nation's corporate boards.
"Gender diversity creates more effective boards, reflecting a broader
range of skills, experiences and perspectives," said Godbehere. "This
is especially important as women gain financial power throughout the
world. However, too many companies still aren't getting it."
Globally, according to the World Bank in 2013, 39.8 per cent of
companies still have no female directors, and less than one-tenth of
organizations have reached the 30 per cent female representation that
constitutes an effectively diverse board.
"Organizations that don't actively identify and recruit highly-skilled
women to their boards are missing tremendous opportunities," said
Godbehere. "The global consumer spend by women is projected to be reach
$28-trillion by 2014 - that's a consumer market senior leadership needs
to fully understand."
Godbehere lauded the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan for its recent
recommendation to the Ontario Securities Commission that all public
company boards be required to have at least three women directors.
"ACCA Canada prefers the 30 per cent target, because it can be easily
applied across all company boards, regardless of their size," said
Godbehere. "But the specific number isn't as important as the fact that
women need to be fairly represented on the boards of Canadian public
companies. Today, they're not. And that's not acceptable by any
Note to Editors
ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global
body for professional accountants with 162,000 members and 428,000
students in 173 countries. We aim to offer business-relevant,
first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and
ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy,
finance and management. We work through a network of 89 offices and
centres and more than 8,500 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide
high standards of employee learning and development. Through our public
interest remit, we promote appropriate regulation of accounting and
conduct relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in
reputation and influence. ACCA Canada has 2,500 members and 1,200
students in Canada. ACCA is not affiliated with any chartered
accountant (CA) organization.
SOURCE: Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
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