Second Annual "Alberta Women on Boards" Index Reveals Largest Companies Increasing Gender Diversity

CALGARY, Oct. 6, 2016 /CNW/ - The University of Calgary's Haskayne School of Business (Haskayne) and the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) today announced the results of the second annual Alberta Women on Boards Index.  

This initiative is a research study intended to provide greater visibility into the gender makeup of the boards of directors of publicly traded TSX and TSX-Venture (TSXV) Alberta issuers.1 In 2016, the research scope was expanded to include named executive officers (NEOs) of TSX Alberta issuers.2  

Findings of the study, as of September 15, 2016, include:

  • 32 per cent of new board directors of TSX-listed Alberta issuers appointed in 2016 are women, an increase from 22 per cent in 2015.
  • Women account for eight per cent of NEOs for TSX-listed Alberta issuers.
  • The province's largest companies are leaders in diversifying their boards; women now hold 23 per cent of board positions at Alberta companies included in the TSX 60.  
    • Seven of the 10 new board members appointed to these companies in the last year are women.
    • All of these companies have at least two female directors on their board.
  • Women hold 11 per cent of board positions of all TSX-listed Alberta issuers, an increase from nine per cent in 2015. 
  • The number of TSXV-listed board positions held by women has remained steady at four per cent over the last three years.
  • Women hold the Chair position on the boards of seven Alberta issuers.

 

While the past year has held economic challenges for many Alberta-based issuers, that climate did not appear to hamper the move towards increased gender diversity on boards of larger issuers. "The percentage of women who were appointed as new board directors of TSX-listed Alberta issuers has increased year-over-year to 32 per cent, and this change was led by some of the largest companies reporting in Alberta," notes Loren Falkenberg, Haskayne's associate dean of research and co-chair of the study's advisory committee. "While these results highlight that organizations are slowly beginning to recognize the importance of diverse representation on their boards, they also point to a troubling lack of female representation at the senior executive level."

Alison Trollope, director of communications and investor education at the ASC, said that a benefit of collecting this data and making it available to the public is to increase transparency for investors and other stakeholders of non-venture issuers.

"We think it's important to provide this information about gender diversity to our capital market, as we've heard from investors that they find it useful in making informed voting and investment decisions," said Ms. Trollope.

The Alberta Women on Boards Index benefits from an Advisory Committee comprised of senior business leaders who oversee its development. In addition to Dr. Falkenberg and Ms. Trollope, the committee members include:

  • Trudy Curran, Corporate Director   
  • Wendy Hanrahan, Executive Vice President, Corporate Services, TransCanada Corporation
  • Linda Hohol, Corporate Director  
  • Byron Neiles, Executive Vice President, Corporate Services, Enbridge Inc.

 

About the Alberta Women on Boards Index
Survey data was gathered from the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (SEDAR) filings and other publicly available documents of 459 issuers for which the ASC is the principal regulator for 2016 and 453 issuers for 2015. Investment funds were excluded from the analysis. 

About the ASC
The ASC is the regulatory agency responsible for administering the province's securities laws. It is entrusted with fostering a fair and efficient capital market in Alberta and with protecting investors. As a member of the Canadian Securities Administrators, the ASC works to improve, coordinate and harmonize the regulation of Canada's capital markets.

The ASC recently published for comment proposed amendments to National Instrument 58-101 Disclosure of Corporate Governance Practices, intended to increase transparency for investors and other stakeholders of non-venture issuers regarding the representation of women on boards of directors and in senior management, as well as with respect to term limits or other mechanisms of board member renewal. These amendments will align the disclosure requirements under NI 58-101 in Alberta with most other jurisdictions in Canada. The comment period closes on October 14, 2016.

Follow the ASC on Twitter @ASCUpdates.

About the Haskayne School of Business
The Haskayne School of Business was founded at the University of Calgary in 1967, and was named in honour of Richard F. Haskayne, OC, AOE, FCA, in 2002. The business school has approximately 3,300 full and part-time students enrolled in bachelor's, master's, doctorate, and executive education programs, and stays connected with its more than 21,000 alumni in 80 countries worldwide.

The vision of the Haskayne School of Business is to be an internationally recognized centre of excellence for business education, research, and community outreach, with a special emphasis on the distinct elements that define Calgary and Alberta: energy, entrepreneurship, and ethical leadership.

For more information, visit haskayne.ucalgary.ca or follow us on Twitter @HaskayneSchool.

1 For the purposes of this study, "Alberta issuers" are those companies for which the ASC is the principal regulator.
2 NEOs include the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Financial Officer and next three highest-paid executive officers (or more, if disclosed) as listed in issuers' Management Information Circular. It does not necessarily include all executive officers.

SOURCE Alberta Securities Commission

For further information: Media Inquiries: Alberta Securities Commission, Jillian Schaal, Senior Communications Advisor, (403) 355-4152, jillian.schaal@asc.ca; Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary, Janelle Morris, Senior Communications Strategist, (403) 220-6153, Janelle.morris@haskayne.ucalgary.ca

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