Harper Government Increasing Participation of Women on Corporate Boards

OTTAWA, June 10, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Minister for Status of Women, today chaired the meeting of the federal government's advisory council to promote the participation of women on corporate boards.

"Increasing opportunities for women to serve on corporate boards makes good business sense for Canadian women and for Canada's economy," said Minister Ambrose. "Businesses with more women on their boards routinely outperform those with fewer. Therefore, I am pleased to chair this meeting of distinguished Canadians to find ways Canada can increase the representation of women on corporate boards."

While many women lead successful businesses and are active members of corporate boards, they remain under-represented. Canada's Economic Action Plan 2012 announced the creation of an advisory council of leaders from the private and public sectors to promote the participation of women on corporate boards.

Minister Ambrose added "board diversity is not about quotas or tokenism. Board diversity is about better corporate decisions, better responses to market demographics, and better financial performance. It is also about the future, and having more women in key leadership positions to serve as role models for young women and girls."

The advisory council is comprised of women and men representing a wide range of experience within the corporate sector. Its mandate is to:

  • Provide advice on how industry can increase women's representation on corporate boards;
  • Suggest how industry and government can track and measure progress in this initiative and what tools, if any, government should employ to achieve this goal; and,
  • Make recommendations on how the government could recognize leaders in industry and applaud companies that have succeeded in reaching their targets.

The advisory council is expected to make its recommendations by the fall of 2013.

The Harper Government is committed to strengthening Canada's economy with initiatives that create jobs while supporting families and communities. The federal government's support through Status of Women Canada for community-based projects has nearly doubled since 2006-2007, supporting 600 projects across the country.


Advisory Council for Promoting Women on Boards - Members

  • Beverley Briscoe, President, Briscoe Management Limited
  • Maureen Kempston Darkes, former Group Vice President and President Latin America, Africa and Middle East, General Motors Corporation (2006 recipient Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case).
  • Joan Dea, Managing Director and Founder, Beckwith Investments
  • Arlene Dickinson, CEO, Venture Communications
  • Janet Ecker, President, Toronto Financial Services Alliance
  • Murray Edwards, Chairman of the Board of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd
  • Dawn Farrell, President and CEO, TransAlta Corporation
  • John Ferguson, Board Chair, Suncor
  • Sheila Fraser, Auditor General of Canada from 2001 to 2011
  • The Honourable Linda Frum, Senate of Canada
  • Anne Giardini, President, Weyerhaeuser Canada Limited
  • Mike Greenley, Chair, Canadian Association of  Defence and Security Industries
  • Linda Hasenfratz, CEO, Linamar Corporation
  • Alan Horn, Chairman, Rogers Communications and President and Chief Executive Officer, Rogers Telecommunications Limited
  • Isabelle Hudon, President, Sun Life Financial Quebec
  • Tom Jenkins, Executive Chairman, Chief Strategy Officer, OpenText
  • Monique Leroux, Chair of the Board, President and CEO, Desjardins Group
  • Andrew MacDougall, Managing Director for Canada, Spencer Stuart
  • The Honourable John Manley, President and CEO, Canadian Council of Chief Executives
  • Tracy Redies, President and CEO, Coast Capital Savings Credit Union
  • Susan L. Riddell Rose, President and CEO, Perpetual Energy
  • Kathy Sendall, Director, CGG Veritas
  • Nancy Southern, CEO, ATCO Group
  • Catherine Swift, Chair of the Board, Canadian Federation of Independent Business
  • Charles Winograd, Chair, TMX Group

The following organizations will serve as ex-officio members:

  • The Women's Executive Network
  • The Canadian Board Diversity Council
  • Catalyst

SOURCE: Status of Women Canada

For further information:

For media inquiries only:             
Amber Irwin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Public Works and
Government Services and
Minister for Status of Women

For all other inquiries, contact:
Nanci-Jean Waugh
Director General, Communications
and Public Affairs
Status of Women Canada

Ce texte est également disponible en français.

For news releases and information on Status of Women Canada, go to women.gc.ca.


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