Gender Diversity, a Business Imperative

TORONTO, Feb. 4, 2015 /CNW/ - 41 percent of attendees at CFA Society Toronto's ground-breaking conference, Getting to Alpha: The Competitive Advantage of Gender Diversity, believe that 50 percent of women should hold board seats in Canada by 2020 compared with the 20.8 percent women on board representation Canada sees today.  59 percent feel that female representation should increase to 40-45 percent of board seats.

Distinguished keynotes and panelists emphasized gender diversity as a means to achieving optimal financial results during a half day conference in Toronto last week.  Throughout the conference over 250 attendees voted using audience response devices surrounding pertinent issues and trends in gender diversity. 

Over 50 percent of attendees felt that conscious or unconscious bias is the biggest hurdle preventing gender balance at the top level, while 23 percent believe traditional job structures and lack of flexibility in performing roles are to blame.  Another 13 percent felt the barrier is caused by women not stepping forward into leadership roles.

"Women in leadership is progressing from conversational theory to an applied competitive strategy.  Those who don't embrace this business imperative will be left behind." said Sue Lemon, CFA, CEO of CFA Society Toronto.

As the evidence mounts, more investment decision makers will consider gender diversity in management before allocating their assets.  In fact, 98 percent of attendees felt that gender diversity contributes to meaningful financial outperformance, and 89 percent will be considering gender diversity in their future valuation processes.

For a comprehensive listing of the audience response device results please contact

About CFA Society Toronto

CFA Society Toronto supports the professional and business development of more than 8,300 CFA charterholders in Toronto, making it the second largest CFA Society in the world. It provides members with a local perspective on a global designation, including: educational programs, sponsored events, job postings, quarterly newsletters, a comprehensive affinity program and networking opportunities. A not-for-profit organization, CFA Society Toronto is affiliated with CFA Institute, the global body that administers the Chartered Financial Analyst curriculum and sets voluntary, ethics-based performance-reporting standards for the investment industry. CFA Society Toronto's members are leaders in ethics in the financial community. For more information, please refer to

SOURCE CFA Society Toronto

For further information: Sara Pacella, CFA Society Toronto, Phone: .416.366.5755 X 235, E-mail:


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