Increase in Aboriginal candidates highlights call for broader diversity within Corporate Canada
TORONTO, Oct. 16, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Board Diversity Council is proud to announce the 2014 Diversity 50: the newest cohort of diverse, qualified, board-ready candidates for corporate board of director appointments. Notably, the inclusion of five highly qualified Aboriginal candidates in this year's cohort indicates that the Council's approach to increasing diversity at the board level is working.
"While gender continues to be an incredibly important factor within the diversity discussion, we recognize that we must advocate for a broader definition of diversity," said CBDC Founder Pamela Jeffery. "Knowing how important it is to continue offering board-ready candidates that are as broadly diverse as Canadians themselves, we're really pleased to have such strong Aboriginal representation within this year's Diversity 50."
Recent issues involving natural resource–related projects in Canada have highlighted the need to appoint qualified Aboriginal people for directorship positions.
"I'm very proud to be included within the CBDC's Diversity 50 this year," said Jean Paul Gladu, president and CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. "Helping Canada's businesses and Aboriginal communities build better relationships is critical to ensuring there is a clear understanding of our perspective, which, when reflected within a company's governance, is not only valued but actually necessary in order for Canada to thrive."
Many companies state that their boards lack diversity because they cannot find qualified, diverse candidates. Now in its third year, the Diversity 50 addresses the "visibility barrier" by serving as a resource for directors and search firms, and providing a diverse list of men and women who have the skills and experience to be board directors today.
"Put simply, we need to increase diversity within Canada's corporate boards," said Frank Vettese, Managing Partner and Chief Executive, Deloitte Canada. "The representation of not just women, but also visible minorities, Aboriginal people and persons with disabilities at the board level strengthens a company's leadership in providing critical points of view that are more representative of all Canadians—this adds incredible value when making important business decisions."
Reinforcing the success of the Council's approach to increasing diversity across Canada's corporate boards, the program has seen 14 FP500 and Fortune 500 board appointments.
"I think the Diversity 50 initiative is incredibly valuable in reinforcing the strength of Canada's corporate boards, and in ensuring they're comprised of people from different backgrounds, skills and experience," said Sarah Davis, Chief Administrative Officer, Loblaw Companies Ltd. and director of the AGF Management Limited Board. "My appointment to the Board at AGF this past January was largely thanks to having been a 2012 Diversity 50 candidate, so I have first-hand experience of the program's success."
To review a summary of biographical and professional information for each 2014 Diversity 50 candidate, and to view the complete list of candidates from previous years' cohorts that have been placed on boards, please click here.
CBDC Corporate Members have exclusive access to the full database of board-ready candidates, including highly searchable, in-depth information about each, as well as contact details. The Diversity 50 database allows members to search 78 specific fields such as industry experience, functional area of expertise and gender, among others. To become a Corporate Member, please contact the Council.
- Within this year's Diversity 50, there are nine men named as board-ready candidates (as compared with three last year).
- In addition to five Aboriginal candidates on the list this year, there are 11 visible minority candidates.
- This year's candidates hail from eight provinces: Ontario (48%), British Columbia (18%), Alberta (14%), Quebec (8%) and Manitoba (4%), with 2% representing each of Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. One candidate (2%) resides in the U.S.
- The CBDC adds 50 new board-ready candidates to its database each year, so with this year's cohort the full database includes 150 diverse, qualified candidates.
- Since its inception, the program has resulted in 12 FP500 board appointments, one Fortune 500 appointment and one Fortune Global 500 appointment.
For more information about Diversity 50 and the CBDC, visit www.boarddiversity.ca.
About Diversity 50
Diversity 50 is an initiative of the CBDC, supporting its mandate to increase representation of such considerations as ethnicity, gender and aboriginal status at the boardroom tables of Canada's 500 largest organizations. Diversity 50 is a resource for directors and search firms. It is a list of diverse men and women from across Canada with strong competencies that align with the requirements of many Canadian boards, selected after a self-nomination process and then an assessment based on criteria vetted by a group of leading Canadian CEOs.
The 12 participating CEOs vetted the qualification criteria for Diversity 50 in collaboration with the Council. The CEOs are: Coast Capital Savings Interim President and CEO Don Coulter, Sun Life Financial Canada President Kevin P. Dougherty, TELUS Executive Chair Darren Entwistle, Postmedia President and CEO Paul Godfrey, Canadian Oil Sands President and CEO Ryan Kubik, IAMGOLD President and CEO Steve Letwin, HSBC Bank President and CEO Paulo Maia, Iron Ore Company of Canada President and CEO Kelly Sanders, Norton Rose Fulbright Global Vice Chair and Chairman, Canada Norm Steinberg, Hydro-Québec President and CEO Thierry Vandal, Deloitte Managing Partner and Chief Executive Frank Vettese, and Suncor Energy President and CEO Steve Williams.
About the Canadian Board Diversity Council
The Council is the leading Canadian organization advancing diversity on Canada's boards. Founded in 2009, the Council has since grown to 56 Founding and Corporate Member organizations that are committed to greater diversity in the Canadian workplace. The Council's goal is to improve the diversity of Canada's corporate boards. The Council's definition expands the traditional board definition of industry experience, management experience, functional area of expertise, education, geography and age to also include such considerations as ethnicity, gender and aboriginal status. The Council's call to action to boards and shareholders is i) appoint at least one diverse director for every three directors retiring, ii) consider three diverse candidates when identifying each new potential director and iii) identify and sponsor board-ready diverse candidates.
SOURCE: Canadian Board Diversity Council (CBDC)
For further information: Pamela Jeffery, Founder, Canadian Board Diversity Council, (416) 361-1475 ext. 224, [email protected]; Media Contact: Laura Casselman, Edelman Public Relations, 416-849-3172, [email protected]