Haskayne School of Business and the Alberta Securities Commission Publish Inaugural “Alberta Women on Boards” Index
CALGARY – The University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business (Haskayne) and the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) announced yesterday the results of the first “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.
Findings of the study, as of August 31, 2015, include:
- 22 per cent of all new board directors of TSX-listed Alberta issuers appointed in 2015 are women.
- Women hold nine per cent of TSX-listed board positions of Alberta Issuers , up from eight per cent in 2014. The number of TSXV-listed board positions held by women remained steady at four per cent year over year.
- Women hold 20.3 per cent of all board positions of Alberta issuers in the TSX/S&P 60 Index, in-line with the average number of women on boards for the entire TSX/S&P 60 Index (20.8 per cent) according to Catalyst’s most recent survey.
- Of all companies surveyed, 29 per cent have one woman or more on the board of directors; three per cent have three or more.
- In 2014, 25 per cent of all companies surveyed had one woman or more on the board of directors; two per cent had three or more.
- A woman holds the position of Chair in seven companies surveyed.
Loren Falkenberg, Haskayne’s associate dean of research and co-chair of the study’s advisory committee, said she is pleased to see the growing trend and, with women now making up over 60 per cent of university graduates, it appears the trend should continue.
“We should see the number of women on corporate boards start to really grow, ” she said.
Falkenberg said the new data sheds light on the increase of female representation on Alberta corporate boards, which is particularly important given a growing expectation from the public that boards have more diverse representation. Falkenberg said the recent launch of the Canadian chapter of the 30 Percent Club, which set a goal to have 30 per cent of board seats held by women by 2019, is an example of the expectation that boards should strive for greater gender parity.
“With this new data, as researchers we now have a better understanding of who is sitting at the table in corporate boardrooms,” said Falkenberg.
Bill Rice, chair and chief executive officer of the ASC, said the organization encourages strong boards comprised of the most qualified individuals.
“Many investors favour the inclusion of diverse perspectives on corporate boards, and we are publishing this data to encourage an informed and beneficial public discussion about the participation of women on boards in Alberta,” said Mr. Rice.
The Alberta Women on Boards Index benefits from an Advisory Committee comprised of senior business leaders who oversee its development. In addition to Falkenberg, the committee members include:
- Trudy Curran, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Canadian Oil Sands Limited
- Wendy Hanrahan, Executive Vice President, Corporate Services, TransCanada Corporation
- Linda Hohol, Corporate Director and former President of the TSX Venture Exchange
- Byron Neiles, Senior Vice President, Major Projects, Enterprise Safety and Operational Reliability, Enbridge Inc.
- Co-Chair, Alison Trollope, Alberta Securities Commission
Survey data was gathered from the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (SEDAR) filings and other publicly available documents of 453 issuers for which the ASC is the principal regulator for 2015 and 474 issuers for 2014. Investment funds were excluded from the analysis. It is intended that the Index will be reported annually.
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.
About the University of Calgary
The University of Calgary is a leading Canadian university located in the nation’s most enterprising city. The university has a clear strategic direction to become one of Canada’s top five research universities by 2016, where research and innovative teaching go hand in hand, and where we fully engage the communities we both serve and lead. This strategy is called Eyes High, inspired by the university’s Gaelic motto, which translates as ‘I will lift up my eyes.’
 For the purposes of this study, “Alberta issuers” are those companies for which the ASC is principal regulator.
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