LEAF made a submission in response to the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) public consultation process regarding disclosure requirements for gender diversity, including on boards and in senior management.

LEAF welcomed the OSC’s initiative to address the systemic problem of women’s underrepresentation in the higher echelons of the private sector in Canada.

The submission was made considering the following:

  1. There is an underrepresentation of women on boards of directors and in senior management positions of Canadian corporations.
  2. This underrepresentation is not due to a lack of women who have the qualifications and credentials to hold such positions.
  3. Measures need to be taken to increase the representation of women on boards and in senior management positions.
  4. The OSC, as the body responsible for fostering fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in capital markets, has a role to play in increasing the representation of women on boards and in senior management positions.
  5. The appointment of directors and members of senior management should be done on a merits-based basis, with due regard for the proven benefits of diversity on the board, including gender.

LEAF suggested that the following types of disclosure requirements regarding women on boards and in senior management would be appropriate and useful:

  1. Reporting on gender composition on the board
  2. Reporting what, if any, gender diversity policies are in effect
  3. Reporting on how gender diversity is taken into account during the board selection process

The OSC should recommend that non-venture issuers have a gender diversity policy, and articulate best practices.

Download the submission below.

OSC-Comment-2013