Patrice Walch-Watson provides comment to Lexpert on OSC's proposed gender requirements

Gender Rules Proposed

January 06, 2014

Diversity is a continuing concern for companies, and the OSC's proposed requirements for listed companies to reveal the number of female executives, board members and employees generally, have further stirred the conversation. Partner Patrice Walch-Watson was sought for comment for a recent article on the topic in Lexpert magazine.

Below is an excerpt of the article.

Patrice Walch-Watson, a partner at Torys LLP, says some may view the proposal as controversial.

“A certain percentage of people are saying: ‘We don't see any need for this. We look at qualified members for our board, we have our process, and we're satisfied with who we get.'

“Others say this is a good first step, but board diversity is broader than just gender. So I think there is going to be discussion around those pieces, and also around the notion of comply or explain. There are people who believe it has no teeth and that if you're serious about this, you should design something with teeth.”

While many countries, such as the US and UK, have similar regimes, others including Belgium, France, Italy and Norway have gone for real bite, combining quotas for women with repercussions ranging from fines to nullifying board elections for those companies that fail to comply.

To read the full article, click here.


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