June 16, 2015
Our Capital Markets Mid-Year Report 2015 article “Women in the C-Suite: Can Securities Law Advance Gender Equality?” provides an in-depth look at public companies’ response to new gender diversity rules, surveying all Canadian public-company circulars issued on or before May 10. A Financial Post article has featured our study and commentary of co-authors Rima Ramchandani, Glen Johnson and Michele Cousens. Below is an excerpt of the article.
Toronto law firm Torys LLP says a new disclosure regime enacted by provincial securities regulators is prompting more companies to adopt diversity policies, but few are setting actual targets to get more women on their boards.
More than half of the 179 corporate boards surveyed by Torys, 56%, have adopted formal policies on gender diversity, most between 2014 and this year.
“This is a good example of disclosure rules driving corporate behavior,” the blue-chip law firm said in a report to be released Tuesday, in reference to new rules introduced by securities regulators in several provinces last December to encourage greater representation of women on boards.
Yet only 24 of the firms surveyed, or 13%, had taken the step of adopting objective, measurable targets for increasing diversity.
“We also found that most issuers who have committed themselves to targets have already met those targets – signaling perhaps a reluctance to adopt targets that may not be achievable, especially in light of the obligation to measure progress against targets in future disclosures,” wrote Rima Ramchandani, co-head of the capital markets practice at Torys, and her co-authors Glen Johnson and Michele Cousens.
To read the full article, click here.
Read our Capital Markets Mid-Year Report 2015 here.