Board Diversity – Are You an Agent of Change?

By |2019-02-20T18:33:14-05:00February 20th, 2019|Change, Corporate Board Journey|

It still surprises me that there has been little change in Corporate Canada in terms of adding more women to TSX listed boards. It has been four years since the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) implemented disclosure rules mandating that TSX-listed companies “comply or explain” as relates to their board diversity figures. The implementation was intended to lead to positive changes in how corporate boards recruit new board members, however, according to the recent Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt report 2018 Diversity Disclosure Practices, only 16.4% of directors sitting on corporate boards in 2018 were women. This change represents a slight increase in the average proportion of women on the board compared to prior years when the average percentage of female directors was relatively stagnant (12% in 2015, 13% in 2016 and 14.5% in 2017). So why is it that Canada’s boardrooms are not more diverse, when in fact, I often get asked to consider a board opportunity because the company is looking to add diversity to its board? I truly believe that creating a diverse board requires business leaders [...]

A Strategic Approach to Filling Board Positions Is Critical — Regardless of Your Gender

By |2018-05-16T16:57:24-04:00May 16th, 2018|Change, Corporate Board Journey|

  Written by: Debbie Stojanovic, CEO, Nealon Consulting & Deborah Rosati, Founder & CEO, Women Get On Board Diversity, and gender diversity in particular, is a top agenda item in boardrooms today — as it should be. It’s a priority not only because there are now legislative and regulatory changes that require it, but also because it’s just good business practice. Research shows that the right board composition can enhance decision-making processes and augment an organization’s performance and market reputation. [note] Menhi, Ekta & Dart, Beatrix, 2018/02/18, Globe and Mail, OpEd, More work must be done to boost gender diversity in Canada’s boardrooms, Link. [/note]  Can an improperly composed board pose a reputational risk for your organization? You bet. Today, we can’t open a newspaper, attend a meeting/event or have a general conversation without touching on some aspect of diversity. And that’s a good thing. From a board perspective, the conversation is shifting from why we need more women at the table to how we can accelerate progress. In light of this, it will be interesting to see what [...]

Why a Diverse Board Makes Good Business Sense

By |2017-01-26T12:48:17-05:00January 26th, 2017|Change|

There is a lot of focus currently on the topic of diversity on boards. The underlying premise for diverse boards is no longer about good corporate citizenship but rather about contributing value to a business, and that makes good business sense. Top 5 Business Reasons for Diverse Boards Improve corporate financial performance. Studies have shown that companies with more diversity on their board have had higher financial performance in three important measures: Return on Equity, Return on Sales, and Return on Invested Capital. Enhance decision-making quality. Diversity of thought comes from, race, gender and ethnicity and extends to age, culture, personality, skills/expertise, educational background and life experiences. More diversity on boards helps avoid ‘group-think’ and increases independence, which can enhance the quality of decision making on the board. Broaden networks to tap into for board renewal. Board members should ask themselves: ~Does the composition of the board represent the employee base, the customer base or business partners/competitors? ~What skills or perspectives do we need to broaden that is not currently on the board? ~What is our diversity [...]

Are You Advancing Your Board Diversity Mandate?

By |2016-05-12T10:38:52-04:00May 10th, 2016|Change|

It still surprises me that in the 21st century Canada’s boardrooms are not more diverse. In fact, I often get asked to consider a board opportunity because the company is looking to add diversity to their board. As of January 2015, the Ontario Securities Commission’s (OSC) implemented disclosure rules for TSX-listed companies to "comply or explain" in regards to their board diversity. It is hopeful that this will lead to positive changes ahead in how corporate boards recruit new board members. Be an Agent of Change As a corporate director, I believe that the OSC “comply or explain” disclosure rules present an opportunity to build stronger boards through change. There is research to support that more women on boards brings better financial performance including higher return on sales and better stock growth. As well, non-financial performance, like bringing diverse viewpoints, skills and experience, can improve overall decision making, enhance a company’s capacity to build a pipeline of potential future women executives and encourage innovation. So, how can you be an Agent of Change in making board diversity [...]

Agents of Change

By |2015-03-30T14:33:25-04:00February 21st, 2015|Change|

On February 11th, I participated as a panellist for the Strategic Capability Network’s ‘New OSC Board Diversity Policy: A Strategic Opportunity for Board-Building’ event (bit.ly/scnetworkfeb11event). My topic: How can we be agents of change in making diversity a strategic opportunity? With the new OSC rules surrounding board diversity there will be many changes ahead in how corporate boards recruit their new board members. As a corporate director, I believe that this is an opportunity to build stronger boards. Leadership Development A crucial step in making board diversity a strategic opportunity is for HR executives to identify leaders and engage in leadership development. This can be done through supporting executives to complete governance educational programs such as the ICD Director’s Education Program or the Directors College. Board development programs help executives learn how to be more effective in working with their boards. The opportunity for executives to serve on a board helps them round out their skills by having a Board frame of reference, which also helps them in their presentations to the Board. HR executives should take [...]

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