Women in Management

The Ontario Securities Commission wants to see more women in executive roles:

The proposed amendments would require TSX-listed issuers (and other non-venture issuers) that are reporting issuers in Ontario to provide disclosure regarding the following matters on an annual basis:

  • director term limits,
  • policies regarding the representation of women on the board,
  • the board’s or nominating committee’s consideration of the representation of women in the director identification and selection process,
  • the issuer’s consideration of the representation of women in executive officer positions when making executive officer appointments,
  • targets regarding the representation of women on the board and in executive officer positions, and
  • the number of women on the board and in executive officer positions.

“Our proposed amendments are intended to encourage more effective boards and better corporate decision making, which will benefit investors and the capital markets,” said Howard I. Wetston, Q.C., Chair and CEO of the OSC. “This is about helping TSX-listed issuers tap into a pool of talented and capable resources currently under-represented on today’s boards and senior management.”


Where are these experienced, practical executives to come from?  What school for CEO’s is currently churning out high quality female candidates?

From my experience, companies don’t have to look any further than their local charity.  The not-for-profit sector is teeming with women in executive positions and a Guidestar Nonprofit study notes that “since 1999, the percentage of female CEOs has increased for organizations of all sizes.”    ( http://news.cision.com/guidestar/r/new-guidestar-nonprofit-compensation-report-shows-dramatic-affect-of-recession-on-nonprofit-executiv,c9159861 )

Before you dismiss charitable experience as being useless in the dog eat dog world of business, stop and look at the situations faced by charities.  Charities are chronically underfunded.  CEO’s are constantly asking their staff to do more with less.  The future of their organization constantly hangs in the balance as they work to motivate staff and volunteers.  They are called upon to “sell” their vision to funders large and small, just as their for-profit cousins do.  Particularly in the healthcare sector, they face government regulations that are as complex and strict as the laws governing public corporations.  Female CEO’s and Executive Directors are not just surviving, but thriving.

Having worked in both worlds, I can only conclude that for-profit organizations who refuse to hire or promote women in their top positions are ignoring a valuable resource.

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