On November 4, 2021, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) published CSA Multilateral Staff Notice 58-313, its seventh annual review of disclosures relating to women in board and executive roles at reporting issuers (the Report).
The Report reviewed the disclosure of 599 non-venture issuers listed on the TSX with year-ends that fell between December 31, 2020 and March 31, 2021. According to the Report, women accounted for 22% of board seats in 2021, an 11% increase since 2015. 82% of issuers had at least one woman on their board, reflecting an increase of 33% over the past seven years. The Report revealed that 60% of issuers had adopted a policy relating to the representation of women on their boards, a significant increase since the existing framework was adopted in 2014. The Report concluded that reporting issuers with higher market capitalizations had a higher percentage of board seats held by women than those with a smaller market cap (i.e. less than $1 billion). Importantly, issuers who set targets had a greater proportion of board seats held by women.
With respect to executive officer positions, 67% of companies reviewed in the Report had at least one woman in an executive officer position, up from 60% in 2015. However, only 6% of issuers had targets for women in executive officer positions. Women were least likely to hold executive positions in the oil & gas, mining and technology sectors.
Consultations announced earlier this year by the CSA on broadening existing diversity initiatives and disclosure requirements, including one we have reported on in previous bulletins, are underway. We continue to watch developments and potential regulatory action in this area closely.
November 30, 2021