OSC seeks input on proposal regarding women on boards and in senior management positions in Ontario

For Immediate Release OSC

TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) announced today the start of a 60-day comment period on OSC Staff Consultation Paper 58-401 Disclosure Requirements Regarding Women on Boards and in Senior Management (the Paper), seeking input on a proposal that would require TSX-listed companies to provide disclosure regarding women on boards and in senior management in Ontario.

According to statistics, women continue to be underrepresented on boards and in positions of senior management in Canada. The OSC is considering possible amendments to National Instrument 58-101 Disclosure of Corporate Governance Practices, which currently makes no mention of gender in its requirements for disclosure on board composition.

‘In my view, diversity of opinion is invaluable to corporate decision making, and it is therefore necessary to encourage greater representation of women at senior levels' said Maureen Jensen,’ Executive Director and Chief Administrative Officer of the OSC. ‘This proposal will inform investors of the progress that Canadian companies are making in advancing the representation of women on their boards and in senior management.’

Under the OSC’s potential disclosure model, TSX-listed companies (and other non-venture issuers) would provide disclosure as part of their annual summary of corporate governance practices in areas such as:

  • their policies regarding female representation on their boards and in senior management,
  • consideration of the representation of women in the director selection process,
  • certain quantitative information regarding the representation of women in the organization, on the board and in senior management.

The purpose of the Paper is to get feedback from investors, issuers, other market participants and advisors to inform the OSC's recommendations to the Ontario Government, which highlighted gender diversity as a priority in the 2013 Budget.

General comments are welcome as well as responses to a number of specific questions raised in the Paper. The comment period will end on September 27, 2013. To further the discussion, the OSC will host a roundtable in the fall, additional details to be announced shortly.

The OSC is a regulatory body responsible for overseeing Ontario’s capital markets. The OSC administers and enforces Ontario’s securities ad commodity futures laws. Its mandate is to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practice and to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in capital markets.



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