On September 27, 2018, the securities regulators of Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan (the participating jurisdictions) jointly published CSA Multilateral Staff Notice 58-310 Report on Fourth Staff Review of Disclosure regarding Women on Boards and in Executive Officer Positions (The Staff Notice).

This is the fourth review by the participating jurisdictions of disclosure of women on boards and in executive officer roles of reporting issuers since 2015, when National Instrument 58-101 Disclosure of Corporate Governance Practices was published. The Staff Notice summarizes the results of a review of issuers with year-ends between December 31, 2017, and March 31, 2018.

Key takeaways include:

  • The total percentage of board seats held by women rose to 15% in 2018, up from 11% in 2015.
  • When board seats became available and were filled, almost 30% were filled by women.
  • The number of issuers with at least one woman on their board increased to 66% in 2018, rising from 49% in 2015.
  • 42% of issuers had adopted a policy on identifying and nominating women directors in 2018, representing an almost threefold increase since 2015.
  • Issuers that adopted targets for the representation of women on their boards increased to 16% in 2018 from 7% in 2015.
  • The number of issuers with at least one woman in executive officer positions increased to 66% in 2018, up from 60% in 2015, with 4% of issuers having a female CEO and 14% of issuers having a female CFO.

CSA staff noted that the manufacturing and real estate industries had the highest percentage of issuers with one or more women in executive officer positions, while the technology, oil and gas and mining industries had the lowest percentage.

Going forward, the CSA says it will continue to conduct further research and analysis in this area and based on this work, may determine if further changes to the regulatory regime are warranted. It points out at this time, that no changes are forthcoming.

CSA Multilateral Staff Notice 58-310 is available for download from the websites of the participating jurisdictions.

For more information, please call Barbara Hendrickson at BAX Securities Law (416) 601 -1004.

This publication is not intended to constitute legal advice. No one should act on it or refrain from acting on it without consulting with a lawyer. BAX does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy or currency or completeness of the publication. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the prior written permission of BAX Securities Law.