Gender Parity on Corporate Boards


Moved by National Women’s Liberal Commission

Priority Resolution

WHEREAS women comprised 47.3% of the paid labour force in Canada but only 20.8% of board directors of companies on the Canadian Stock Index in 2014, so that Canada ranks 15th among major industrialized countries for women on boards, a decline from ninth in 2011 and sixth in 2009;

WHEREAS many industrialized countries have made significant progress by enacting gender representation laws with minimums set at 40%, a figure adopted in 2012 by the European Commission and subsequently by the European Parliament;

WHEREAS there is a positive correlation across most industries between the percentage of women corporate officers and a company’s financial performance, and there are other advantages such as greater breadth of perspective and more innovation, which benefits customers, employees, and shareholders;

WHEREAS in 2009, Quebec amended the Act Respecting the Governance of State-owned Enterprises to require provincial Crown corporations to have equal numbers of men and women on their boards and to reflect the diversity of Quebec by 2011;

WHEREAS Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been praised around the world for appointing a diverse, gender-balanced Cabinet; and

WHEREAS in December 2015, Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette introduced Bill S-207 to address balanced representation on certain boards;

BE IT RESOLVED that the Liberal Party of Canada urge the Government of Canada to enact and implement Bill S-207, An Act to modernize the composition of the boards of directors of certain corporations, financial institutions and parent Crown corporations, and in particular to ensure the balanced representation of women and men on those boards.