OSC seeking input regarding women on boards, in senior management roles

Deadline of Sept. 27

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is looking for input on a proposal that would require TSX-listed companies to provide disclosure regarding women on boards and in senior management in Ontario.

The commission is considering 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.

“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 at 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 consultation 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.

The comment period will end on Sept. 27 and the OSC will also host a roundtable in the fall. The consultation paper can be found at OSC.

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