Number of women on Alberta corporate boards lower than national average: report

Must Read

Northern Health Region sees three new cases of COVID-19

VICTORIA, B.C. - Three new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on Wednesday, bringing the total in the Northern Health...

Ball Game fundraiser this weekend in support of Natalie Small

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. - This weekend, October 3 and 4, the Mixed Slowpitch team, the Bombers, will be holding...

Indigenous Resource Network to help Indigenous Peoples connect with oil and gas industry

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. - In early September, the Indigenous Resource Network was formally launched in Fort St. John. To...

EDMONTON — A report suggests the number of women who sit on corporate boards in Alberta is less than half the national average, although their presence is slowly increasing.

The study commissioned by the Alberta Securities Commission was done by the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business.

It says women make up 6.6 per cent of corporate board members in the province and 8.9 per cent for companies in Alberta listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

- Advertisement -

An Alberta government website says women’s representation on corporate boards in Canada is 14.5 per cent. Catalyst, a non-profit group, estimates women’s share of board seats on Canadian stock index companies at 21 per cent.

Loren Falkenberg, associate dean of research, said the report aims to shed light on Alberta boardrooms in the hope the data will get corporate leaders to think differently about who they hire.

“I think there is room for more women to serve on boards,” she said Tuesday.

The data reflects the large number of energy, mining and other resource industries in Alberta.

Falkenberg said the numbers are an improvement on the past and are trending upward.

The report said 22 per cent of all new board directors to Alberta TSX-listed companies this year are women and 29 per cent of corporations have at least one woman board member.

Falkenberg said the report, which is to be released every year, sets out benchmarks that are important when there is an increasing expectation by the public for more diverse representation on corporate boards.

Advertisement


Bill Rice, chairman of the commission, said it is not the commission’s role to set quotas or tell corporations who they should hire. 

He said he hopes the report will spur debate and help corporations consider casting a wide net as they seek the best talent.

“Our ambition is that we will have the strongest boards possible and acknowledging that at least half of the smartest people out there happen to be female,” Rice said. 

“It seems to make sense that there would be a significant representation from those smart people.”

Earlier this year a group of business leaders formed a Canadian chapter of an international group called the 30 Per Cent Club, which aims to help boost the proportion of woman on corporate boards and in executive positions to 30 per cent.

Advertisement


Club chairman Spencer Lanthier said corporate Alberta, especially the oil, gas and pipeline sectors, has been cool to the initiative.

Lanthier called the Alberta numbers disappointing, but not surprising.

“I think that publishing a report like that by the Alberta Securities Commission will probably embarrass the business community and … will greatly assist in moving them forward,” he said from Toronto.

“There is just a very high number of qualified women in our country, and there is no reason why they shouldn’t be much more fully represented on boards. It is good for business.” 

The report is based on information gleaned from 453 companies this year and 474 companies in 2014. 

Advertisement

John Cotter, The Canadian Press

- Advertisement -

Community Interviews with Moose FM


Subscribe to our newsletter

Get the latest news delivered to your mailbox every morning.

More Articles Like This