Women on Boards

The Business Case

Canadian women have high levels of education, training, leadership skills, and business experience. Their talents and capabilities represent a competitive advantage for the Canadian economy.

Yet in many ways, the "glass ceiling" still exists in Canada. While women now represent 47.5%Footnote 1 of the Canadian workforce, they hold just 26.6%Footnote 2 of senior management positions and 15.9%Footnote 3 of total board seats at Financial Post 500 companies.

Further information on increasing the number of women on boards can be found in The Business Case for Women on Boards booklet. The Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers responsible for the Status of Women commissioned The Conference Board of Canada to prepare this resource.

Rationale for Action

A growing body of research in recent years is helping to make the business case for advancing more women into senior roles. For example, it is now clear that increasing the number of women on corporate boards can produce real returns for employees, customers, shareholders and other stakeholders.
Elements of the business case include:

  • Bringing diverse perspectives, skills and experience that improve overall business decision-making;
  • Adding unique management and governance qualities to an organization, which can improve financial performance;
  • Encouraging creation of innovative products and services that better reflect marketplace demographics;
  • Leveraging the widest possible talent pool;
  • Improving a firm's image and reputation for diversity; and
  • Enhancing a firm's capacity to recruit/retain female talent.

Women on Boards: A Competitive Edge: The Business Case for Women on Boards

See how Canadian Women are helping business success: Good for Business: More Women on Boards

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