The Globe and Mail reports in its Wednesday edition that the proportion of women appointed to Canadian corporate boards in 2018 fell sharply to the lowest figure in five years, raising the question of whether the drive to increase gender diversity at the director level has stalled.
The Globe's David Milstead writes that the numbers come from the annual Spencer Stuart analysis of Canada's 100 largest companies by revenue. Spencer Stuart found that just 30 per cent of appointments of new directors in 2018 were women. That figure had topped 40 per cent every year from 2014 to 2017.
With the rate of new female directors in the 40-per-cent range for several years, the proportion of all corporate directors had steadily climbed to reach 27 per cent in 2017. The overall number stayed at 27 per cent in 2018.
"I think it would be [a] mistake to lose sight of the fact that the overall stock of women serving on boards has gone up and will continue to go up," said Peter Simon, Canada leader for the firm. He and colleague Carrie Mandel say their clients remain committed to increasing gender diversity on boards, and the age of current board members (an average of 62) means there will be a continued refreshing at the top.
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