The Globe and Mail reports in its Wednesday, March 20, edition that Ottawa plans to compel banks to be more transparent about diversity plans among board members and senior executives.
The Globe's James Bradshaw writes that Tuesday's federal budget promises "new requirements for federally regulated financial institutions to disclose policies aimed at promoting greater diversity on boards and in senior management."
The budget says that women's representation on the boards has improved, but that there is still room for improvement. It does not say how it plans to hold banks to account. Proposed amendments to the Canada Business Corporations Act called for firms to disclose statistics on representation by "designated groups," which include women as well as indigenous peoples and other minorities.
Many of Canada's largest banks already disclose diversity targets in proxy circulars. Banks are already ahead of some other industries on that marker, with women making up an average of nearly 38 per cent of directors on their boards.
Even so, Canada's biggest banks are aware gender diversity remains in issue within their ranks. No woman has ever been named chief executive officer of one of Canada's six biggest banks.
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