Women in Boardooms

A recent study of Canadian executives shows there is still significant inequality when it comes to the top executive positions. We speak to a Canadian senator who wants to force publicly traded companies to have at least 50% women on their boards, as well as a professor of finance who has studied just that law in Norway and discovers even then, there is still inequality.


It's Friday, January 14th.

Liberal Party officials have sent out an e-mail survey in the hopes of identifying possible Liberals.

Currently, there are three questions -- Are you timid? ... Do you inspire apathy? ... and Do you cope will with defeat?

This is The Current.

Women in Boardrooms - Panel

Out of all the board of director positions at the 500 biggest companies in Canada, only 14 per cent of them are held by women. And according to Deborah Gillis -- she's the North American Vice-President for Catalyst, a company that works on expanding opportunities for women in business -- that's actually an improvement.

Nearly half of the publicly traded companies in Canada have no women on their boards of directors. None. Zero. As a woman who works in the business world, this is something I confront every day. And it's a problem for everyone -- not just women -- because for some businesses having women on their boards and in upper management can prove to be financially advantageous.

We were joined this morning by three people who agree that we need more equity in Canada's boardrooms but differ greatly on how to make that happen. Celine Hervieux-Payette is a Canadian Senator. She is behind a bill that would force all publicly traded companies, banks, insurance companies and trust companies to ensure that at least five per cent of their directors are women. She was in Montreal. Dave Gregory is a former CEO of First Calgary Credit Union. He was in St. Petersburg, Florida. And Amy Dittmar is an Associate Professor of Finance at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. She was in Ann Arbor.

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