Ontario Regulator Proposes Rules for Women on Boards

Publicly traded companies in Ontario will have to disclose how many women they have on their boards in a push to boost the ranks of female executives under proposals from the province’s securities regulator.

Companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange would also be required to report their policies on women in the workplace, their director term limits as well as targets for women representation, the Ontario Securities Commission said in a statement today. The proposals would amend the national rules on disclosure of corporate governance practices and are open for a 90-day comment period ending April 16.

“This is about helping TSX-listed issuers tap into a pool of talented and capable resources currently under-represented on today’s boards and senior management,” Howard Wetston, chief executive officer of the OSC, said in the statement.

The push for more female inclusion comes as 82 percent of companies don’t have a policy regarding term limits for directors and 80 percent don’t publicly share the number of women in executive roles, according to an OSC survey of 448 firms.

In 2011, almost half of companies listed on the Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index didn’t have a female board member, according to the Ontario Ministry of Finance.

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