Fresh off the press — Charles Sousa, the Minister of Finance for the Canadian province of Ontario, wants more women in leadership roles. Since organizations haven’t been voluntarily adding more women to leadership positions, they’re making change mandatory — through legislation.
Effective December 31st, 2014, the Ontario Securities Law changes to seriously promote women to be in the leadership seat, at the board table and within the Executive Team.
In making the announcement, Tracy MacCharles, the Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues says having more women in leadership roles is a good thing.
“Increasing the number of women in corporate leadership is good for the economy and good for business,” says MacCharles. “Helping women reach their full potential by supporting women in leadership is part of this government’s commitment to creating a strong and fair Ontario and is a critical step towards achieving gender equality across all sectors.”
Alex Johnston, the Executive Director of Catalyst Canada, an non-profit organization committed to expanding opportunities for women and business is also pleased.
“We are delighted that these regulations are now law, and we commend the provincial government for helping put the issue on the front burner,” says Johnston. “These requirements will push more companies to have the conversations they should be having around board and executive committee diversity and, hopefully, their talent development. Businesses need to tap the full pool of smart, talented people to stay competitive and strengthen our country’s economic future.”
Although it saddens me that in 2014 we need legislation to get organizations to embrace diversity, I applaud Ontario for their resolve and in leading the way for women. We’re approaching a new year, and with it a resolution for the new year for all organizations should be to put diversity in full scope, and the inclusion of more women has to be a resolution to keep. It is time for diversity to take the stage, front and center.
I will be blogging about diversity beyond gender to strengthen board composition, which is really going to be the governance story of 2015. As many of you know, board diversity and board composition are dear to my heart, and many boards will need to create space for new directors with new ideas and capabilities.
This is truly an exciting time. Watch this space!