Today, Premier Kathleen Wynne announced new gender diversity targets to ensure more women have the opportunity to reach top leadership positions at provincial agencies and other government organizations.
The Ontario government has set a target that, by 2019, women make up at least 40 per cent of all appointments to every provincial board and agency. Ontario is also encouraging businesses to, by the end of 2017, set a target of appointing 30 per cent women to their boards of directors. Once businesses set the target, they should aim to achieve it within three to five years.
These actions build on the government’s long-standing support for broader gender diversity, and are informed by a report Ontario commissioned from Catalyst Canada. The new report, Gender Diversity on Boards in Canada: Recommendations for Accelerating Progress, provides advice on best practices in gender diversity on boards.
Ontario has accepted all 11 recommendations in the report, some of which are for businesses and some of which are for government, and is convening a steering committee to provide input on their implementation. The committee, co-chaired by Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance, and Tracy MacCharles, Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues, includes Maureen Jensen, Chair and CEO of the Ontario Securities Commission, and Victor Dodig, President and CEO of CIBC, among others.
Premier Wynne announced the targets and the committee at a special roundtable discussion at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. The Premier and members of the steering committee were joined by representatives from Catalyst Canada and UN Women, the United Nations organization dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Premier Wynne has accepted an invitation from UN Women to serve as a champion of Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value, a new global coalition that brings together leaders from government, the private sector and the women’s movement, among others, to take action and make progress on gender diversity and equal pay.
Promoting women in corporate leadership is part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.