How Can We get More Women in Corporate Boardrooms? (October 2012)

Too few women are in corporate leadership and management positions.

Women are half the population, but account for only 10% of board members at Canadian companies. Not only is the gap glaringly wide on gender equity grounds, but companies are losing out on incredible talent and experience.

Canada should follow the lead of European countries that have passed laws requiring publicly-listed companies to have boards with 40% women members within a transition period of 5 to 10 years. Norway successfully implemented the requirement between 2003 and 2008, and France, Spain and the European Union are moving forward as well.

Substantive action is required to break the barriers established by well-entrenched patronage and male-dominated networks that support men’s ambitions so well, while the majority of women interrupt careers to balance work and family, failing to cultivate the corporate and business relationships that are required to reach the top.

Mentoring and coaching are simply not enough.