The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) will hold a public meeting to consider its proposals that would require public companies to disclose their approach to gender diversity.
The OSC said Monday that it will be hosting a roundtable on October 16, to further explore the issues raised in a consultation paper it released in the summer regarding the under-representation of women on corporate boards and in senior management, and possible new disclosure requirements that aim to address the issue.
The commission says that the roundtable will help inform its next steps on this initiative. Additionally, it is extending the comment period on the paper from September 27 to Oct. 4.
In July, the OSC issued a consultation paper examining the issue of gender diversity on corporate boards and in upper management, which, among other things, seeks feedback on a proposal to require TSX-listed firms to set out various aspects of their gender diversity efforts in annual governance disclosures. It also seeks input on the details of possible new disclosure requirements; the best ways to improve gender diversity; whether the regulator should recommend that firms have a policy on the issue, and, if so, should it recommend the content of those policies; among other things. (See Investment Executive, OSC eyes gender diversity of boards, July 30, 2013.)
The roundtable, which will take place at the OSC’s offices in Toronto, will be hosted by OSC chair, Howard Wetston; executive director, Maureen Jensen; and, vice chair, Mary Condon. It’s scheduled external panellists include: Aaron Dhir from Osgoode Hall Law School, York University; Pamela Jeffery of the Canadian Board Diversity Council; Alex Johnston of Catalyst Canada; Éric Lamarre from McKinsey & Company, Inc.; the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan’s Jim Leech; Stan Magidson from the Institute of Corporate Directors, Royal Bank’s new chair, Kathleen Taylor; and, Annette Verschuren, NRStor Inc. and Cape Breton University.
The regulator’s effort to tackle this issue follows a pledge from the provincial government in its latest budget to enhance this sort of disclosure, as a way of encouraging greater female representation in executive suites and boardrooms.