A proposal that women achieve parity with men over the next 10 years on Canada’s major bank boards, is resoundingly being voted down by management and shareholders. As of now there are three or four women on the 15-member boards. Also as of now, if the rate of change for women on the boards continues at the same pace as it has over the past 20 years it will take 120 years to reach parity between men and women board members.
And the problem gets worse. Only 21 per cent of Canadian MPs are women. Women hold a mere 14 per cent of board seats and 17 percent of senior officers on FP500 corporations. Close to half of those companies have no female directors at all. Some governments like India and Argentina have passed laws stipulating that corporate boards must be 30 per cent female. France has such a law (40 percent women) and Germany is planning one. Should governments (including Canada and the United States) stipulate that a certain proportion of women (say 30-40 percent) should sit on corporate boards?
If women are half the population (and more than half the MBAs) should not women have at least 40 per cent of board seats?
Should the government pass legislation stipulating that Canadian and American women should occupy 40 per cent of board seats?
What do you think?