December 14, 2016 – Toronto, Ontario – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Canadian businesses will benefit from better performance and stronger balance sheets as a result of having senior leaders from a wide range of backgrounds.
That is the message delivered today by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. Minister Bains made his remarks at an event co-hosted by Stikeman Elliott LLP and Women in Capital Markets, a non-profit network committed to the advancement of women in the financial services sector.
Minister Bains highlighted the measures proposed in Bill C-25 to encourage more of Canada’s publicly traded companies to recruit under-represented groups on their corporate boards and in their senior management ranks.
For Canada’s economy to remain globally competitive, companies must tap the full potential of their workforce by ensuring that all members of society—regardless of gender, age, faith or cultural background—participate fully in the economy.
He also outlined how Bill C-25 can help Canadian companies draw on the power of the country’s extraordinary diversity to ensure that different viewpoints are taken into account for more effective decision making. Minister Bains concluded by calling on corporate Canada and shareholders to do more to promote diversity and inclusion.
“Our government firmly believes it is good business practice to promote diversity and inclusion.
Not only is the under-representation of different segments of our population a question of fairness but it also affects the bottom line. In the boardroom, taking into consideration a variety of viewpoints can lead to innovative thinking and better performance. Innovation requires creativity and fresh ideas. The broader the talent pool, the greater the potential for the best ideas to emerge.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
“Lack of diversity in Canada’s corporate boardrooms and executive leadership teams comes at a cost to the competitiveness and productivity of our economy. Increasing the representation of women in leadership roles in our economy must be on the agenda of our government and Canada’s corporate leadership. Innovation is inherently tied to talent. It is time we capitalize on the diversity of thought, ideas and solutions of our population and use 100 percent of the talent pool for leadership in this country.”
– Jennifer Reynolds, President and CEO, Women in Capital Markets
“Board renewal and gender diversity are important issues that will continue to be front and centre given the focus of regulators and others. Our position advising businesses and their boards and executives gives us a unique vantage point to think critically about these issues, and we look forward to contributing as thought leaders in this discussion.”
– Ramandeep Grewal, Counsel, Corporate Group, Stikeman Elliott LLP
- Bill C-25 aims to update Canada’s corporate framework laws to better reflect modern ways of doing business and make it easier for companies to harness innovation to grow and succeed.
- Women in Capital Markets is the largest network of professional women in the Canadian capital markets and advocates for the advancement of women in the industry.
- Studies show that women hold 13 percent of all seats on corporate boards. They hold roughly one in five seats on boards of FP500 companies and those on the S&P/TSX 60 index.
Follow Minister Bains on social media.
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada