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Do you have gender diversity on your board?

Do you have gender diversity on your board?    The Financial Post Women in Business issue was released yesterday.  This issue recognizes Canada’s top 100 female business minds from private, public and nonprofit sectors.  Among the female rah rah-ness, there was some very interesting information in this issue:

  • Norway, Spain and France have quotas in place for female board participation on corporate boards; 96% of Canadian CEO’s oppose bringing this same model to Canada
  • The Association of British Insurers issued a report in September which encouraged gender balance on boards stating that women “appear to be better at explicitly identifying criteria for measuring and monitoring the implementation of corporate strategy as compared with all-male boards” and “boards with better gender balance pay more attention to audit, risk oversight and control”
  • Further to this last comment, hedge funds run by female investment managers returned an annual average of 3.2% more than male-led funds (9% and 5.8% repectively)
  • 15% of Canadian board seats are held by women
  • Walmart, love it or hate it, is quite engaged in empowering their female staff  - there is a strong emphasis on building female leaders, which is evident in the fact that half of the leadership team (including the CEO and President and CIO) is female
  • More women than men are earning MBA’s, however these same women start, on average their first post-MBA job making US$4600 less than their male counterparts (this wage gap widens to US$31,258 mid-career)

I enjoyed reading about these inspiring women, and was particularly impressed by the career diversity represented – the list includes professionals, entrepreneurs, corporate directors, future leaders.  The best quote of the issue came from Gale Blank, CIO of Walmart Canada: “I’m putting on my epitaph ‘Don’t do a half-ass job’.  I was a waitress for many years, but I was a good waitress.”

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