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Diversity 50

Diversity 50

CBDC Diversity 50

Download the Diversity 50 2015 mini profiles

On October 15th, 2015 the Canadian Board Diversity Council (CBDC) released the names of the 2015 Diversity 50 cohort: a list of 50 diverse, highly-qualified candidates in search of roles on Canada's corporate boards.

Recent regulatory changes have highlighted the ongoing need to increase the number of female directors in Canada. The "Comply or Explain" disclosure requirements adopted by securities regulators in ten provinces and territories requires Core TSX-listed issuers to disclose both their approach to and progress toward achieving greater gender diversity on boards. Since the inception of the Diversity 50 initiative in 2012, CBDC has achieved 22 board appointments on FP500 or Fortune 500 corporate boards by increasing the visibility of board-ready candidates.

"More women than ever before are sitting on Canada's corporate boards, but we need to do more. Canada's future competitiveness depends on ensuring more boards are comprised of diverse, qualified candidates – including women, visible minorities and Aboriginal peoples," said CBDC Founder Pamela Jeffery. "The 2015 Diversity 50 list provides a much-needed resource to highlight candidates who have the knowledge, skills and behaviour to lead in corporate Canada. By giving corporate boards the tools they need to locate these successful individuals, we're allowing them to broaden their networks and, in the process, build a win-win situation for Canada as a whole."

Now in its fourth year, the Diversity 50 initiative addresses the "visibility barrier" faced by candidates. The 2015 cohort adds 50 board-ready candidates to the existing Diversity 50 database, which acts as a resource for directors and search firms who seek board candidates beyond their own networks.

"While Canadian boardrooms have made progress on diversity, we are committed to working with other organizations to see this accelerated. We have made diversity and inclusion a priority within our own organization and we are encouraged by what we are seeing in other boardrooms across Canada," said Frank Vettese, Managing Partner and Chief Executive, Deloitte Canada. "We believe that boards need to draw upon diverse experiences in order to maximize opportunities, anticipate challenges and assess risks. This is the value that diversity brings to organizations and we encourage all boards to take a close look at the growing Diversity 50 list."

Fast Facts on the 2015 Diversity 50:

  • This year's Diversity 50 list includes eight men and 42 women.
  • In addition to six Aboriginal candidates (an increase from five in 2014), there are also 11 visible minority candidates.
  • This year's candidates hail from Canada's largest cities, spread across four provinces: Ontario (54%), British Columbia (24%), Alberta (4%) and Québec (18%). Mostly notably, the number of Québec-based candidates rose from 8% last year.
  • Since Diversity 50 launched in November, 2012, CBDC has achieved 22 corporate board appointments: 19 FP500 and 3 Fortune 500.
  • With this year's Diversity 50 cohort, the database now comprises 200 diverse, qualified candidates.

Quotes from Diversity 50 candidates:

"I'm honoured to be named to the CBDC's Diversity 50 list this year," said Paula Shannon, Chief Sales Officer and Senior Vice President, Lionbridge Technologies, Inc. "As a leader in a firm with a global workforce, almost 45% of whom are women, it's of vital importance that we continue the discussion about board diversity in corporate Canada. The Diversity 50 list helps companies to tap into an overlooked yet sizeable pool of talent to drive financial performance and sound governance while better understanding the demands of a broad range of customers and employees."

"As a past candidate, I believe that Diversity 50 is a great initiative and opportunity for candidates and for companies," said Annalisa King, Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President, Best Buy Canada Ltd. "As a director on 3 boards, (2 appointments since I was named a Diversity 50 candidate), I can attest to what an enriching and fulfilling role these board positions are. Diversity 50 promotes the fact that there are so many talented women leaders out there who would contribute greatly to Canadian governance and the success of Canadian businesses."

About Diversity 50

Diversity 50 is an initiative of the CBDC, supporting its mandate to increase representation of such considerations as gender, visible minorities, Aboriginal peoples and people with disabilities at the boardroom of Canada's 500 largest organizations. Diversity 50 is a resource for directors and search firms. It is a list of diverse men and women from across Canada with strong competencies that align with the requirements of many Canadian boards.

To select the Diversity 50 2015, the Council vetted the list through a process endorsed by 11 participating CEOs: Deloitte Managing Partner and Chief Executive Frank Vettese, Co-Presenting Partner of Diversity 50; Coast Capital Savings President and CEO Don Coulter; Sun Life Financial Canada President Kevin Dougherty; TELUS President & CEO Darren Entwistle; Postmedia Network President and CEO Paul Godfrey; Canadian Oil Sands President and CEO Ryan Kubik; IAMGOLD President and CEO Steve Letwin; FedEx Express Canada President Lisa Lisson; Hydro-Québec President and CEO Éric Martel; Norton Rose Fulbright Global Vice Chair and Chairman-Canada Norman Steinberg; and, Suncor Energy President and CEO Steve Williams.

Co-Presented by Deloitte


For more information, please contact
Paul-Emile McNab at 416-361-1475 ext. 251.


Diversity 50 CEOs

Thanks to the 11 CEOs and their organizations who are supporting and sponsoring the Diversity 50 initiative.

Don Coulter


President and Chief Executive OfficerCoast Capital Savings

Kevin P. Dougherty

Kevin P.

PresidentSun Life Financial Canada

Darren Entwistle


President and Chief Executive OfficerTELUS

Paul Godfrey


President and Chief Executive OfficerPostmedia Network

Ryan Kubik


President and Chief Executive OfficerCanadian Oil Sands

Steve Letwin


President and Chief Executive OfficerIAMGOLD

Lisa Lisson


PresidentFedEx Express Canada

Norman Steinberg


Global Vice Chair and Chairman, CanadaNorton Rose Fulbright

Éric Martel


President and Chief Executive OfficerHydro-Québec


Managing Partner and Chief ExecutiveDeloitte


President and Chief Executive OfficerSuncor Energy

Have questions?
Download our FAQ PDF.

Diversity 50

Diversity 50 Appointments

FP500 and Fortune 500 Appointments

Annalisa King elected to Board of North West Company Inc., November 2014

Laura Dottori elected to Board of Teck Resources, November 2014

Heather Nicol elected to Board of Genworth MI Canada Inc., June 2014

Sarah Raiss elected to Board of Loblaw Companies Limited, May 2014

Sarah Raiss elected to Board of Vermilion Energy Inc., March 2014

Sarah Davis elected to Board of AGF Management Limited, January 2014
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Sue Lee elected to Board of Bonavista Energy Corporation, November 2013
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Sarah Kavanagh elected to Board of HudBay Minerals Inc., July 2013 and WPT Industrial REIT, April 26, 2013

Katherine Rethy elected to Toromont Inc. board, July 2013
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Laura Formusa elected to board of Equitable Life of Canada, June 2013

Catherine Hughes Board of Statoil, July 2013; elected to Precision Drilling Corporation, May 2013

Janet De Silva elected to Intact Financial (TSE:IFC), May 2013

Beth Horowitz elected to Board of Aimia, December 2012

Linda Kuga Pikulin elected to Board of Enersource, December 2012
Read More ...

Debra Kelly Ennis elected to Board of Altria, February 2013; elected to the Board of Hertz Global Holdings, Inc., May 2013

SME and Community Boards

  • Jean Paul Gladu, Diversity 50 2014, elected to the board Canadian Foundation for Economic Education, June 2015
  • Carmen Rossiter, Diversity 50 2014, elected to Board of Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario, March 2015
  • Laurie Copithorne, elected to Canadian Foundation for Dietetic Research, November 2014
  • Madeleine Féquière, Diversity 50 2014, was appointed to the Board of Directors of Investissement Québec in October 2014
  • Georgette Habib, Diversity 50 2013, elected to the Board of Governors, University of Calgary, September 2014
  • Nancy Lala, Diversity 50 2012, elected Vice Chair of Kerry’s Place Autism Services, September 2013, and President of FEI Canada, Toronto Chapter, July 2014
  • Hanne Madsen, Diversity 50 2012, elected to the board of Kwantlen Polytechnic University, July 2014
  • Geri Prior, Diversity 50 2013, elected to the boards of the Capilano Foundation, June 2014, and YWCA Vancouver, July 2014
  • Susan Watts, Diversity 50 2013, elected to the board of Crossroads International, July 2014
  • Anita Anand, Diversity 50 2012, elected to the board of Oakville Hydro Distribution Inc., June 2014
    Read More ...
  • Connie L. Graham, Diversity 50 2013, appointed Chair of the Federal Bridge Corporation Ltd., June 2014
    Read More ...
  • Melissa Sonberg, Diversity 50 2013, elected to the boards of Le Groupe Touchette and McGill University Governing Board Human Resources Committee, January 2014, and VIA Rail Canada, June 2014
  • Kristine L. Delkus, Diversity 50 2012, elected to Board of Calgary Airport Authority, May 2014
    Read More ...
  • Sue Lee, Diversity 50 2012, elected to Board of Progressive Waste Solutions, May 2014
    Read More ...
  • Brian Chu, Diversity 50 2012, elected to the board Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited, March 2014
  • Shannon Susko, Diversity 50 2013, elected to Board of British Columbia Automobile Association, March 2014,
    Read More ... and Norsat International Inc. (a Profit 500 2013 company), May 2014
    Read More ...
  • Mary Ann Turcke, Diversity 50 2013, elected to the boards of Sheena’s Place and Greenwood College School, May 2014
  • Patricia Callon, Diversity 50 2012, elected to the board of Meridian Credit Union, April 2014
  • Melissa Sonberg elected to Board of EQUITAS International Centre for Human Rights, January 2014
  • Lee McDonald elected to Board of Medical Equipment Distributors and Manufacturers of Canada (MEDEC), December 2013
  • Julie Jai elected to Board of St. Joseph’s Health Centre, October 2013
  • Michael Menezes elected to Board of WNS (Holdings), October 16, 2013
    Read More ...
  • Rodney Nelson elected to Aboriginal Financial Officers Association board, October 2013
  • Victoria Withers elected to Board of BlueShore Financial, October 2013
  • Catherine Hughes, Diversity 50 2012, elected to the board of Statoil ASA, July 2013
  • Anita Anand elected to Oakville Hospital Foundation, June 2013