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Diversity of Executive Management Teams: An Analysis of Toronto Stock Exchange-Listed Companies

On The Board | A 4-part series

On The Board is a 4-part series of data-driven insights and analysis based on company research of public companies listed on Toronto Stock Exchange

*Unless otherwise indicated, statistics compiled and provided by MarketIntelWorks On The Board Tracker.

Part 3 | Diversity of Executive Management Teams: An Analysis of Toronto Stock Exchange-Listed Companies

The Role of an Executive Management Team

The Executive Management Team (EMT) of an organization is a group of senior-level executives with various functional expertise such as Finance, Sales, Marketing, Technology, Operations, Human Resources, Product Management and Legal. They hold the ultimate responsibility for driving business success through building and executing the strategy, talent management, and stakeholder engagement. But the EMT is more than a group of key executives; they can also be considered a microcosm for the organizations they represent.1

Employees of an organization may not know the names and backgrounds of their company's board of directors, but more likely, they will know their executive management team. If the EMT really is a microcosm for the entire organization, then arguably a management team should reflect the diversity of its employees. Representation and having role models on the team can have an impact. As Billie Jean King once said, "if you can see it, you can be it".2

Beyond representation, studies have shown that having a diverse EMT is directly correlated with improved business and financial performance, and innovation.3 Diversity around the boardroom and EMT tables is seen as a source of real competitive advantage.4 Board and EMT diversity go hand-in-hand because making progress in board diversity relies on progress in EMT diversity. If EMTs are more diverse, the pipeline of future leaders and future board members is also more diverse.

H1 2022 EMT Diversity Statistics

The latest numbers for diversity on executive teams of Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX)-listed companies shows progress. Looking at the broader diversity picture which includes women plus BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour), TSX-listed companies have achieved 28% diversity on executive teams as of June 30th 2022. Specifically, the S&P/TSX Composite Index* companies have achieved 30% diversity on executive teams.

The latest numbers for women on executive teams of TSX-listed companies show that while progress is being made, it is not at the same pace as women on boards. As of June 30th 2022, TSX-listed companies have achieved 21% women on executive teams, up from 14% in 2015. Similarly, the S&P/TSX Composite Index has achieved 22% of women on executive teams, up from 15% in 2015.

Executive Team Diversity H1 2022: A Snapshot

Executive Team Diversity H1 2022: A snapshot

Women and BIPOC together represented 28% of the 6,289 executive team positions on TSX-listed companies as at June 30, 2022. Non-BIPOC men represented 72%.

Sectoral Analysis: Diversity on Executive Management Teams

Gender diversity on EMTs varies by sector, with Communications & Media, Utilities & Pipelines, and Real Estate being the most gender diverse and Mining, Clean Technology, Oil and Gas and Industrial Products and Services being the least gender diverse.

Percentage of Women on Executive Teams by Sector, H1 2022 Snapshot

Percentage of Women on Executive Teams by Sector, H1 2022 Snapshot

Percentage of BIPOC on Executive Teams, H1 2022 Snapshot

In the first half of 2022, Financial Services was the sector leader by BIPOC EMT representation and Oil & Gas was the least ethnically diverse sector.

Percentage of BIPOC on Executive Teams, H1 2022 Snapshot

Diversity with Intent

Public corporations around the world have been either mandated by law or motivated by "comply or explain" regulations, competition, investors, proxy guidelines and ESG frameworks to consider diversity in their board appointments. This has resulted in relatively quick progress made for diversity on boards. This is not the case for executive teams. While many companies have set aspirational targets for their EMTs along with their board targets, current mandates, regulations, proxy guidelines and ESG frameworks address diversity on boards of directors only. Germany and Canada are exceptions so far. In June 2021, Germany proposed to mandate women in executive roles. This has since been approved by the Bundestag and requires that the management boards of certain large publicly listed companies include at least one woman if the management team has more than three members.5 Canada's "comply or explain" disclosure rules require disclosure on diversity on the board of directors and executive management teams.6

Diversity in Executive Appointments

Last year, TSX-listed companies made 805 executive appointments. Of these, 216 or 27% went to women and BIPOC appointments represented 12%.

In the first half of 2022, there were 589 executive appointments. Of these, 151 or 26% went to women, while BIPOC appointments represented 14%.

Within the roles of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), numbers are climbing since 2015, with 39 CEOs of TSX listed companies are women (2 Black, Indigenous woman of colour (BIWOC)), representing 5% and 137 female CFOs (33 BIWOC), representing 17%.

Diversity in Executive Appointments

As seen in the chart, 26% of TSX-listed companies have 30% or more women on their executive teams, but almost an equal percentage -- 27%, have zero women on executive teams. Work needs to be done to move those companies from 0% women on EMTs to at least 30%. Why 30%? While the ultimate goal is parity, 30% women on boards and EMTs is an aspirational goal set by groups like The 30% Club. Past Chair of the 30% Club Global, Brenda Trenowden explains, "It's been proven that in any under-represented group it's very hard to be heard until you get to 30% and the group becomes normalized." 7

BIPOC representation at the CEO position is 53 of all TSX-listed companies, or 7%, which is made up of 47 People of Colour and 6 Black. At the CFO position, 109 companies, or 14%, are BIPOC, identifying as 100 People of Colour and 9 Black.

CEOs and CFOs of TSX-Listed Companies

A Company's Intention

In Canada, the "comply or explain" disclosure rules on diversity has led to target setting for the board of directors and for the EMT. When a company sets specific targets to make leadership teams more diverse across all dimensions, it holds them accountable for continuous improvement.

It has been said that to expand diverse candidates' access to leadership positions requires two things: a top management team that fosters a meritocratic culture in which performance is rewarded regardless of gender and/or ethnicity; and a pool of candidates who have been given the opportunities to build the experience needed for the top jobs.8 To create the pool of candidates then requires diversity with intent, meaning hiring, mentoring and promoting diverse candidates into management positions. A diverse executive management team could result in larger pools of strong diverse candidates for future board directorships.

An intentional and structured approach to talent and performance management coupled with setting targets to put diverse candidates in the roles that will foster the skills and the confidence to take the next step up the corporate ladder are ways in meeting set targets.

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About MarketIntelWorks

Gina Pappano is the Founder of MarketIntelWorks Inc., a data research and analytics company with a focus on gender diversity plus BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) on Boards and Executive Management Teams of TSX listed companies. MarketIntelWorks On The Board Tracker is a comprehensive diversity tracking tool in Canada. Not only do we have the stats with respect to Gender, Visible Minority, Indigenous and Black representation on Boards and Executive Teams, we also have the names of the people behind the stats.

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  1. Forbes, Whitler, Kimberly, June 2021,

  2. All In: An Autobiography, King, Billie Jean, August 2021

  3. BCG, 2020 and 2018, and

  4. FTSE Women Leaders Review, February 2022,

  5. Osler, October 13 2021,

  6. Osler, Jennifer Jeffrey, Andrew MacDougall, John M. Valley, July 30 2019,

  7. AESC, The 30% Club: A Movement For Gender-Balanced Boards, 2018

  8. Allianz, Women in Leadership, Why Representation Matters, February 2022

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