Bill 50: Building Better Business Outcomes

  • Community Update

Last week, MPP Stephanie Bowman held an event at Queen’s Park for those in support of her private members bill, Bill 50: Building Better Business Outcomes Act.

What is the Building Better Business Outcomes Act?

Bill 50: Building Better Business Outcomes Act, would amend the Securities Act to require that publicly traded corporations develop and make publicly available their policy respecting their director nomination process to identify board candidates who are women, black, Indigenous, and other people of colour, persons with disabilities and LGBTQ+.  

Ontarians are our greatest resource – and encouraging corporations to use the diversity of our province to their advantage will bring forth an array of skills and perspectives.

The Building Better Business Outcomes Act will strengthen our economy by ensuring that our publicly traded corporations work towards broadening the perspectives of their leadership, leading to more equitable governance and more successful enterprise.

The current government’s own Capital Markets Modernization Taskforce called for this recommendation, and we hope to get their support on this bill. Progressive policy is good business policy, and Bill 50 takes us a step closer to more diversity in corporate governance.

Why is passing Bill 50 Important? 

Women, Black, Indigenous, and other people of colour, persons with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ folks have long faced bias in the election or hiring process – this is nothing new. While the election of women onto corporate boards has increased and most TSX-listed corporations already voluntarily publish their recruitment strategies for women directors, racialized Canadians and other groups are still significantly underrepresented.  

While the election of women onto corporate boards has improved over the past several decades, they still make up less than 30% of board positions. Progress has been slower for other underrepresented groups. The Building Better Business Outcomes Act will require publicly traded companies to create and share their policies, further encouraging more diverse corporate governance. More diverse boards will also lead to more diverse hiring at all levels, creating more opportunities for underrepresented groups and enhancing diversity in society.   

Visible minorities are 1/3 of Ontario’s population, yet they account for only 4.5% of corporate board positions. Only 26% of women are on boards in Canada; 17 Indigenous and 10 persons with disability (no data on LGBTQ+). This is unacceptable and we can do better.

Where’s the evidence? 

It’s not just me – several studies have led to the same conclusion: diversity on our boards leads to economic growth and better performance.   

  • Catalyst Canada has found that companies with the most women directors have outperformed those with the least – that’s 16% higher return on sales and 26% higher return on capital.  
  • The Capital Markets Modernization Taskforce included this recommendation as part of their updating of the securities exchange regulations of Ontario. 
  • Studies show that companies with directors and executives with diverse backgrounds have better business outcomes. A 2015 McKinsey & Company report demonstrates that businesses with more women and more racialized people are 48% and 36%, respectively, more likely to outperform their less diverse competitors. 
  • Organizations like Catalyst, The Prosperity Project, Women Get on Board Inc., Black North Initiative, and others, have long called for increasing women and minorities’ participation in the Board of Directors, recognizing both the social and business benefits this policy brings. 

MPP Stephanie Bowman will be debating her bill on Tuesday, February 28, 2023. We hope we can get this bill passed and create more diversity on boards!