VBOT breaks the glass ceiling in major move toward gender equality in Canada

The Vancouver Board of Trade (VBOT) has just become Canada’s first major business organization with...

Kim Baird is one of the new executives elected to VBOT's 2015-16 board of directors

The Vancouver Board of Trade (VBOT) has just become Canada’s first major business organization with more women than men on its board of directors.

VBOT’s board of directors consists of 36 members of the local business community, 20 of which are women. Its latest election welcomes Kim Baird, Sue Belisle and Alice Chen, among others.

“From all research we’ve done in the past several weeks, the Vancouver Board of Trad is the first and only business organization of our kind in Canada – possibly across North America – to have more women on our board of directors than men,” said Tim Manning, VBOT incoming chair and RBC’s regional vice-president of commercial financial services.

“We take great pride in knowing that the Vancouver Board of Trade reflects the diversity of the Canadian business community of the 21st century in everything that we do.”

Kellie Leitch, Canada’s Minister of Status of Women, called this an important milestone.

“The Vancouver Board of Trade has been an international leader in supporting women in business and recognizing their incredible contributions to the Canadian economy.

“This is a new benchmark that I hope other organizations will work towards.”

Forty seven per cent of the Canadian workforce is female, but only 15.5% of corporate board seats are held by women. Forty per cent of companies in this country have no women on their boards at all.

A study by Catalyst found that companies with more women in leadership roles tend to do better in terms of return on sales, return on equity and return on invested capital.

Another study , conducted by the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business, found that boards with more women ask for more advice and thus make better business decisions.