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WXN Invited to Join Newly Created Federal Advisory Council

April 5, 2013 - Toronto

The Women's Executive Network (WXN) will join the newly launched advisory council to promote the participation of women on public and private corporate boards as an ex-officio member of the 26-member body. The council, created under the leadership of Public Works and Government Services and Status of Women Minister Rona Ambrose, will advise the government on how industry can increase women's representation on corporate boards.

"For 15 years WXN has been building the movement to promote the advancement of women in the workplace in Canada," said Pamela Jeffery, WXN Founder and CEO. "In 2000, WXN was the first organization to facilitate workshops for women to advance to board positions. In 2003 we launched Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 to recognize excellence in leadership in the private, public and not for profit sectors. Today, 653 exceptional women are part of the Top 100, yet the vast majority of these exceptional leaders continue to be excluded from boardrooms. Our membership in the advisory council is another opportunity for WXN to advocate for change and inspire smart women to lead."

The creation of the advisory council comes amidst discouraging reports that Canada is slipping in the global rankings for gender diversity at the board level. Canada fell from 6th to 9th place in 2011 according to GMI Ratings, the leading independent provider of global corporate governance ratings and research. Findings from the 2012 Annual Report Card, released by the Canadian Board Diversity Council in October 2012 revealed the wide variation between industries within Canada when it comes to board diversity. Finance and Insurance led with 22.7% of their board seats held by women. Other sectors such as Mining, Oil and Gas show a starkly different picture, with women comprising only 7.7% of total board seats as of June 2012.

"Increasing opportunities for women to serve on corporate boards makes good business sense for Canadian women and for Canada's economy," said Minister Ambrose. "Businesses with more women on their boards are more profitable and routinely outperform those with fewer. I look forward to partnering with the Women's Executive Network to increase women's representation on corporate boards."

About the Women's Executive Network

Since 1997, WXN has created and delivered innovative networking, mentoring, professional and personal development to inspire and applaud our community of 18,000 smart women and their organizations in the pursuit of excellence.

WXN is Canada's leading organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of women in management, executive, professional and board roles. WXN enables our partners and corporate members to become and to be recognized as employers of choice and leaders in the advancement of women. WXN is a Founding Member of the Canadian Board Diversity Council, dedicated to increasing the diversity of Canada's corporate boards. In the fall of 2008, WXN launched in Ireland, a first step in creating a global community of female leaders.

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Advisory Council for Promoting Women on Boards


Beverley Briscoe, President, Briscoe Management Limited
Maureen Kempston Darkes, former Group Vice President and President Latin America, Africa and Middle East, General Motors Corporation (2006 recipient, Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case).
Joan Dea, Managing Director and Founder, Beckwith Investments
Arlene Dickinson, CEO, Venture Communications
Janet Ecker, President, Toronto Financial Services Alliance
Dawn Farrell, President and CEO, TransAlta Corporation
John Ferguson, Board Chair, Suncor
Sheila Fraser, Auditor General of Canada from 2001 to 2011
The Honourable Linda Frum, Senate of Canada
Anne Giardini, President, Weyerhaeuser Canada Limited
Mike Greenley, Chair, Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries
Linda Hasenfratz, CEO, Linamar Corporation
Alan D. Horn, CEO and President, Rogers Telecommunications Limited and Rogers Telecom Inc.
Isabelle Hudon, President, Sun Life Financial Québec
Tom Jenkins, Executive Chairman, Chief Strategy Officer, OpenText
Andrew MacDougall, Managing Director for Canada, Spencer Stuart
The Honourable John Manley, Council of Canadian CEOs
Tracy Redies, President and CEO, Coast Capital Savings Credit Union
Susan L. Riddell Rose, President and CEO, Perpetual Energy
Kathy Sendall, Director, CGG Veritas
Nancy Southern, CEO, ATCO Group
Catherine Swift, Board Governor and Chair of the Executive Committee, Canadian Federation of Independent Business
Charles Winograd, Chair, TMX Group

Ex-officio Members:

The Women's Executive Network (WXN), represented by Pamela Jeffery, founder of the Women's Executive Network and the Canadian Board Diversity Council.
The Canadian Board Diversity Council, represented by Pamela Jeffery, founder of the Canadian Board Diversity Council and WXN.
Catalyst, represented by Alex Johnston, Executive Director of Catalyst Canada.

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