With the objective of helping companies in Quebec and Canada increase the representation of women in high-ranking roles, Women in Governance has established a Parity Certification. It is an innovative standard that not only looks at parity in corporate decision-making bodies but also in succession planning and the implementation of mechanisms to enable women at all levels of the hierarchy to advance their careers thus creating a pipeline of female talent.

In May 2017, a public consultation took place with McKinsey & Company in collaboration with human resources senior management and the support of the Quebec Order of Certified Human Resources Professional (CRHA), thus allowing all aspects of the standard to be validated.

In order to obtain their accreditation, companies had to provide documented proof of their policies and meet the various selection criteria. The feedback was resoundingly positive for this important project, which is aimed at companies that want to engage and integrate the equality dimension into their human resources strategy, and have their actions recognized and validated by an independent third party.
In 2017, this certification was for companies in Quebec with over 400 employees, regardless of the location of their headquarters or board of directors. In 2018 the certification will expand and all Canadian organizations with over 400 employees will be eligible to participate.

The implementation of a parity certification:

• Raises companies’ awareness about the importance of gender equality and the complementarity of talent.
• Raises senior executives’ awareness about the positive impact of diversity, including the presence of women in decision-making bodies, financial performance, brand and corporate culture.
• Encourages women to develop their leadership skills, further their careers and aspire to become board members.
• Includes men of all levels in the journey so that they also feel invested rather than simplybystanders.

More specifically, our program encourages companies to:

• Increase the transparency of information on the representation of women on boards of directors and in senior management roles.
• Disclose specific information such as length of terms in office on a board, renewal mechanisms for board members, and policies on women’s representation.
• Require headhunters and internal recruiters to submit an equal number of femaleto malecandidates.
• Not ask female interview candidates for their current salary, in an effort to bridge the salary gap schemes. Focus on the salary range and the skill profile for the position without regard to the applicant’s gender in order to help reduce the gender pay gap.
• Not tolerate all-male panels of discussion or consultation. If a panel is to represent several perspectives, women’s views are equally important, no matter what the topic is.

These are just a few examples but once they are seriously implemented, they can have a significant impact.

Companies who participate in the certification will gain insights on what programs and policies they should have in place within their organization to implement best practices in terms of recruitment, training, promotions, compensation and succession planning. Further, depending on where they sit on the parity spectrum these companies can qualify for bronze, silver, gold or platinum certification following an evaluation of about forty quantitative and qualitative criteria. The Parity Certification Committee’s research, which lasted almost a year, was conducted in an extremely professional and rigorous manner. Evaluation of data across industries was used to set thresholds to enable us to encourage businesses of all sectors to apply. Certified companies will be recognized for their efforts and progressively move to higher levels of certification while those who have not qualified for certification will get the necessary recommendations so they can qualify for certification in the future.

Cognibox, the platform used by more than 6,000 companies, hosts Women in Governance’s parity certification process.

“I am very proud that the Cognibox platform is associated with the parity certification of companies provided by Women in Governance which is such a unique and innovative approach in Quebec. I am all the more proud to say that our company, which was chosen to support the realization of this project, has a strong majority of women. We are intrinsically close to the issues at stake and are pleased to contribute to Women in Governance’s mission and the achievement of the group’s objectives. It’s an inspiring project.” Chantal Trépanier, CEO SIM / COGNIBOX

The Annual Recognition Gala took place on September 14, 2017 at Montreal’s Convention Center with co-honorary president Isabelle Marcoux, Chair of the Board of Directors of Transcontinental Inc. and Éric R. La Flèche, President and Chief Executive Officer, Metro Inc.

The three companies that distinguished themselves and achieved Platinum certification were invited to share their experience during a panel discussion during the evening.

We hope your company will be among the certified organizations in 2018!

For more information about parity certification or to apply, please send an email to certification@womeningovernance.org

or more information about the gala (tickets, tables or sponsorships), please contact us at info@lagouvernanceaufeminin.org

Women in Governance Parity Certified

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