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Ontario’s Dream companies had highest female board and executive numbers: report

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MONTREAL — The Dream group of real estate companies had the highest proportion of female board members and executives last year, according to detailed data released Thursday by Canadian securities regulators.

Five Dream-related Ontario businesses scored highly with Dream Unlimited Corp. (TSX:DRM) boasting 63 per cent women on its board, while 100 per cent of management on Dream Global Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX:DRG) were women.

Cheese and dairy processor Saputo Inc. (TSX:SAP) was next highest with women comprising 55 per cent of its board, but just 18 per cent of senior management.

Pizza Pizza Royalty Corp. (TSX:PZA), Sienna Senior Living Inc. (TSX:LW) and Quebecor's TVA Group (TSX:TVA) all had boards with equal representations of men and women.

Far more companies had large contingents of women in executive positions than on boards.

Le Chateau Inc. (TSX:CTU), Dundee Energy Ltd. (TSX:DEN), Crosswinds Holdings Inc. (TSX:CWI), St. Augustine Gold and Copper Ltd. (TSX:SAU) each had women accounting for two-thirds of C-suite positions.

Missing from the list were Canada's banks, which are among the country's most valuable companies by market capitalization. That's because their fiscal year-ends were outside the Dec. 31 to March 31 time frame used for other companies surveyed.

The banks will be included in the next detailed results to be released in spring 2018, said Sylvain Theberge of Quebec's Autorite des marches financiers.

A report released in October said the six largest banks had an average of 35 per cent of women on their boards based on proxy circulars for their fiscal years ending Oct. 31, 2016.

Of the companies included in the survey, the largest was Canadian National Railway (TSX:CNR), which had 27 per cent female board members and 14 per cent female executives. Next was Suncor Energy Inc. (TSX:SU) with 30 per cent women on the board and just 11 per cent executives.

Among the 25 largest companies, Loblaw Companies Ltd. (TSX:L) led with 42 per cent female board members, followed by Canadian Pacific Railway (TSX:CP) at 40 per cent.

Imperial Oil Ltd. (TSX:IMO) led with 33 per cent female executives.

In total, the percentage of board seats occupied by women increased last year to 14 per cent from 11 per cent in the first year of the survey.

Also, 61 per cent had at least on woman on their boards, up from 49 per cent in the prior year. And 62 per cent had a least one woman in an executive officer position, up from 60 per cent.

Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press

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