Corporate leaders are calling on Canada’s biggest securities regulator to compel companies to set targets for female board representation, after the latest figures show glacial progress at just 14% of seats.

That’s up from 11% three years ago, the OSC chair says, when the regulator introduced a rule for companies to disclose the percentage of women on boards and in executive positions.

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Maureen Jensen adds it may be time to supplement this comply-or-explain rule with guidelines as it would take 30 years to reach parity at this pace.

TMX Group Ltd.’s president of capital formation Ungad Chadda told a panel discussion hosted by the OSC that pushing companies to set an actual gender diversity goal, and to explain if they fall short, is the next logical step.

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Ungad Chadda was one of several voices on the panel to recommend the OSC compel companies to set targets.

RBC Global Asset Management vice-president Judy Cotte also recommended targets and says research shows that at least 30% female representation is needed to ensure their voices are heard.

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