What is it about?

The diversity disclosures by Canadian corporations are examined to show how references to ‘merit’ and ‘diversity’ are used strategically by many corporations to support the status quo and to resist pressures to increase the representation of women on boards. References to ‘merit’ and ‘diversity’ in the first mandatory corporate governance diversity disclosures of a sample of corporations from the Toronto Stock Exchange are analyzed using critical discourse analysis to assess the extent to which these disclosures are used to legitimize current board recruitment practices.

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Why is it important?

Until the lack of progress in Board of Directors diversity is challenged, corporations will have little incentive to change the status quo and engage substantively with diversity. Overcoming corporate resistance to change may require a range of innovative practices by corporations and regulators, up to, and possibly including, mandating levels of women’s representation on corporate boards.


This paper takes a critical view of gender diversity (or lack thereof) of Boards of Directors in Canada. The picture above is not representative of any public Company Board of Directors in Canada! This and related research are discussed further in my Research Gate webpage: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bruce_Mcconomy

Bruce McConomy
Wilfrid Laurier University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Gendering merit: How the discourse of merit in diversity disclosures supports the gendered status quo on Canadian corporate boards, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, March 2020, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1016/j.cpa.2020.102170.
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