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Morguard commits to increasing board’s gender diversity

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Morguard Corp. will add a woman to its board of directors this year and is working on developing a formal diversity policy, the company said Wednesday.

The Mississauga-based real estate company has received a shareholder resolution from the B.C. Teachers' Federation, calling on it to adopt a formal board diversity policy by December, 2017, and provide shareholders with a report outlining the board's "plans, timelines, process and activities" for increasing gender diversity. Morguard currently has no women on its seven-member board.

The proposal is part of a broader campaign announced Tuesday by the Vancouver-based Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE), which has targeted four companies this year to urge them to add women to their boards. The other targeted companies are Tim Hortons owner Restaurant Brands International Inc., Canfor Corp. and Constellation Software Inc.

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Morguard general counsel Beverley Flynn said the company was already working on diversity issues before the SHARE campaign was launched, and will announce a female board nominee this spring. She said she could not identify the proposed nominee yet.

Morguard is developing a formal diversity policy, which will not be ready for this year but is planned for next year's proxy circular, Ms. Flynn added. Morguard also has five women among its 22 executive-level managers, or 23-per-cent women, she said.

"Corporate and social responsibility is very important to the company, including gender diversity," she said.

Ms. Flynn said the company has not decided yet how it will respond to the shareholder proposal in its proxy circular.

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About the Author
Real Estate Reporter

Janet McFarland is the real estate reporter for The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business, with a focus on residential real estate trends. She joined Report on Business in 1995, and has specialized in reporting on corporate governance, executive compensation, pension policy, business law, securities regulation and enforcement of white-collar crime. More

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