Gender diversity board proposal at Constellation Software gets largest backing in Canada, but still fails

The Toronto Star: Constellation Software Inc., the Toronto tech company whose stock has risen sixfold in the past five years, is the last firm in the S&P/TSX 60 index to bring a woman on to its board of directors, after yielding to pressure from investors.

A year ago, a shareholder resolution calling for diversity on Constellation’s all-male board garnered support of 42 per cent of votes, a strong signal of backing among investors for change. In March, Constellation appointed former long-time Deloitte LLP partner Lori O’Neill to its board.

Company shareholders, however, voted again on a diversity resolution at Constellation’s annual meeting last Thursday. This time, there was 49-per-cent support, and while the shareholder resolution again failed to pass, it was the largest backing for a gender diversity board proposal in Canada, according to the Shareholder Association for Research and Education, an advocacy group also known as SHARE. (Shareholder proposals are non-binding, but they are clear indications to company leaders about what their investors are thinking on specific issues.)

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