Since Women in Governance was mentioned by name in the open letter “The birth of“ Girls Clubs ”, published in the Free Opinion column on October 22, we believe it is important to respond to some of the ideas put forward by the author, so that our organization and mandate are well understood.
Governance for Women (LGAF) is a non-profit organization that has worked tirelessly since 2010 for parity, diversity, inclusion and corporate social responsibility.
Having inclusiveness within its core values, LGAF would – and it goes without saying – have no interest in fostering an environment that excludes anyone, including men. Note that our board of directors is co-chaired by an exceptional woman (Monique F. Leroux) and a man (Norman Steinberg), as are most of our committees. Our permanent team also includes women and men, who are also of all origins and all ages. Our motto, well displayed on our website, is: “women and men working together to achieve parity”.
We offer many programs to support women in their career progression and in assuming decision-making roles, but our greatest pride is the support we offer to the business world to concretely close the gender gap through of Parity Certification.
Established in 2017 with pro bono support from McKinsey & Co and subsequent support from our assessment partners Accenture, Mercer and Willis Towers Watson, LGAF Parity Certification looks at implementing the necessary mechanisms to enable women to all hierarchical levels to advance their careers, thus creating a pool of female talent. Certification involves men as stakeholders and recognizes their role as equal beneficiaries in promoting parity. It encourages organizations to demonstrate a more inclusive corporate culture that increases employee engagement and supports improved innovation and the ability to respond to market fluctuations. Finally, it distinguishes certified organizations in order to attract investors, customers and other stakeholders.
Regarding the comment in the open letter regarding the Americanization of our website, we recognize that we need to do a better follow-up to ensure that all content is available in both French and English. Some of our services, such as governance training for example, exist only in French. In addition, certain elements of our offer which are aimed particularly at English-speaking markets remain unilingual. That being said, we intend to correct the situation in a new version of the website, which is already under development.
LGAF is a proudly Montreal organization experiencing international growth. We work closely not only with many Quebec flagships (the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Desjardins, Bombardier, Bell, the STM, the National Bank of Canada, the City of Montreal, CAE, Cascades, Loto-Quebec, etc. ), but also with some of the largest multinationals in the world (Rolls Royce, Sodexo, ABB, Sanofi, Schneider Electric, Danone, Pfizer, FedEx, Bristol Myers Squibb, Accor Group, Zoom Video Communications, Girl Scouts of the USA, etc. ). In total, we help more than 80 large companies, the vast majority of which are located outside Quebec and which often have their head offices in Toronto or New York. A bilingual website is essential to our growth and to supporting the users of our programs.
Since 2017, LGAF has reached more than 693,677 employees thanks to the Parity Certification, which remains the only concrete tool allowing organizations to assess their commitment to diversity and inclusion, to analyze policies and practices. at all levels, to set goals and finally to measure their results and exceed them year after year. On average, 95% of organizations renew their certification each year in order to continue to progress and remain compliant with our constantly evolving standards.
In conclusion, we find it unfortunate that LGAF was mentioned in an opinion piece whose ideas are precisely in opposition to who we are and what we stand for. We will proudly continue to contribute to achieving parity in Quebec and Canada, but also in the United States and soon in Europe, where our services will be launched in 2022. You will therefore also be able to see German, Spanish and Italian on our website soon.