In 2019, Women in Governance has awarded its Parity Certification to 48 organizations from all over Canada to mark their exceptional commitment to gender equality in the workplace. The evaluation of applications was completed with the support of partners McKinsey&Company, Mercer and Willis Towers Watson.

Justin Trudeau

Prime Minister of Canada

Congratulations to Parity certified organizations for everything you do to support women’s leadership. Each and every one of you brings important contributions to making gender equality a reality, not only in the business world, but in our entire society.

François Legault

Premier of Quebec

People who know me know that I love entrepreneurs, and it’s a great achievement for Women in Governance to start from scratch and now be able to fill rooms with exceptional people. I make the commitment that a CAQ government will respect gender parity and have as many women as men.

Suzanne Bergeron

President / Sodexo Canada Limited

Sodexo has set an ambitious global target to have 40% of our senior leadership teams comprising women by 2025. Our seven years of data shows us that gender balance yields results, including improved employee engagement and client satisfaction, and 23% greater profitability.

Guy Cormier

President and Chief Executive Officer / Desjardins Group

We’re all responsible for diversity and equality in the business world, men and women alike. I hope more of my male colleagues will join the cause and promote it with us.

2020 Parity Certification

Start now by completing our short pre-qualification questionnaire to find out if you qualify to participate in our gender Parity Certification:


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48 Parity certified organizations in 2019

What is the Parity Certification?

Women in Governance’s Parity Certification serves to help Canadian organizations increase the representation of women in sectors where they have historically been underrepresented, as well as in senior management positions. This innovative certification not only evaluates parity at the decision-making level of organizations, but also assesses the organization’s commitment to the implementation of mechanisms that enable women at all levels of its hierarchy to achieve career advancement, thus creating a pipeline of female talent.

The Parity Certification Committee thoroughly researched trends across sectors when developing the certification criteria, which allows the certification to be applicable to all businesses with more than 400 employees. Furthermore, the questionnaire was built with the support of McKinsey&Company.

This timely and relevant initiative received outstanding feedback and presents a unique opportunity for organizations that are striving to integrate equity into their human resources strategy and have their actions recognized and validated by an independent third party.

In 2017, this certification was available to organizations in Quebec with over 400 employees. In 2018, the scope of the certification has been expanded, and all Canadian organizations with over 400 employees are now eligible to participate regardless of the location of their headquarters or board of directors. With 48 certified organizations this year, this initiative has an impact on more than 318,000 employees across Canada; they will benefit from the best practices established by their employers to enable women to progress without glass ceilings or sticky floors.

Our 4 certification levels

The implementation of a Parity Certification:

  • Raises organizations’ awareness about the importance of gender equality and how it provides a broader range of talent and improves business agility.
  • Puts the spotlight on the positive impact of diversity, including the presence of women in decision-making bodies, financial performance, branding and corporate culture.
  • Encourages women to develop their leadership skills, further their career and aspire to become board members.
  • Includes men of all levels in the journey so that they also feel invested rather than simply bystanders.

The Parity Certification evaluates:

Governance & Vision (Strategy) – To be certified on this dimension, an organization must demonstrate that, through their policies and practices, their strategic direction and key decision-making is inclusive of a progressively equitable representation of women to men. Also, the organization must demonstrate their commitment to achieving parity by setting clear objectives. Finally, it must demonstrate the intention to sustain parity through policies and practices that are building a pipeline of female talent.

Collective Enablers (Actions) – To be certified on this dimension, an organization must demonstrate that its practices, programs and actions are geared to facilitating the progress towards equitable representation of women at all levels, until parity is achieved and sustained.

Equity (Results) – To be certified on this dimension, an organization must demonstrate that the outcome of its strategy and actions in the area of gender equality results in progression towards equity or parity in the distribution of women to men in the hierarchy of the organization, promotion and hiring and that women at the same level are on average earning a salary equitable to men.

Organizations that participate in the certification will gain insights on what programs and policies they should have in place within their organization to implement best practices in terms of recruitment, training, promotions, compensation and talent management.

Furthermore, depending on where they sit on the parity spectrum, these organizations can qualify for bronze, silver, gold or platinum certification, following an evaluation of about seventy-five quantitative and qualitative criteria. Certified organizations will be recognized for their efforts and progressively move to higher levels of certification while those that have not qualified will obtain recommendations that support their efforts to qualify for certification in the future.

We strongly encourage organizations that haven’t yet implemented the mechanisms to allow women to progress and don’t feel they could be certified to go through the process nevertheless. This will be the most effective way to receive the expert support required to move the needle and achieve results faster and better.

The corporate world’s tremendous support is instrumental to our survival; you are the ones who enable us to carry out our mission in Quebec and in the rest of Canada, and for that, on my own behalf, but also on behalf of all the women we helped break the glass ceiling and all the men we encouraged to contribute: THANK YOU!

– Caroline Codsi, ICD.D.

President and Founder

Women in Governance

Want to know more? Take a look at our “Parity in our organizations: What measures translate into meaningful results?” Webinar:

Watch the webinar

For pricing information concerning the 2020 Parity Certification,
please contact us at:

The paid fees cover the following:

  • Access to the questionnaire
  • Evaluation of the questionnaire to determine whether you are eligible for bronze, silver, gold or platinum certification. Note: Participation in the questionnaire does not guarantee that you will be eligible for certification. However, you will have access to all services included in the fees.
  • A personalized report on your status that allows you to compare your position to that of your industry, other participating organizations and your position relative to other levels of certification.
  • Participation in an HR forum in order to share best practices.

Please note the following important elements:

  • The period to submit your application for certification is from January 6, 2020 to June 30, 2020 at 5:00pm EDT. After this time, the system will be closed and no further changes can be made to a submission.
  • The evaluation period for all bids starts July 1, 2020 and participating organizations will be notified of their status by the end of August.
  • As of September 2020, organizations may display their banners and an electronic signature announcing their certification.
  • The next Annual Recognition Gala will take place on March 3, 2020 at The Ritz-Carlton Toronto.

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2019 Parity Certification Ambassadors

We hope your organization will be among those certified in 2020!

For more information about the Parity Certification,
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For more information about the gala (tickets, tables or sponsorships),
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Click on the image below to see photos from our 2019 Gala in Toronto

Best moments – 2019 Women in Governance Annual Recognition Gala in Toronto