Diversity on boards and in senior management

The 50–30 Challenge aims to give underrepresented groups better access to positions on corporate boards and in senior management. Research shows that more diverse organizations tend to outperform their peers on financial and business outcomes. They also develop more creative and fresh approaches and solutions.  

The Government of Canada is working with business, not-for-profits, the public sector and diversity organizations on this initiative. 

Group of business people collaborating

50-30 Challenge

The 50–30 Challenge sets two goals for the boards and senior management of each participating organization:

  • gender parity (50%) 
  • significant representation of underrepresented groups (30%): visible minority persons, people living with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ2+ communities, and First Nations, Inuit and Métis

How it works

More than 1,910 companies have signed up for the Challenge. By participating, they will get access to programs and resources designed to assist them in meeting their diversity goals. Over time, companies that achieve certain goals within this framework will get incentives linked to government programs.

This is where standards come in.

Our role

The Government of Canada is working with SCC to help develop standards deliverables for the implementation of the program.

In 2021, SCC collaborated with the Diversity Institute at the Ted Rogers School of Management in the development of a publicly available specification, The 50–30 Challenge.

This document was developed with input from diversity and inclusion experts and defines key terms included in the 50–30 Challenge. It is intended to provide definitions and guidance on the terms and processes of the challenge and offer guidance on how to apply these definitions and implement the challenge.

Now SCC is teaming up with the Diversity Institute again for the development of two deliverables for gender equality and diversity inclusion on Canadian boards and senior management as per the 50–30 Challenge: 

  • a publicly available specification that provides guidance for self-assessment and the tools to enable participating organizations to demonstrate their compliance and/or progress towards compliance
  • a technical specification that provides third-party certification requirements


We will facilitate this work by doing what we do best: bringing experts and key players together to collaborate and develop consensus-based solutions.