TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - December 08, 2015) - Women's Executive Network (WXN) welcomes The Right Honourable Paul Martin, 21st Prime Minister of Canada, to their podium in Toronto on December 10th, 2015 to discuss board diversity from the ground up, starting with Indigenous education.

At the final WXN Breakfast Series event of 2015, Mr. Martin sheds light on the ways Canadian businesses can support and participate in growing Indigenous leaders. Supported by recently-released data from the Canadian Board Diversity Council's (CBDC) Annual Report Card (ARC), Mr. Martin speaks about his leadership of the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative (MAEI) and other initiatives. He will share how to positively change Canada's corporations so they reflect the communities in which they do business.

"I'm honoured that Mr. Paul Martin can join us to speak about reaching our board diversity goals for Canada," says Pamela Jeffery, founder of both WXN and CBDC. "Both Mr. Martin and I know that better business decisions are made when the people making them are fully representative of the people they serve. But in order to build such a boardroom, we need to trace the talent pipeline back to its origins and nourish it with education, development and preparation of a diverse range of potential executives, including Indigenous peoples."

Indigenous people have become the fastest-growing segment of the Canadian population, but this growth is not reflected in our country's boardrooms. According to the ARC, Aboriginal representation on FP500 boards increased to 1.3% from 0.8% in 2014, but still remains woefully inadequate in comparison to its national population of 4.3%.

These statistics show those in top executive positions -- the ones making major decisions for Corporate Canada -- are not representative of the whole. That's a problem, both morally and economically, with studies showing companies with higher numbers of diverse directors financially outperform those with fewer.

Mr. Martin tackles this issue through MAEI, recognizing that Indigenous representation on Canada's boards roots deeper than corporate diversity policies. The MAEI program seeks to improve elementary and secondary school education outcomes for Indigenous Canadians through the implementation of specific programs and the application of appropriate research.

The MAEI has initiated various educational projects designed to provide Indigenous Canadians with the tools and opportunities they need to succeed. By bringing together Indigenous organizations, Corporate Canada, post-secondary institutions, First Nations schools, and provincially and territorially-funded school boards, the MAEI implements programs to support Indigenous students. To find a solution, Mr. Martin says, we must dig further into the talent pipeline, to look at how we educate, develop and prepare potential executives.

About the Women's Executive Network (WXN)
At WXN, we inspire smart women to lead. WXN creates and delivers innovative networking, mentoring, professional and personal development to inform, inspire, connect and recognize our community of more than 19,500 smart women and their organizations in the pursuit of excellence. WXN enables our partners and corporate members to become and to be recognized as employers of choice and leaders in the advancement of women.

Founded in 1997, WXN is Canada's leading organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of women in management, executive, professional and board roles. WXN is a founding member of the Canadian Board Diversity Council, dedicated to increasing the diversity of Canada's corporate boards. In 2008, WXN launched in Ireland, followed by London, UK in 2015, creating an international community of female leaders.

About the Canadian Board Diversity Council (CBDC)
CBDC is the leading Canadian organization advancing diversity on Canada's boards. Founded in 2009, the Council has since grown to 60 Founding and Corporate Member organizations that are committed to greater diversity in the Canadian workplace. The Council's goal is to improve the diversity of Canada's corporate boards. The Council's definition expands the traditional board definition of industry experience, management experience, functional area of expertise, education, geography and age to also include gender, visible minorities, Aboriginal peoples and people with disabilities.

More information and details about the event are available here.

Contact Information:

For media inquiries or to arrange an interview with WXN founder Pamela Jeffery or The Right Honourable Paul Martin, please contact:

Amy St. Louis
Director, Sales & Marketing
Women's Executive Network
416-361-1475 x 233