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Women representation on company boards rise in India

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2016,14:07 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Singapore | India has made significant improvement in broadening female representation on the board of top 100 companies listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange, said a study released here today.

According to the joint study entitled Building Diversity in Asia Pacific Boardrooms, female board representation increased from 7.3 per cent in 2013 to 8.6 per cent in 2014. It was 5.8 per cent in 2012 and is estimated at 12 per cent for 2015. Three countries in the Asia Pacific region, namely Australia, India and Malaysia, showed significant improvement in broadening women representation on boardsacross the companies.

A combination of government initiatives has contributed to the increase in these countries, the study said. Indian companies, for instance, have been swift to respond to the Company Act by drawing on their existing networks, said the joint study by Korn Ferry, a global people advisory, and National University of Singapore Business Schools Centre for Governance Institution and Organisation (CGIO).

The Company Act, which required all listed companies to have at least one woman on the board, has helped enable this broadening female representation, said the study. India’s corporate boards without women has decreased from 44 per cent in 2013 to 29 per cent in 2014.

The highest number of female board members, at 17.5 per cent, were in the Telecommunication Services, followed by 11.6 per cent in Information Technology and 9.6 per cent in Financials, the study said. The lowest, at 4.9 per cent, was in Industrials. Speaking to reporters at the study launch, Korn Ferry managing director Alicia Yi said,regulatory and government push has increased women representation in the Indian corporate boardrooms.

She described it as a significant development in women empowerment in India. Women make up 10.2 per cent of the directors in companies across 10 Asia Pacific economies covered by the study, up from 9.4 per cent in 2013 and 8 per cent in 2012, the study said.

Female board members in Australia increased from 18.6 per cent in 2013 to 21.9 per cent in 2014. In Malaysia, women in boardrooms increased from 8.3 per cent in 2013 to 12.5 per cent in 2014, driven by the government set target of having 30 per cent by this year.