Corporate Governance (CECG) has issued its most recent quarterly briefing
Diversity on Boards”, which has been authored by N. Balasubramanian and
Nirmal Mohanty. The executive summary is as follows:
corporate boards is a diversity measure justified on the basis of both social
equity and business consideration;
experience indicates that progress in the implementation of gender diversity is
typically tardy unless mandated by law;
countries in general and Scandinavian countries in particular have progressed
significantly in this field, with Norway heading the world with 35.5%
representation of women on their boards;
April, 2015, listed companies in India (with some limited exceptions) were
required to have at least one woman director on their boards; close to 88% of
the companies reportedly have complied.
of listed companies in India seem to have appointed women directors in response
to the recent SEBI mandate; not surprisingly, most Indian listed companies have
only one woman director, although studies have shown that companies with three
or more women directors have outperformed those that have had less.
absence of critical mass of women directors, a number of other issues have
emerged; namely, independence of women directors appointed, paucity of
potential independent woman directors and women directors’ own perception.
building, supportive boards and legislative action are essential for successful
progress in this field.