India fares better than Asia average in boardroom gender diversity: Report

Topics gender diversity | boardrooms | Asia

Representational image.

India fared better than Asia as a whole in gender diversity in both executive and non-executive chair roles, according to a survey by leadership advisory firm Egon Zehnder.

Egon Zehnder's 2020 Global Board Diversity Tracker noted that between 2012 and 2020, India has seen an 8.6 per cent increase in the percentage of women onboards, with women holding 17 per cent of board positions in 2020.

"India fared better than Asia as a whole in diversity of both executive and non-executive chair roles, with 5 per cent of executive chair roles filled by women in India and 10 per cent of non-executive chair roles," Egon Zehnder said.

Asia's average in women's executive chair roles stood at 2.6 per cent and for non-executive chair roles, it was 5 per cent, respectively.

Globally, women now make up 27.3 per cent of all board committee leaders globally, up from 25.5 per cent in 2018.

This year's report analysed data from 1,685 companies across 44 countries with a combined market capitalisation of more than USD 48 trillion.

"The results are clear while there is progress in gender diversity globally, the rate of change is insignificant. Despite increased attention to diversity and inclusion that has sparked conversation and movement, making tangible progress is still challenging," Egon Zehnder said in a statement.

This year, 89 per cent of major companies globally have at least one woman on their board, up from 85 per cent in 2018. While, in India, that number is higher, with 96 per cent of companies having at least one woman on their boards, as per the survey.

Moreover, between 2012 and 2020, India has seen an 8.6 per cent increase in the percentage of women on boards, with women holding 17 per cent of board positions in 2020.

The survey noted that 18 countries, up from 13 in 2018, have on an average three or more women on the boards of their largest companies globally. In India, 23 per cent of large company boards average at least three women, up by 10 per cent from 2018.

"Today, we see attention and acknowledgement that we need more diverse boards; however, diversity spans far beyond gender," said Jill Ader, chairwoman of Egon Zehnder.

Ader further noted that "it is now more important than ever to move beyond traditional D&I metrics and prioritise building teams that are representative of all different backgrounds".

She added that board leaders have the power to modernise governance with a few bold steps. "Change is within our grasp."

Globally, new board appointments made up 13.5 per cent of all board positions in 2020, up from 11.4 per cent in 2018. Of that number, 30 per cent were women, up from 27 per cent in 2018.

In India, women comprised 16.3 percent of new board appointments.

"In reality, this means that only 4 per cent of all directors are women new to the board, only a 0.9 per cent increase from 2018," Egon Zehnder said.


(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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