Over 60% companies yet to adhere to 1-woman director requirement

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Jun 11 2014, 07:47am hrs
More than 60% of companies listed on NSE stock exchange have not met with the requirement of having at least one woman director on their respective boards even as less than four months are left to comply with the new rules, latest data shows.

Under the new rules as mandated under the companies law and Sebi norms, every listed firm should have at least one woman director on its board. This will come into force from October 1, 2014.

As many as 922 companies (almost two-thirds) of the total 1,492 NSE-listed firms have not yet appointed a woman director on its board, data available till June 8 from www.indianboards.com showed.

Meanwhile, as many as 78 women have taken up 84 board positions since February 13, 2014 when market regulator Sebi announced the requirement for women directors.

Since February, firms like Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, SAIL, Gillette India, Infosys, Power Grid Corp, Bajaj Finance, Sesa Sterlite, NIIT, Ambuja Cements, Fortis Healthcare and Jaiprakash Power have appointed at least one woman on their boards. Besides, Nita Ambani, wife of Mukesh Ambani, will be appointed as the director on board of Reliance Industries from June 18, the list showed.

Across all listed companies on the NSE, there are just 533 women presently occupying 654 directorship positions.

Of these, while 357 women are holding 391 non-independent directorship positions, only 197 women are collectively occupying 263 independent directorship positions (21 women hold independent as well as non-independent positions). "Thus, if the requirement was for boards to have independent women directors, as many as 1,217 companies (or 83%) would need to meet the norm," Pranav Haldea, MD, Prime Database said.