Number of women on board rises; but so does tokenism: Report

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New Delhi | August 25, 2016 7:54 PM

The capital markets watchdog had issued guidelines in February 2014, asking companies to appoint at least one woman director on their boards.

The capital markets watchdog had issued guidelines in February 2014, asking companies to appoint at least one woman director on their boards. (Reuters)The capital markets watchdog had issued guidelines in February 2014, asking companies to appoint at least one woman director on their boards. (Reuters)

Since 2014, the number of women on companies’ boards has increased, but around half of the women directors hired are family or relatives of the promoter, indicating a lack of transparency in the hiring process, says a report.

The capital markets watchdog had issued guidelines in February 2014, asking companies to appoint at least one woman director on their boards.

According to Biz Divas Foundation Women on Boards- Refresher Report-2016, there are only 67 NSE listed companies without women directors, which means that compliance is almost 100 per cent, which construes to the success of this law.

“Our global ranking at 26th today as compared to 32nd in 2014 is growth. But still significant progress is yet to be witnessed,” Ranjana Deopa, Head – Board Practice, Biz Divas Foundation, said.
Deopa further noted “with data reflecting that around 50 per cent of the women directors hired are relatives of the promoter, it only proved further that there is a lack of transparency in the hiring process”.

According to the report, about 90 per cent of the women have aspirations to get into board of companies and most of the women are keen to be on boards of startups and non-profits.

Lack of access and information about vacancies came across the biggest challenge, the report said, adding as a solution, maximum respondents believe mentoring or sponsorship programs are the best solution to prepare women take a leap on boards.

“It is the need for Boards and the leaders to role model from the top, set expectations and a transparent policy and process in hiring,” the report said.

Biz Divas Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, which provides a platform for creating awareness on inclusive practices, conducting research and building advocacy platform to promote inclusive leadership.

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