The Security and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had declared 1st of April, 2015 as the deadline to have at least one woman director is only two months away. According to IIFL, with the date being less than 2 months away, 526 out of a total 1471 NSE-listed companies have still not managed to get a woman on their boards. This accounts for 36% of the companies that have only a few weeks left to appoint women to act as their companies’ directors.
Pranav Haldea, Managing Director, Prime Database which has developed and powered nseinfobase.com, told IIFL, “Almost a year has now passed since the SEBI board meeting on 13 February 2014 when this stipulation was announced. From then till 3 February 2015, 474 women have been appointed to 546 directorship positions in 522 companies. Of these 522 companies, 35 companies already had a woman on the board before the SEBI guideline was announced (and appointed a second woman director on their board), implying that 487 companies have since complied with the requirement.”
Haldea added, “Within these 487 companies, 442 women have been appointed to 506 directorship positions. At least 74 of these 506 directorship positions, have been filled by appointing women belonging to the promoter group. These women shall have the same voice as the promoter, defeating the very purpose of genuine (independent) gender diversity. Furthermore, another 129 of the 506 positions are non- independent, thus leaving only 303 positions which are apparently independent,” according to the report.
This arrangement however, has been under scrutiny since the beginning primarily for the reason that by setting a deadline, even though companies would hire female directors, their role and say in the decisions might be minimal. This has so far not been proved untrue as the report has further revealed that 395 of the 442 women appointed so far are first time appointees to the board of these companies.
ORIGINAL SOURCE: IIFL
[Featured Picture Courtesy: BBC]