According to official data released by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, the number of women taking up positions on the boards of listed companies in India has seen a steady but significant increase, with over 4741 women directors on the boards of over 3200 listed companies by the end of the 2023 fiscal year (FY23).
By the end of FY19, approximately 3941 women directors were on the boards of listed companies, with the number going up to 4,054 by FY20, and then to 4,187 by FY21. Approximately 4,450 women could occupy roles on the boards of listed companies by FY22, according to the data provided by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
Women's Representation in Corporate
Approximately 33 listed companies in India have a majority of women on their boards, with women accounting for 30 of directorships in nearly 618 listed companies. Despite this progress, there is official data showing that there are 35 listed companies still with no woman directors on their boards. Additionally, in between the MCA's monthly report in July 2022, and January 2023, the number of female professionals who register as directors of companies has gone down, from 9570 in July 2022 to 6333 in January 2023. While growth on the whole has been steady, the month-by-month reports in 2022 suggest that this growth can fluctuate, and is susceptible to a slow decline.
Government and State Measures
According to data from federal think-tank NITI Aayog, as of 2022, Chattisgarh, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh are leading states in ensuring gender equality for their citizens. However, these states all have scores ranging from 50-64, with none of the states becoming ‘front-runners’ which requires a score of 65 or above, depending on certain variables. Additionally, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), has mandated that “listed companies”, and “every other company having a paid-up share capital of one hundred crore rupees or more; or turnover of three hundred crore rupees or more,” have at least one female director on their boards.
While progress has been made in ensuring gender equality in the workplace, the slow pace it is taking suggests that this change may have been fought against in companies- after all, certain companies are now facing trouble due to their non-compliance with these rules.
Years of data revelations and society's fucntioning also show that, despite women occupying significant roles in management, it will take more effort to dismantle a system that prioritises men over women. While these statistics may look hopegiving at one point, and worrisome at another, they are a step forward and prove to us that progress is possible.
Suggested reading: Women’s Progress At Workplace On Standstill: Time To Change Old Ways