Women in Indian Boardrooms Vs Diversity = Inversely Proportionate

Little has changed in corporate boardrooms, although there are more women in leadership roles, disproportionate progress and fewer women are serving on more boards. According to Deloitte's Women in the Boardroom Report, women representation of board seats increased by 9.4 per cent from 2014 to 17.1 per cent in India, but they comprise only 3.6 per cent of the board chairs, down by 0.9 per cent since 2018. The report found that globally, women hold 19.7 per cent of the board seats, which has grown by 2.8 per cent since 2018. At the current pace, the world could expect to reach near-parity only in 2045. The report says that India still has much ground to cover in terms of women heading boards, it witnessed an increase in the number of women taking up CEO roles − 4.7 percent female CEOs against 3.4 percent reported in 2018.An absolute irony – On the occasion of every international woman’s day, companies of all hues and stripes run campaigns showcasing their commitment to gender equality. Some also get chocolates and flowers for women employees. But when it comes to appointing women to senior management positions, most companies fail to walk the talk. Why is the board diversity progressing at such a low pace despite all the legal mandates? There is still a disparity in appointment of women directors on board. For example, sectors such as healthcare, telecom, consumer goods, and construction have a relatively larger share of women directors, the data shows. Mining, metals, banking and finance have a relatively smaller share of women directors. Moreover, it’s not just sectors but also the mindset of companies. Certainly, there has been an increase in women taking up leadership positions but still the gap remains huge when it comes to women’s participation on boards.Recently the Finance Minister of India Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman said that the government is noticing how companies are evading the mandate to have women directors on their boards. She further said that Nifty50 companies have often hired the same women for their boards. There are also attempts to evade the mandate to include women in boards. A very important question that must hit everyone is “Why do women need to prove they are worthy of being on company boards?” Women today in majority of the fields has proved their worth however when it comes to appointment on boards, women are compelled to not only prove their worth but also earn their position by showcasing various skillsets.Today’s blog is speaking about the reality of the corporate world. Comment in the boxes below and tell us how can Indian boards cope with this gap. How can more women engage on boards and add value?

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