Women’s representation in boards poor in Asia

Dhaka,  Sat,  23 September 2017
Published : 13 May 2017, 16:06:15
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Women’s representation in boards poor in Asia

Women’s representation in boards poor in Asia
The low levels of representation of women in top positions in boardrooms across Asia has been blamed in part on ingrained corporate norms, as well as very long working hours and childcare burdens that still fall on mothers, according to a global media report Saturday.

But the lack of progress is now seen by some executives as threatening the region’s attempts to improve governance and develop meritocratic corporate structures. The majority of Asia- Pacific companies with women on the board still only have a token representation of a single female director.

Wide differences exist between countries in the region. In Australia, women hold 27.2 per cent of board seats at the 100 largest public companies, more than twice the regional average, and in New Zealand they hold 19.3 per cent. But only 14 out of South Korea’s 100 largest listed companies have any female directors.

But only eight out of the 20 countries in the Asian survey have strategies in place to increase the number of women directors. India adopted a quota of at least one woman on the board of all publicly listed companies in 2013. Companies were slow to comply, however, amid complaints of that the move was tokenism that did little to change India’s male-dominated, “old-boy” network corporate culture. Among those that moved slowest were state-owned companies in heavy industry.

-SZ-
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