M. Damodaran Calls For Two Women On Each Board
M. Damodaran, former SEBI chief, suggested that it’s time to have at least two Women Directors on every company’s Board. India took a step towards gender equality in corporate governance by introducing a rule in 2013 requiring every listed company to have at least one Woman Director on its Board. However, this regulation, intended to promote greater gender diversity, has largely become a symbolic gesture, Damodaran said in an exclusive chat with CNBC TV18.
As of the end of the 2023 fiscal year, 4,741 women held directorships in 3,232 listed companies across India. While the number of Women Directors has been gradually increasing, Damodaran emphasised that it’s not just about numbers; it’s about challenging the “old boys’ club mentality” in boardrooms and fostering genuine gender diversity.
Having just one Woman Director, according to Damodaran, is inadequate and creates a token position rather than true gender diversity. The rule had initially raised concerns among experienced women leaders, as some felt they were approached merely to fulfil the legal requirement. To address this issue, he advised them to question whether they were being chosen to tick a box or to genuinely contribute value.