Only One In 10 Executive Directors Is A Woman

Only 10% of the top 200 listed companies’ Executive Directors are women, despite increased efforts by Indian corporate sector to enhance leadership diversity, reports Russell Reynolds Associates. This contrasts with a higher proportion of women (27%) serving as Independent Directors, mainly due to regulatory requirements for at least one Woman Director on a listed board. Industry experts emphasise the need for top boards to lead by example in promoting gender diversity and advocate for a broader talent pool to address the issue of women’s underrepresentation in leadership roles. Overall, women make up 19% of total board members, with 54% being independent. The challenges stem from a leaky pipeline of women in middle management and a lack of representation in key revenue-generating roles at the top. To tackle gender diversity issues effectively, there is a call to provide more opportunities for women to ascend to board positions through executive roles. Additionally, it is noted that younger women leaders in their 40s should be considered for director roles, challenging the perception that they are “lightweights.” The analysis also reveals disparities in female executive director representation across sectors, with financial services and technology boards having lower percentages compared to healthcare. Experts stress the importance of shifting from mere compliance with the minimum requirement of one woman director to actively working to change the status quo.


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