Business & Economy
Half of NSE-listed firms yet to appoint women directors: indianboards.com
New Delhi, September 3, 2014
Less than half of the 1469 companies listed on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) have complied with the Securities and Exchange Board of India's (SEBI) requirement for all listed companies to have at least one woman director, though the deadline of October 1 is less than a month away, according to indianboards.com.
Mr Pranav Haldea, Managing Director, Prime Database which operates indianboards.com, a joint initiative of Prime and NSE, as many as 755 out of a total 1469 NSE-listed companies or 51 per cent of the companies, were still to appoint a woman director as on 31st August 2014.
This means a required rate of 25 appointments per day for the next one month, a press release from indianboards.com said.
“In the six and a half months since the SEBI board meeting on 13th February 2014 when this stipulation was announced till 31st August 2014, 264 women have been appointed to 274 directorship positions in 264 companies. Of these 264 companies, 20 companies already had a woman on the board before the SEBI guideline was announced (and appointed a second woman director on their board), implying that 244 companies have since complied with the requirement," Mr Haldea said.
Within these 244 companies, 242 women have been appointed to 251 directorship positions.
Significantly, at least 45 of these 251 directorship positions or nearly one-fifth, have been filled by appointing women belonging to the promoter group, Mr Haldea said.
"These women shall have the same voice as the promoter, defeating the very purpose of genuine (independent) gender diversity. Furthermore, another 69 of the 251 positions are non-independent, thus leaving only 137 positions which are apparently independent," he said.
Mr Haldea said that 220 of the 242 women (appointed in these 244 companies) are first time appointees to the board of a listed company.
However, of these 220 women, 42 women (holding 44 directorship positions) are from the promoter group and a further 65 women (holding 65 directorship positions) are non-independent, thus leaving only 113 women (holding 114 directorship positions) who are apparently independent.
As per indianboards.com, across all 1469 NSE-listed companies, even after the recent appointments of women, there are still just 696 women presently occupying 830 directorship positions (just 7.1 per cent).
Of these, while 428 women are holding 463 non-independent directorship positions, only 290 women are collectively occupying 367 independent directorship positions (22 women hold both independent as well as non-independent positions).
"Thus, if the requirement was for boards to have independent women directors, as many as 1121 companies (or 76 per cent of companies) would have needed to meet the norm," the release said.
Among women directors, Ms. Renu Sud Karnad has the maximum number of board positions at 8, of which 5 are as an independent director, followed by Ms. Ireena Gopal Vittal and Ms.Ramni Nirula at 6 (all of which are as an independent director).
Only 34 companies have a woman chairperson/co-chairperson, of which only one is an independent director. The company with the highest number of women directors is Apollo Hospitals Enterprise (4), though none of them is independent.
On an aggregate basis, there are a total of 9,121 persons occupying a total of 11,605 directorships in NSE-listed companies, the release added.