Percentage of Women on Indian Boards Increases to 18% in 2022 finds Report

By: WE Staff

“No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contribution of half of its citizens.”

Throughout the past ten years, India's proportion of women on corporate boards increased 18% in 2022, although the nation still lags well behind France, Sweden, the US, and the UK. According to the top consultancy EY's report, "Diversity in the Boardroom: Progress and the Way Forward," India achieved considerable and quick progress in expanding women's presence on boards from 6% in 2013 to 18% in 2022.

France led the list with 44.5% of women on corporate boards, followed by Sweden (40%) and Norway (36.4%), Canada (35.4%), the UK (35.3%), Australia (33.5%), the US (28.1%), and Singapore (20.1 per cent).

The conclusions for India are based on a survey of 4,500 directors from Nifty 500 businesses and information from open sources.

According to the survey, the corporate law mandate in India is largely to blame for the current 18% female representation on Indian boards.

The percentage of female directors on the boards of the Nifty 500 businesses has increased to about 95%. Less than 5% of businesses, it was discovered, had female chairpersons.

The report said that while organisations have expressed a strong commitment to expanding board diversity, the rate of change is unquestionably not up to standard. It also noted that regulatory actions have been the cornerstone of expanded women's participation both worldwide and on Indian boards.

The report said that while organisations have expressed a strong commitment to expanding board diversity, the rate of change is unquestionably not up to standard. It also noted that regulatory actions have been the cornerstone of expanded women's participation both worldwide and on Indian boards.

The paper stated that historically, the only senior positions on Indian boards open to women were those in the grievance and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) committees.

However, this is beginning to change, and gender diversity on boards is increasing in Indian organisations, according to the report.

Increasing women's presence on boards can boost business performance and encourage greater inclusion and diversity in the workforce, according to EY. "Women's engagement in the board of directors is a critical but frequently overlooked step in reaching gender parity," EY says.

Female Board Members across various sectors

According to the survey, the industry with the largest percentage of female board members is the life sciences sector (24%), followed by the media and entertainment sector (23%).

The analysis discovered that while there has been an increase, it has not been uniform among businesses in the media and entertainment industry. This is mostly because a small number of businesses have hired more women directors than is required by law.

The consumer goods and retail sector, which has 20% women on its boards, is closely behind the media and entertainment industry.

The survey noted that the technology (IT and ITeS) sector had 20% female representation on its boards while having one of the highest rates of female employment (34%).

It further said that only 6% of executive positions on boards for banking and financial markets are now held by women.

According to the report, women's presence on the boards of corporations in the energy and utilities sector (oil, gas, and utilities) has remained unchanged at 15% between 2017 and 2022.

The report claims that only 600 women hold managerial and executive positions in India's energy sector, representing a meagre 8% of the total workforce.

Why do we require more female board members?

Thought Diversity - An alternative viewpoint (empathy, intuition, and optimism) Men are from Mars, women are from Venus, according to the proverb.

People from many places can bring in a variety of viewpoints, and we are realising more and more how beneficial this diversity of thinking is for a company. It encourages tolerance and diversity as well as creativity and empathy, two crucial traits needed to compete and prosper in a world where technology dominates human interaction.

Inspiring Leadership: The best leaders are those who can develop leaders under them. As nurturers by nature, women build a powerful support system.

They're also unlikely to abuse any privileges or provide preferential treatment – women have been on the receiving end of this, so they understand what it's like to be overlooked or treated unfairly.

Women Attract More Women: Having additional women in leadership roles can motivate an organisation to seek out, support, and develop more women.

Women are natural mediators because they listen sympathetically and communicate clearly. This means that female employees are adept at understanding both sides of the arguments and finding a workable solution when there are disagreements at work, whether they arise between two individuals or full teams.

Team Players: Women are naturally good team players-they can bring people along for the decision-making process and foster consensus. This is crucial, especially for expanding organisations.

The proof is in the performance improvement: There is a definite improvement in performance in businesses where Increased representation of women. Other business parameters, such as operating margins, cash flow, and so forth, exhibit a positive correlation in addition to the share price.

How women at the top have facilitated change

*IndraNooyi, former chairman and CEO of PepsiCo and a member of the Amazon board of directors.

What difference she made:

-PepsiCo gradually shifting on segments of healthy food.

-Offered staff high-quality child care.

-A supporter of inclusive environments.

* Neeta Ambani-Founder, Reliance, Foundation;Member, Board of Directors, RIL, and philanthropist

What difference she made:

-launched a digital platform for empowering women called Her Circle

- Promotes female athletes

-started the Women's Global Development and Prosperity (W GDP) Initiative to address the gender gap

* Oprah Winfrey-Host, television producer, actress,author and philanthropist

What difference she made:

-Aggressively lobbying for the 1994 National Child Protection Act

begun The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls

-Gave a donation to the National Council of Black Women

-Established Oprah's Angel Network to open doors that assist women and children who are underserved.

The road has been paved for women. In order to raise the total representation of women at work, we must now maintain the momentum toward having more influential and strong women on boards. Women executives are making enormous advances with a "never say die" attitude and are working toward a world where women are equally represented at all levels of the corporate sector.