Women un­der-rep­re­sented on boards glob­ally

NZ Business - - INBOX - See www2.deloitte.com/nz/en/ pages/risk/ar­ti­cles/women-in-the­board­room5th-edi­tion.html

Women are still largely un­der­rep­re­sented on cor­po­rate boards world­wide, de­spite con­tin­ued ef­forts to im­prove board­room gen­der diver­sity.

The fifth edi­tion of Deloitte Global’s Women in the Board­room: A Global Per­spec­tive pub­li­ca­tion ex­plores the ef­forts of 64 coun­tries, in­clud­ing New Zealand, to pro­mote board­room gen­der diver­sity. The re­port reveals that women hold just 15 per­cent of board seats world­wide. These num­bers show only mod­est progress from 2015.

Deloitte New Zealand part­ner Peter Gul­liver says that for the first time, the pub­li­ca­tion in­cludes a re­gion-by-re­gion anal­y­sis of the re­la­tion­ship be­tween cor­po­rate lead­er­ship and diver­sity, and direct cor­re­la­tion was found be­tween fe­male lead­er­ship (CEOs and board chairs) to board seats held by women.

“Or­gan­i­sa­tions with women in the top lead­er­ship po­si­tions have al­most dou­bled the num­ber of board seats held by women. The in­verse is true as well, with gen­der di­verse boards more likely to ap­point a fe­male CEO and board chair,” says Gul­liver in a state­ment.

“This il­lus­trates an im­por­tant trend – as the num­ber of fe­male CEOs and board chairs climbs, it is likely to spur greater board diver­sity. Yet, the per­cent­age of women se­cur­ing top lead­er­ship roles re­mains very low, with women hold­ing only four per­cent of CEO and board chair po­si­tions glob­ally,” he says.

The re­port in­cludes a small sam­ple (18) of New Zealand com­pa­nies and finds that New Zealand does above av­er­age com­pared to the global sam­ple, with 28 per­cent of board seats and 11 per­cent of board chairs held by women. None of the com­pa­nies an­a­lysed have fe­male CEOs.

Gul­liver says AUT’s New Zealand Cen­sus of Women on Boards 2017 shows that the num­ber of women on the boards of NZX top 100 com­pa­nies was 22 per­cent. How­ever, ac­cord­ing to AUT, the num­ber of fe­male board chairs and CEOs of the top 100 com­pa­nies has not changed since 2012, hold­ing steady at seven and three per­cent re­spec­tively.

Glob­ally the find­ings in­clude: • In the US and Canada, only 14 and 18 per­cent of board seats re­spec­tively are held by women. And the per­cent of fe­male board chairs has not pro­gressed, re­main­ing at just un­der four per­cent in the US and drop­ping to five per­cent in Canada. • In Latin and South Amer­ica over­all, only seven per­cent of board seats are held by women and two per­cent of board chairs are women. • Nor­way, the first coun­try to ever in­tro­duce a gen­der quota, has the high­est per­cent­age of board seats held by women (42 per­cent). Seven per­cent of board chair po­si­tions are held by women. • In the UK, there are no quo­tas in place for women on boards, but 20 per­cent of board seats and three per­cent of board chair po­si­tions are held by women. • At eight per­cent, gen­der diver­sity in some of Asia’s lead­ing economies is the low­est com­pared to other parts of the world. Only a few coun­tries in the re­gion have quo­tas or other ap­proaches to ad­dress the is­sue.

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