Hyderabad: With Sebi’s rule mandating listed companies to have at least one woman director on their boards coming into to effect from April 1, 2014, boardroom dynamics are in for a major overhaul.
The decision is supposed to encourage corporate India to groom women officials to the senior leadership positions. However, experts feel that the acute shortage of senior woman professionals in India may make it difficult to fill in director positions on merit.
“There is a serious shortage of women in senior positions. This is one of the reasons for not having adequate women’s representation in the boardrooms,” said Venkatramanan Vishwanath, Partner, KPMG in India. He, however, feels that this could be a start.
According to industry experts, around 90 per cent of Indian companies do not have a woman on board.
In Andhra Pradesh, there are around 750 listed companies. Among of them, an industry expert claims that almost 80 per cent companies do not have a woman director. Even those companies, which have women on board, have preferred to rope in one of family members.
According to a study by indianboards.com, a joint initiative between Prime Database and National Stock Exchange (NSE), as many as 966 of the 1,456 companies listed on NSE or two-thirds, do not have a woman director on their board currently.
Even while reservation has become quite a norm in India, Norway has pioneered boardroom quota for women in 2003. This was soon followed by Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, Iceland and Dubai. Now Europe’s two largest economies — Germany and Britain – have set targets to have 30 per cent and 25 per cent of women directors by 2016 and 2015 respectively.