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Women board directors: India ranks a lowly 26th, Norway leads

PTI     March 7, 2016

India has secured the 26th rank globally in terms of presence of women members on boards of companies with just a 7 per cent score while Norway tops the chart with over 40 per cent.

According to a recent study on 'Women On Board 2016' by global recruitment tendering platform and online job portal, presence of women members on boards of Indian companies is found to be lower than the overall average for developing countries.

"India needs to promote more women for senior management level. Presence of women members is very low, it's even below average percentage of developing countries," Rajesh Kumar, CEO, and said.

In this online study, a total of 38,313 listed companies participated worldwide and in India, 1,459 listed employers took part.

The overall percentage of women directors on board is 6.91 per cent in these listed India Inc companies as against 6.69 per cent last year.

Norway is again leading the table with a higher percentage of women on board at 40.12 per cent, followed by Sweden (29.31 per cent), Finland (25.89 per cent), South Africa (18.31 per cent) and the United States (17.37 per cent).

According to the study, 39 per cent in India are women, but only a fraction of that number makes it to the middle and senior management.

The report further noted that the average board life of male directors in India is 3 years more than their female counterparts while globally, the difference is only about 2 years. Moreover, women directors on an average are 5 years younger than males.

"The tenure of women members on board compared to male members is a major area where India Inc needs to rethink with a positive attitude. Globally, the average tenure is 2 years for women members on board, but in India, it is only 1 year," Kumar added.

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