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BUCHAREST: The number of women serving on boards almost doubled under a female leadership (29%) globally as compared to when boards were led by a male chair (16%), according to the fifth edition of Deloitte’s Women in the Boardroom.
The numbers are nearly identical when looking at female CEOs and the number of women serving on their boards (29%) as compared to male CEOs (15%).
15% of all board seats are filled by women globally, representing a modest 3% increase since 2015, shows the Women in the Boardroom analysis that explores the efforts of more than 60 countries to promote boardroom gender diversity.
Women are still largely under-represented on corporate boards, despite the benefits of bridging the gender divide in the workforce (effective governance and inclusive economic growth), and continued efforts to improve boardroom gender diversity.
For the first time, the publication includes a region-by-region analysis of the relationship between corporate leadership and diversity, finding a direct correlation between female leadership (CEOs and board chairs) and the board seats held by women: there is more gender diversity when in a company there is a female CEO or board chair.
In Romania, women are occupying 10% of the board’ seats of the large listed companies, 12% of non-executive roles of blue-chip companies and 15% of the supervisory boards’ positions of all BSE-listed companies.
“In Deloitte, we have been active in promoting gender balance through a series of initiatives. We believe it is important to implement several measures through a common effort, including creation of an official entity to collect information on corporate gender balance with the aim of promoting transparency, through corporate governance leading practices and a more inclusive culture through trainings and ambassadors who can disseminate the programs effectively as well as by showing the benefits of gender diversity in organizations,” said Madeline Alexander, Diversity Partner, Audit, Deloitte Romania.
Key findings of Deloitte Women in the Boardroom:
Boardrooms across the Americas region are not highly gender diverse
In the US, only 14% of board seats are held by women, a 2% point increase from the 2015 edition. In Canada, the percent of board seats held by women grew to 18%, a 5% point increase since 2015. In Latin and South America overall, only 7% of board seats are held by women and 2% of board chairs are women.
Progress across EMEA varies significantly
Romania lags behind the EU countries with only 12% women serving in non-executive positions versus the EU average of 23%. Norway, the first country to ever introduce a gender quota, has the highest percentage of board seats held by women (42%). In the UK, there are no quotas in place for women on boards, but 20% of board seats and 3% of board chair positions are held by women. The percentage of board seats held by women has increased to 28% in Italy, but the number of female board chairs fell 14% points since 2015 to 9%.
Boardroom diversity in Australasia is on the rise
In Australia, the numbers continue to improve as the percentage of board seats held by women is currently 20% and 5% of board chairs are women. New Zealand achieved the strongest growth since 2015, with the number of board seats held by women increasing to 28%.
Asia-Pacific lags behind other regions
At 8%, 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.
Women in the Boardroom: A Global Perspective
On behalf of Deloitte Global, MSCI ESG Research Inc. collected boardroom diversity data covering nearly 7,000 companies in 44 countries spanning Asia Pacific, the Americas, and EMEA.
The data was collected as of 15 December 2016. Based on this data, the Women in the Boardroom publication includes global, regional and country analysis of the progress made towards greater board diversity. It also includes a breakdown of how well women are represented in boardrooms across six key industries—financial services; consumer business; technology; media, and telecommunications; manufacturing; life sciences and health care; and energy and resources.
To supplement this data, Deloitte Global compiled information about diversity quotas and other board diversity initiatives from 20 additional countries. So, in total the publication explores the efforts of 64 countries to promote boardroom gender diversity. Finally, interviews were conducted with four directors from Australia, Japan, UK and US to provide editorial perspective about the publication findings and additional insight into how boardroom diversity is progressing in their parts of the world.
Deloitte’s Global Center for Corporate Governance
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited Global Center for Corporate Governance brings together the knowledge and experience of Deloitte member firms around the world in the critical area of corporate governance. Its mission is to promote dialogue in the critical area of corporate governance among Deloitte practitioners, corporations and their boards of directors, investors, the accounting profession, academia, and government. Since 2009, the Global Center has launched 44 centers of corporate governance in Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and the Americas.