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Half of NSE-listed companies yet to appoint women directors

Mumbai: Nearly half of the NSE-listed companies are yet to appoint a woman director on their board even as the October 1 deadline for compliance with SEBI's requirement in this regard is only a month away.

As many as 755 out of a total 1,469 NSE-listed companies, or 51 per cent of the companies, were still to appoint a woman director as on August 31, 2014, which means a required rate of 25 appointments per day for the next one month, indianboards.com, a joint initiative of PRIME Database and NSE, said here.

"In the six-and-a-half months since the SEBI board meeting on February 13 when this stipulation was announced, till August 31, 264 women have been appointed to 274 directorship positions in 264 companies, PRIME Database Managing Director Pranav Haldea said in a statement here.

Of these 264 companies, 20 already had a woman on the board before the SEBI guidelines was announced (and appointed a second woman director on their board), implying that 244 companies have since complied with the requirement, he said.

In these 244 companies, 242 women have been appointed to 251 directorship positions. Significantly, at least 45 of these 251 directorship positions or nearly one-fifth (list given below), have been filled by appointing women belonging to the promoter group.

These women shall have the same voice as the promoter, defeating the very purpose of genuine (independent) gender diversity, he said.

Furthermore, another 69 of the 251 positions are non-independent, thus leaving only 137 positions which are apparently independent, he added. As per Haldea, 220 of the 242 women appointed in these 244 companies are first time appointees to the board of a listed company.

However, of these 220 women, 42 (holding 44 directorship positions) are from the promoter group and a further 65 women (holding 65 directorship positions) are non-independent, thus leaving only 113 women who are holding 114 directorship positions and are apparently independent.

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