Diversity taskforce opts against mandating gender quotas for directors

SINGAPORE - A taskforce formed to encourage greater diversity in boardrooms has opted not to mandate gender quotas on company boards for now.

Instead, the Diversity Task Force is recommending a slew of initiatives aimed at encouraging companies to appoint more women to their boards.

Among its 10 recommendations is a proposal to give more prominence to gender diversity in the Code of Corporate Governance and the Singapore Exchange's (SGX) listing rules.

Another recommendation calls on firms to develop a gender diversity policy.

Firms are also being urged to adopt a formal search-and-nomination process for board appointments, instead of relying on informal networks that are typically dominated by men.

A Diversity Action Committee will be set up to help implement the recommendations made. SGX chief executive Magnus Bocker has been appointed the chairperson of the committee.

Other members of the committee have yet to be named, but they are expected to be stakeholders from the public, people and private sectors.

The task force was formed in late 2012 by the-then Minister of State for Social and Family Development (MSF) Halimah Yacob.

Mdm Halimah, the current Speaker of Parliament, will be an advisor to the committee.

The task force issued its recommendations to MSF Minister Chan Chun Sing on Friday.