Higher proportion of woman directors in listed firms

The level of female representation in boardrooms improved slightly in the first half of the year.

The proportion of women on corporate boards rose 0.5 percentage point to 15.7 per cent among the top 100 primary-listed firms by market capitalisation on the Singapore Exchange.

Five of these firms - ComfortDelGro, SBS Transit, Wing Tai Holdings, First Resources and Sats - were already gender-diverse but they each added a female director.

All-male boards were reduced by four to 21 after Wilmar International, Hong Leong Finance, CapitaLand Mall Trust, ESR-Reit and Singapore Airlines added a woman director each, but there was one additional all-male board in the period.

The target of having females comprise at least 20 per cent of a board was achieved by 36 of the 100 listed firms, said the Council for Board Diversity yesterday.

The council, which was set up in January, has a long-term target for equal proportion of men and women directors.

Its near-term target is for the top 100 companies to hit 20 per cent by the end of next year and all listed firms at 25 per cent by the end of 2025 and 30 per cent by the end of 2030.

Companies planning to appoint more women directors can look at a broader slate of qualified candidates and search beyond personal networks to enlarge the talent pool, said the council.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 13, 2019, with the headline 'Higher proportion of woman directors in listed firms'. Print Edition | Subscribe