Moneycontrol
Last Updated : Mar 09, 2011 08:58 AM IST | Source: PTI

One in five directors should be a woman: New Companies Bill

Coinciding with International Women's Day, the Corporate Affairs Ministry on Tuesday said it would make it mandatory for companies having five or more independent directors to have at least one female independent director.


Coinciding with International Women's Day, the Corporate Affairs Ministry on Tuesday said it would make it mandatory for companies having five or more independent directors to have at least one female independent director.


Companies having five or more independent directors would have to necessarily have at least one female independent director, Corporate Affairs Minister Murli Deora said.


The proposal would be part of Companies Bill 2009, which is expected to be tabled in the current session of Parliament.


Industry body Assocham in a study titled 'Corporate Women: Close the Gender Gap and Dream Big' on Monday said that women executives would play a fundamental role in shaping market-leading institutions.


However, the study said that presently out of 1,112 directorships of 100 companies listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange, only 59 positions -- or 5.3 per cent -- are held by women.


This figure compares with 15% in Canada, 14.5% in the US and 12.2% in Britain.


Last month, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said Companies Bill 2009, which seeks to replace a half-a-century-old Act, would be presented in Parliament in the ongoing session.


"The Companies Bill introduced in Parliament in 2009 has been received by the Parliamentary Standing Committee. The proposed Bill will be introduced in Lok Sabha in current session," Mukherjee had said.

Meanwhile, sources within the Ministry of Corporate Affairs have said that the decision to reserve board posts for women is final. Sources said at least 27,000 companies will need to have women directors. The ministry does not anticipate any shortage of candidates. The proposal will empower women in India Inc.

First Published on Mar 8, 2011 08:00 pm
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