This complete global solution for HR professionals combines custom research, strategic white papers, country primers, webinars, and the expert guidance you’ve come to expect from...
By Madhur Singh
April 14—The Securities and Exchange Board of India announced April 8 that employers failing to comply with a new rule that all listed companies and those above a certain size have at least one woman on their board of directors will face financial penalties.
Companies out of compliance as of April 1, 2015, will be fined 50,000 rupees ($800), those not in compliance by June 30, 2015, an additional 1,000 rupees ($16) per day, and those not complying by Sept. 30, 2015, an additional 5,000 rupees ($80) per day until they achieve compliance. The fines are not large enough to be a deterrent themselves, and SEBI's intention seems to be to shame companies into compliance.
The Companies Act of 2013 requires every listed company and every public company with a minimum paid-up share capital of 1 billion rupees ($16 million) or an annual turnover of at least 3 billion rupees ($48 million) to appoint at least one woman director. Even though the original compliance deadline of Sept. 30, 2014, was extended to March 31, 2015, some 180 of the 1,456 companies listed on the National Stock Exchange—12 percent–have yet to appoint women directors, according to an April 6 press release from PRIME Database.
In the 829 companies that have appointed women directors, 789 women have been appointed to 861 positions, and at least 363 of these positions have been filled by women related to the promoter (founding) family. According to Pranav Haldea, managing director, PRIME Database, “These women shall have the same voice as the promoter, defeating the very purpose of genuine (independent) gender diversity.”
Although some exceptional women have reached top positions in India's corporate world, as reported in Fortune India (http://www.crisil.com/pdf/corporate/Most-Powerful-Women.pdf), boardrooms remain male-dominated and India ranks 11th from the bottom in the International Labor Organization's ranking of countries' female labor force participation.
In a much-quoted study, Sher Verick, senior fellow at the ILO, points out that Indian women's participation in the workforce follows a U-shaped curve when correlated with education: poor women with little or no education participate out of necessity; those with mid-level education, usually from relatively well-off families, can afford to remain out of the workforce; and only the better educated women are attracted to jobs that offer good opportunities and remuneration.
Leading industry associations including the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry have been running training and mentorship programs for prospective women directors, although human resource experts point out that to ensure entry and retention of women in the workforce such structural changes as government-mandated policies on maternity (and paternity) benefits and structured networking and mentoring programs for women will be required.
To contact the reporter on this story: Madhur Singh in Chandigarh at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rick Vollmar at firstname.lastname@example.org
The SEBI announcement is available at http://www.sebi.gov.in/cms/sebi_data/attachdocs/1428497356451.pdf, the Prime Database press release at http://www.primedatabasegroup.com/newsroom/PR-306.pdf, and the Fortune India report at http://www.crisil.com/pdf/corporate/Most-Powerful-Women.pdf.
For more information on Indian HR law and regulation, see the India primer.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)