There is a compelling business case to have more women on boards. Numerous studies and researches have explored the benefits of diverse boards and found that there is a direct correlation between a company’s higher profitability and better financial performance with its board diversity. In addition, investors across the globe are becoming more engaged with the companies they are involved with – pushing for companies to align with their values and take a stand on hot-button issues such as diversity and inclusion. In a recent KPMG thought leadership On the 2022 Board Agenda, we outline eight issues for boards to keep in mind as they carry out their agendas this year and one of those is on thinking strategically about talent and diversity in the boardroom. With the increased level of investor and regulator engagement on the issue of diversity, boards must be strategic and proactive in their approach to board-building to ensure they have diversity in skills, experience and thinking.
In the Philippines, according to a study made by the Institute of Corporate Directors, in 2020, only 17.9% of board seats across publicly listed companies are occupied by women. This is a very low number considering that we have one of the slimmest gender gap margins in the world and we have fairly strong female representation in the C-suite. This glaringly low statistic was the impetus for me, together with other strong Filipina business leaders - Aurora “Boots” Garcia, Pacita “Chit” Juan, Sherisa “Baby” Nuesa, and Ma. Celeste “Maricelle” Narciso, to incorporate the NextGen Organization of Women Corporate Directors or NOWCD, which was launched last February 16. Our organization’s aim is to advocate and be a catalyst for robust governance and inclusive stewardship of boards through the development of highly qualified women directors to become drivers of visionary and effective boards.
We are committed to (1) engage with various stakeholders to advocate for board diversity and inclusion, (2) increase membership to build a pipeline of board-ready women directors, and (3) develop programs to support the transition of C-level women executives to the B-suite.
Advocating for these changes will not be easy, but through persistence, hard work, and active participation from our members, we hope to build a lasting legacy of making space for women in the boardroom.
To read more insights from the On the 2022 board agenda, you can access the Thought Leadership here: https://boardleadership.kpmg.us/relevant-topics/articles/2022/on-the-2022-board-agenda.html
Sharon G. Dayoan is the Chairman and CEO of KPMG R.G. Manabat & Co. (RGM&Co.), the Philippine member firm of KPMG International.
This article is for general information purposes only and should not be considered as professional advice to a specific issue or entity. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent KPMG International or KPMG RGM&Co.
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