Women representation on boards in India has increased significantly. While in 2013, female representation was just 6 per cent, the number increased to 18 per cent in 2022, according to the EY report on - Diversity in the Boardroom: progress and the way forward.
Nearly 95 per cent of the Nifty 500 companies now have a woman on the board of directors. However, less than 5 per cent of companies have female chairpersons, so there is still room for improvement.
The increase in numbers will have a positive impact on India's GDP to US$700 billion by 2025 and increase the growth rate from 7.5 to 9 per cent, according to research by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
Talking about the benefits of Women's participation in the boardroom, Aashish Kasad, India Region Diversity and Inclusiveness Business Sponsor, EY India, said, “Increasing women's representation on boards can improve company performance and also helps to promote greater inclusion and diversity within the workforce. This report emphasises on the need for a concerted effort from the government and corporate sector to increase the number of women on corporate boards in India to address the challenges.”
Sectors' performance on board diversity
The Lifesciences sector has the highest number of women on boards, a total of 24 per cent. Other than this, Media and Entertainment also saw a significant increment - from 14per cent in 2017 to 23 per cent in 2022. However, the increase is not uniform across companies.
Closely followed by the media and entertainment sector are the consumer products, retail sector and technology (IT and ITeS) industries. Women's representation on the board of energy and utility sector (oil & gas and power & utilities) companies is stagnant at 15 per cent in 2017 and 2022.