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Evolution of the role of women directors on the board of listed companies

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Under the Companies Act, all listed companies, public companies with a paid-up share capital of Rs 100 crores or more, or those with a turnover of Rs 300 crores or more, must appoint at least one woman director. Additionally, SEBI LODR Reg. mandates that the top 1000 listed entities must have at least one independent woman director.

In this background, Mr. Sumit Agrawal, Managing Partner at Regstreet Law Advisors and former SEBI officer shared his insights in Business Today on the legislative journey of representation of women directors on board of directors of listed companies. He was of the positive outlook that in the last 15 years owning to regulatory reforms brought in through various committees such as the Committee on Corporate Governance headed by Shri Uday Kotak and Kumar Mangalam Birla Committee on Corporate Governance, boards have made positive headwinds in the right direction.

Further, a survey on corporate governance for the FY 2022, conducted by Excellence Enablers Private Limited, revealed that only five out of the top 100 listed companies did not have a woman director on their boards. Interestingly, seven had a woman Chairperson, and three had a woman Managing Director. Despite the requirement for the presence of a woman independent director on boards, the survey highlighted the absence of a similar provision facilitating the progression of women executives into board positions.

Recently, Forbes has released the list of 100 most powerful women in the world which features several Indian women such as Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman ji, Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs at number 32, Ms. Roshni Nadar Malhotra, Chairperson of HCLTech at number 60, Ms. Soma Mandal, former Chairperson of Steel Authority of India Limited at number 70 and Ms. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairperson Biocon Ltd at number 76.

The two Business Today snippet’s can be accessed at: https://www.businesstoday.in/news-reel/video/evolution-of-the-rule-on-women-representation-in-the-board-of-directors-408585-2023-12-07 and https://www.businesstoday.in/news-reel/video/need-to-expand-the-regulation-on-women-director-representation-to-all-companies-408591-2023-12-07?utm_source=btweb_video_share.

Readers are welcome to send their views to Regstreet Law Advisors at info@regstreetlaw.com.

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