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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Drive to place more women on company boards

Mahua Venkatesh , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 16, 2013
First Published: 22:58 IST(16/7/2013) | Last Updated: 01:59 IST(17/7/2013)

Public sector companies have quietly adopted a new human resource policy of promoting gender diversity. These PSUs are busy identifying women executives at the top levels to represent their boards, a move that would be made mandatory once the Companies Bill becomes an act. Most of these companies have launched a hunt to identify senior women executives who can be groomed to reach the boards at the shortest possible time.

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Sources said the Companies Bill, already approved by the Lok Sabha, is likely to be passed in the Rajya Sabha in the upcoming session of Parliament.

"It is important to have woman representation on boards of companies — public or private.. this has not happened all these years… We now have to make it mandatory," Sachin Pilot, corporate affairs minister, told HT.

A government source said that PSUs have been asked to focus on promoting women to top management.

"We are creating a pool of senior women executives and have already identified 10 women who would now be groomed and promoted to the board level," said TM Bhasin, chairman and managing director, Indian Bank.

The corporate affairs ministry has directed all listed companies to ensure that there is at least 30% representation of women on their boards. The idea is simple. Companies would now need to recruit more women and their voices must be heard.

A recent survey by the World Economic Forum reveals a wide gender divide in jobs in India.

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