Only 45 women CFOs across 2257 NSE listed firms, data shows - Hindustan Times
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Only 45 women CFOs across 2257 NSE listed firms, data shows

By, New Delhi
Feb 10, 2024 10:42 AM IST

From March 31, 2019, to March 31, 2023, the corresponding figures stood at 24 (2019), 21 (2020), 19 (2021), 28 (2022) and 31 (2023).

Only 45 out of 2257 companies listed on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) have a female chief financial officer (CFO) or a woman in director-finance role, the Economic Times has reported citing data collated by primeinfobase.

According to an expert, for one in every three CFO search mandates, there is an explicit ask for a woman professional (Representational Image/Mint)
According to an expert, for one in every three CFO search mandates, there is an explicit ask for a woman professional (Representational Image/Mint)

This number (as on February 7, 2024) is, however, higher than corresponding figures from March 31, 2019 to March 31, 2023: 24 (2019), 21 (2020), 19 (2021), 28 (2022) and 31 (2023).

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Why such low numbers?

According to experts that the business daily spoke to, while large domestic firms and conglomerates are taking steps for increased gender diversity in their top management, they often come across a ‘shortage’ of talent to lead their finance department.

Board members, executive search companies, and legal experts, too, noted how there is a ‘lot of room for improvement’ in this regard.

“On one in every three CFO search mandates, there is an explicit ask for a woman professional. It is, however, essential to recognise that the talent pipelines vary across industries,” said Rahul Kakkar, partner and India head, CFO Practice, Korn Ferry, a leadership advisory and senior executive search firm.

Broadly speaking, not many companies have female CFOs because of an ‘overall talent crunch’ to head finance function, and women in finance are more inclined towards consulting firms and M&A (mergers and acquisitions) space.

What next?

As per MK Sharma, chairman and independent director, Diageo, a ‘visible change’ can be seen in the addition of female talent in chief financial officer and legal roles.

“Possibly, women have not been as visible as they are today,” Sharma noted.

"Several progressive corporates are now willing to make that bet (by appointing female CFOs) and are actively seeking women leaders. And women are proving they can not only do as well as men, they are even better than them many times," a female CFO at a top company told ET, seeking anonymity.

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