Gender diversity in boardroom composition
Published Nov 15, 2021
Gender diversity is a standard best practice of good corporate governance and it is a global issue. Gender disparities prevail in boardroom compositions with the majority of boardrooms being male-dominated.
This issue is so significant that the United Kingdom set up a government-backed Commission known as Lord Davies Annual Reports and Reviews to evaluate the underrepresentation of women on corporate boards. According to Lord Mervyn Davies of Abersoch, the Minister of State for Trade, Investment, and Small Business who also chairs the commission,
‘If you are a chief executive officer and you do not have gender diversity… as a top issue, then you have been asleep at the wheel’.
However, it is perceived that Nigerian corporate boards do not seem to have captured this, as there is not much reinforcement of gender parity, as realized internationally. Nigeria ranks in a downward trend of 133 (0.621) in terms of gender disparity in the boardroom population. This is among the bottom positions, out of 149 countries surveyed globally.
More recently, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap report, 2021, another generation of women will have to wait for gender parity. As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be felt, closing the global gender gap has increased by a generation from 99.5 years to 135.6 years. In order words, this number will only reduce gradually, one day at a time, if we (you and I) take action now, today!
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