According to a SET study, Thai listed companies have improved gender diversity in the boardrooms and at other management levels, with more women than ever serving as their directors or top executives.

At the end of 2020, based on research by the Stock Exchange of Thailand
that covered 731 companies, 87.3 percent of them had at least one female director on their boards. In comparison, women held at least one board seat of 79.4 percent of local listed companies in 2015.

Additionally, a lot of women were chosen to be “independent directors.” At the end of 2020, 56.2 percent of all publicly traded companies had at least one female independent director, up from 47.8 percent in 2015. Female chairpersons were in charge of 57 companies, or 8.4 percent, at the end of 2020, up from 47 companies, or 6.9 percent, the previous year. The top executives of 101 companies, or 13.8%, were women in 2020, a more significant result.

Asian companies tend to have fewer women on corporate boards

However, Asian companies tend to have fewer women on corporate boards than their European counterparts. Moreover, the link between diversity and profit is not clear, and mandating quotas – as is done in Europe – would not likely be effective in Asia, according to a study by the Asian Development Bank.

Gender diversity in corporate boardrooms and senior positions is a global phenomenon: the EU on Tuesday (22 November) adopted legislation to increase the number of women on the boards of big companies.

Only 30% of company boards, on average, are made up of women in the EU. The percentage varies between the member states, falling between 45% in France and 8% in Cyprus. The United Kingdom proposes a minimum of 25%; Norway mandates 40%; and Germany requires 30% female representation in boardrooms. 

The new rules aim to have at least 40 percent of non-executive director posts, or one-third of all director posts on publicly-listed firms filled by women by July 2026, but companies with fewer than 250 employees will be exempt from the regulations.

About the author

Bangkok Correspondent at Siam News Network

Bangkok Correspondent for Siam News Network. Editor at Thailand Business News

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