Women’s Representation on Hong Kong’s Boards Stalling

According to the latest research launched by Community Business, progress on the representation of women on the boards of Hong Kong’s leading companies is stalling – despite increased attention on this subject. The overall number of women holding directorship roles in Hong Kong’s 50 leading companies, as listed on the Hang Seng Index (HSI), has increased from just 9.4% to 9.6% in the last year. The overall picture for Hong Kong’s broader pool of 356 companies listed on the Hang Seng Composite Index (HSCI) is worse, with women holding only 9.0% of board positions.

Community Business released the Standard Chartered Bank Women on Boards Hong Kong 2014 report that looks at the representation of women on listed boards in Hong Kong and extends the coverage from the 50 blue-chip companies on the HSI to the 356 constituents of the HSCI, representing about 95% of the total market capitalisation of the Main Board listed companies in Hong Kong.

Top Ranking Companies on HSI 2014

The report includes a Women on Boards League Table: HSI 2014, ranking companies in terms of the percentage of women on their boards. Hang Seng Bank Limited tops the league table with 28.6% women on its board. Two new companies are in the top 3 – MTR Corporation Limited in second place with 26.7% women on its board and HSBC Holdings Plc in third place with 23.5%. Disappointingly however, the top ranking companies on the league table this year have lower scores than last year.

Top ranking industries on HSCI League Table – Consumer Goods and Properties & Construction

The Consumer Goods and Properties & Construction industries dominate the top 10 ranking companies on the HSCI. The industry with the highest representation of women on boards in its top three is the Consumer Goods industry with a range of 40.0%-57.1%. The Conglomerates industry stands out as performing well across a range of indicators, including average percentage of women on boards (11.9% vs. 9% on HSCI), companies with multiple female directors (55.6% vs. 24.2% on HSCI) and new appointments in 2013 to women (25.0% vs. 8.4% on HSCI).

The Telecommunications industry is worthy of mention as over 85% of its companies have at least one women on their boards, far exceeding the performance of the HSCI as a whole (57.6%).

Worst performing industry on HSCI – Energy

Energy stands out as performing poorly against all indicators in this study, particularly in terms of the percentage of companies with all male boards (76.2%).

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