Ghana: Women Representation On Boards of Listed Companies’ Low – Report

Women are under-represented on boards of companies listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE), a study has revealed.

The study revealed that of the 35 companies listed on the GSE in 2022, women held 25 per cent of the seats on the board and 27 per cent of non-executive director seats, which is not different from what pertained in 2021.

The revelation is contained in the 2022 Board Diversity Index Report released this month by The Boardroom Africa in partnership with the GSE.

According to the report, the figures indicated that progress towards gender diversity had stalled since last year.

“The most common role held by women across most of Ghana’s listed companies is still that of corporate secretary, a position that is not in fact a board-director role,” the report, said.

“It is critical that women not only have a seat at the table but also occupy positions of leadership in these spaces to ensure continuous progress – and this has to be led by boards,” the report said.

It noted that while an increasing number of Ghanaian companies were responding to the call for more gender-diverse boardrooms, the overall gender gap among senior executives still remained wide.

Per the report, 61.5 per cent of the industry sectors had more than 30 per cent women on their boards– a 15.4 per cent increase from 2021 and by international standards 30 per cent was the minimum to reap the benefits of boardroom diversity.

“Whilst we recognise the companies meeting this standard, much remains to be done to work towards gender parity–the ultimate goal,” the report stated.

In terms of the sectors that have more women in the boardroom, the report said advertising and communications, fast-moving consumer goods, mining/natural resources and telecommunications sectors have the highest numbers of women’s representation in the boardroom.

However, in terms of the aggregate number of women directors, the financial services sector outperformed all with 45 per cent of all female directors in GSE-listed companies being from the sector.

Commenting on the report, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Boardroom Africa, Marcia Ashong, said “As we acknowledge the progress made so far, we remind stakeholders to continuously press for progress to solidify and expand on recent strides.”

She said “We advocate that the Government of Ghana should encourage business leaders to have boardrooms that are fully representative of their stakeholders by signing the Board Diversity Charter and also promote gender-conscious board appointments in state-owned companies to ensure that, as a country, we can fully reap the benefits of diversity.”

Ms Abena Amoah, the Managing Director of the GSE, touching on the significance of the 2022 Board Diversity Index, said “The Ghana Stock Exchange is an integral part of the Ghanaian economy and we aim to be at the forefront of sustainable, diverse and inclusive growth of the economy.”

She said “We are delighted to see more and more companies respond to the call for diversity and we further pledge to work with all stakeholders to ensure that Ghanaian boards are more inclusive and effective.”

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