Regulatory Board Diversity

 

 

Country or Region

Date

Rules1

Guidelines

AUSTRALIA2

July 1, 2011

Requirement—comply or explain

Type: Corporate Governance Code
Details:

  • Establish and disclose a policy with measurable objectives to achieve gender diversity on the board (including an annual assessment of objectives and progress made).
  • Disclose mix of skills and diversity the board hopes to achieve.
  • Disclose percent women employees, women in senior executive positions, and WBD.3
  • Diversity signified by differences in gender, age, ethnicity, and cultural background, among other factors.
AUSTRIA4

 

July 2012

Requirement—comply

Type: Listing Mandatory Legal Requirement
Mechanism: Wiener Börse AG/Vienna Stock Exchange
Details:

  • When appointing members of the supervisory board, reasonable attention is to be given to diversity, including the representation of both genders, age, and internationality of the members.

 

Requirement—comply or explain

Type: Commercial Code
Details:

  • The Corporate Governance Report shall specify what measures the company set to promote women on the management and supervisory boards.

 

March 15, 2011

Recommendation

Target: 35% WBD by 2018
Companies: SOEs5

Interim Target: 25% WBD by 2013
Mechanism: Council of Ministers

 

January 2009

Recommendation

Type: Corporate Governance Code
Details:

  • Supervisory board composition should take into account aspects of diversity, including international background, the representation of both genders, and age.

BELGIUM6

 

January 11, 2011

Recommendation

Target: 30% of each gender by 2018
Companies: Publicly traded
Mechanism: Commission Corporate Governance
Details:

  • For first three years or until target is reached, new nominees should be at least 50% women.

  • Disclose measures taken to improve women’s representation.

  • Adding women directors should not lead to a significant increase in board size.

March 12, 2009

Requirement—comply or explain

Type: Corporate Governance Code
Details:

  • Board composition should be determined on the basis of gender diversity and diversity overall, as well as skills, experience, and knowledge.

CHINA7

June 14, 2012

Suggestion

Companies: All
Type: Government Program
Mechanism: State Council
Details:

  • Progressively increase the percentage of women among boards of directors.

 

September 4, 2008

Suggestion

Companies: SOEs
Type: Government Program
Mechanism: State Council
Details:

  • Take action to explore new forms of women's democratic participation at the levels of decision-making and management as the board of directors, the board of supervisors, and the managers.

  • Seek to raise the proportion of women in the members of the leading bodies of enterprises.

DENMARK8

 

April 2010

Requirement—comply or explain

Type: Corporate Governance Code
Details:

  • When assessing its composition and nominating new candidates, the supreme governing body must take into consideration the need for integration of new talent and the need for diversity in relation to international experience, gender, and age, among other factors.

December 10, 2008

Requirement—comply or explain

Type: Corporate Governance Code
Details:

  • The composition of the supervisory board should consider diversity, including international experience, gender, and age, among other factors.

FINLAND9

January 1, 2010

Requirement—comply or explain

Type: Corporate Governance Code
Details:

  • Both genders should be represented on the board.
  • Companies must issue a corporate governance statement which includes a description of the composition of the board with biographical details.

FRANCE10

April 2010

Requirement—comply or explain

Type: Corporate Governance Code
Details:

  • 20% WBD by 2013.
  • 40% WBD by 2016.
  • If < nine directors, difference between genders must not be more than two.
  • If a board had no WBD in April 2010, it had to nominate a WBD by the second general meeting either through the replacement of a director or appointment of a new director.

GERMANY11

May 26, 2010

Requirement—comply or explain

Type: Corporate Governance Code
Details:

  • When appointing the management board, the supervisory board shall respect diversity; specifically an appropriate consideration of women.
  • The supervisory board shall take diversity into account, establishing concrete objectives and stipulating an appropriate degree of female representation; the concrete objectives of the supervisory board and the status of the implementation shall be published in the Corporate Governance Report.

HONG KONG12

September 1, 2013

Requirement—comply or explain

Type: Corporate Governance Code
Details:

  • The board should have a balance of skills, experience, and diversity of perspectives appropriate to the requirements of the issuer’s business.

  • The nomination committee (or the board) should have a policy concerning diversity of board members, and should disclose this policy (or a summary of the policy) in the corporate governance report.

  • Diversity can be achieved through a number of factors, including, but not limited to, gender, age, cultural and educational background, or professional experience.

  • Each issuer should disclose the rationale for the factors it uses after taking into account its own business model and specific needs.

ICELAND13

June 2009

Requirement—comply or explain

Type: Corporate Governance Guidelines
Details:

  • The nominating committee should address gender ratios on the company’s board.

INDIA14

October 1, 2014

Requirement—comply

Type: Listing Agreement Requirement
Mechanism: Securities and Exchange Board of India
Details:

  • All publicly traded companies must have at least one female board director.

IRELAND15

October 1, 2012

Requirement—comply or explain

Type: Corporate Governance Code (UK)
Details:

  • When searching for board candidates, appointments should be made on merit, against objective criteria, and with due regard for the benefits of diversity on the board, including gender.

  • Nominating committee should describe the board’s policy on diversity, including gender, and any measurable objectives that it has set for implementing the policy, and progress on achieving the objectives.

  • Evaluation of the board should consider the balance of skills, experience, independence, and knowledge of the company on the board; its diversity, including gender; how the board works together as a unit; and other factors relevant to its effectiveness.

 

June 2010

Requirement—comply or explain

Type: Corporate Governance Code (UK)

Details: 

  • When searching for board candidates, appointments should be made on merit, against objective criteria, and with due regard for the benefits of diversity on the board, including gender.

JAPAN16

April 18, 2013

Suggestion

Type: Corporate Governance Code
Details:

  • Companies may consider reporting information about the current status of women’s representation on the board.

KENYA17

May 14, 2002

Requirement—comply or explain

Type: Corporate Governance Guidelines
Details:

  • The process of the appointment of directors should be sensitive to gender representation.

LUXEMBOURG18

May 2013

Requirement—comply or explain

Type: Corporate Governance Code
Details:

  • Among the criteria to select for the appointment or re-appointment of directors, the company should take into account diversity criteria, including criteria relating to the appropriate representation of both genders.
 

October 2009

Requirement—comply or explain

Type: Corporate Governance Code
Details: The board should have an appropriate representation of both genders.

MALAWI19

June 1, 2010

Requirement—comply or explain

Type: Corporate Governance Code
Details:

  • Depending on the type of organization, the selection process for the appointment of new members of the board may consider appropriate diversity of gender and/or social and economic background.

MALAYSIA20

July 2011

Recommendation

Target: 30% WBD by 2016
Companies: Publicly traded
Mechanism: Securities Commission Malaysia

NETHERLANDS21

December 10, 2008

Requirement—comply or explain
 

Type: Corporate Governance Code
Details:

  • Supervisory boards shall aim for a diverse composition in terms of such factors as gender and age.

  • Best practice is to state what specific objective is pursued by the supervisory board in relation to diversity, and to disclose demographic information about each director, including gender, in the supervisory board’s report.

NIGERIA22

April 1, 2011

Requirement—comply

Type: Corporate Governance Code
Details:

  • The criteria for the selection of directors should be written and defined to reflect the existing board’s strengths and weaknesses, required skill and experience, its current age range, and gender composition.

SOUTH AFRICA23

September 1, 2009

Requirement—apply or explain

Type: Corporate Governance Code
Details:

  • Every board should consider whether its size, diversity, and demographics make it effective.
  • Diversity is defined as academic qualifications, technical expertise, relevant industry knowledge, experience, nationality, age, race, and gender.

SPAIN24

May 22, 2006

Requirement—comply or explain

Type: Corporate Governance Code
Details:

  • Companies with no or few WBD should actively seek out women nominees whenever a seat is open.
  • Companies with no or few WBD should explain why this situation exists and what measures will be taken to correct it.
  • Nomination committees should take steps to ensure that the process for filling board vacancies has no implicit bias against women and that the company makes a conscious effort to consider women for vacancies.
SWEDEN25

 

February 1, 2010

Requirement—comply or explain

Type: Corporate Governance Code
Details:

  • When determining the size and composition of the board, the company is to strive for equal gender distribution.

January 1, 2007


 

Requirement—comply

Type: Disclosure Regulation
Mechanism: Department of Justice (Amendment to Annual Accounts Act)
Details:

  • Publicly traded companies are required to disclose the gender breakdown of the board of directors, separate from the gender breakdown of the company’s management, in their annual report.
UNITED KINGDOM26 October 1, 2012

Requirement—comply or explain

Type: Corporate Governance Code
Details:

  • When searching for board candidates, appointments should be made on merit, against objective criteria, and with due regard for the benefits of diversity on the board, including gender.

  • Nominating committee should describe the board’s policy on diversity, including gender, and any measurable objectives that it has set for implementing the policy and progress on achieving the objectives.

  • Evaluation of the board should consider the balance of skills, experience, independence, and knowledge of the company on the board; its diversity, including gender; how the board works together as a unit; and other factors relevant to its effectiveness.

 

June 2010

Requirement—comply or explain

Type: Corporate Governance Code
Details:

  • When searching for board candidates, appointments should be made on merit, against objective criteria, and with due regard for the benefits of diversity on the board, including gender.

UNITED STATES27

February 28, 2010

Requirement—comply

Type: Disclosure Regulation
Mechanism: Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
Details:

  • Whether diversity is a consideration when directors are identified for nomination.
  • If so, how the diversity policy is implemented and how effectiveness is evaluated.