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Shareholder involvement is key to gender diversity in the boardroom, according to new global report from Deloitte

New York, 6 March 2013 - Organizations would benefit from increased participation from shareholders on gender diversity discussions in the boardroom. This is according to the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited’s (DTTL)  third edition of a report from the Deloitte Global Center for Corporate Governance, "Women in the Boardroom: A Global Perspective."  

The study examined initiatives in 25* countries aimed at increasing the number of women in boardroom positions around the world. The research highlights a variety of approaches to support diversity on boards, including requiring more disclosure on diversity policies, setting targets, and implementing quotas. The report found a large discrepancy among countries regarding the most efficient way to increase the number of women occupying boardroom positions.

Dan Konigsburg, Managing Director, Deloitte Global Center for Corporate Governance, DTTL, comments: “It is encouraging that diversity - and more specifically, gender diversity - is frequently being discussed in the business community. However, we still see relatively few shareholder proposals and direct shareholder discussions about gender diversity in the boardroom beyond a small number of activist holders. This is clearly leading to too many one-sided discussions and may cause companies to conclude that their owners just do not see gender diversity as a priority. The debate around the increased role women should play in boardrooms will be strengthened if everyone participates: managements, boards of directors, business associations, policy makers, governments, and the shareholder community.”

Download and view the full report (PDF) on DTTL’s Center for Corporate Governance site.

*Countries profiled: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brazil, Canada, United States, Israel, South Africa.

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