Marcia Ashong is Founder and CEO of The Boardroom Africa

Only 25% of the board seats of the 35 listed companies in the country are occupied by females, the Board Diversity Index Report by The Boardroom Africa has revealed.

Again, only 27% of non-executive director seats are occupied by women.

The report was released in collaboration with the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE).

Per the breakdown, women make up 12% of Chairs; 13% of Chief Executive Officers/ Managing Directors; 17% of Chief Finance Officers and 6% of Chief Operating Officers on Ghana’s listed boards.

The report observed that there has been a slight increase in the number of CEOs/MDs and CFOs by 1.0% and 13% respectively from 2021.

But there has been a decrease in the number of Chairs and COOs by 3% and 4% respectively from 2021.

Again, almost one-third (32%) of Ghana’s listed companies have boards featuring at least 30% female board directors, an increase of 3% from 2021.

Progress towards gender diversity stalled

These figures, the report, said indicate that progress toward gender diversity has stalled since last year.

The report said the only position that is largely occupied by women is that of corporate secretary; a position that is not in fact a board-director role.

Research however shows that companies with 30% or more female non-executive directors are likely to result in an average of 15% increase of women in board chair and executive roles.

According to the report, 61.5% of the industry sectors have more than 30% women on their boards – a 15.4% increase from 2021, and by international standards 30% is the minimum to reap the benefits of boardroom diversity.

Having 30% women on boards, the report said, is the pivotal point at which minority voices become heard – it also represents the minimum target recognised by the Board Diversity Charter. But, this threshold remains a minimum target, not a ceiling.

Over 38% of firms have one or zero females’ on board

Again, the report also said over one-third or 38% of companies still have one or zero females on their boards, indicating a decrease by 9% from 2021. But that gap still needs to be bridged.

In terms of sectors that have more women in their boardroom, the report said the advertising & communications, fast-moving consumer goods, mining/natural resources and telecommunications sectors have the highest number of women represented in the boardroom.

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

Commenting on the methodology, Marcia Ashong, Founder and CEO of TheBoardroom Africa, said: “As we acknowledge the progress made so far, we remind stakeholders to continuously press for progress to solidify and expand on recent strides. 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”.

Touching on the 2022 Board Diversity Index’s significance, Abena Amoah – incoming Managing Director of the Ghana Stock Exchange 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 economic growth. 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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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.