Almost 50% of listed companies lack women directors on their boards, reported a local media outlet and about 30% of the KSE-100 companies have no female director.
In total, only 11% of the companies listed at the Pakistan Stock Exchange have a female representative on their board of directors, according to a survey released by the Women on Board Pakistan.
The survey, conducted for 2019 while setting 2016 as the base year, considered a total of 547 listed companies, of which 50 did not have any record.
The total number of directors in 2019 was 3,852, a drop of 0.44% compared to 2016. However, the number of women directors registered a growth of 22.5%, rising from 351 in 2016 to 430 in 2019 which translates into 11% companies having female directors whereas directorship in the remaining companies still rests with the males.
The companies are yet to induct a greater number of female executives on senior positions to ensure gender equality because of a lack of women directors on the board.
According to the survey, 29% of companies within the Pakistan Business Council and 41% at the PSX did not have any female director.
Women on Board is a self-funded initiative of professionals working voluntarily and aiming to ensure diversity as an important component of corporate performance.
The survey stated that there were 185 companies with women directors in 2016 and the number increased to 289 in 2019. However, 208 companies still exist in 2019 without female representation on their boards of directors. The number of such companies in 2016 stood at 320.
Currently, only one company in Pakistan has six female directors, the survey added. There was no company with five female directors, however, 13 companies had four women directors and 26 had three female directors.
The survey highlighted that 45 companies, which took part in the research, had two female directors while 204 companies had at least one female director on their boards.
The survey maintained that whether women were enjoying these key posts due to the companies being a family business or not. It revealed that the number of women directors related to each other decreased 11.9% to 281 in 2019 whereas the percentage of women directors unrelated to each other soared 365.6%, from 32 in 2016 to 149 in 2019.