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New Companies Bill: One Woman In Every Five Directors


The new companies bill which is supposed to be passed in Parliament this session will mandate women directors on many boards.

Companies having five or more independent directors would have to necessarily have at least one female independent director, Corporate Affairs Minister Murli Deora said.

I find this kind of open-end reservation fairly silly. There must be some criteria to end it, otherwise we’ll end up with the gender version of the Mandal commission implementation, with no end date or metrics to cancel out such reservation. What this regulation will do is improve gender ratios on some boards, many of which are likely to find people who they know will not vote against the rules that the "big boys" on the board make anyway.

It’s sad that we have to choose the harsh approach of mandated presence, even if it doesn’t meet goals, because we think we have to do something. But overall, I’m not opposed to the law itself; because in reality it might end up doing more good than harm.


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