South-East Asia Has More Female Directors



Women hold less than a quarter which is 23.3% of company board seats globally.

According to Deloitte Global’s Women in the Boardroom: A Global Perspective, which published its eighth edition this year stated that there is a 3.6%-point increase from 2022. We conducted a survey of 18,085 companies across the Americas, Asia-Pacific, and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) for the report.

The study adds that while there has been an increase in the number of female serving on corporate boards, gender equality across board chair positions is unlikely to happen before 2038, especially focusing on South-East Asia in particular.

South-East Asian companies are selecting more women to climb the board of directors positions. After going from 17.1% in 2021 to 19.9% in 2023, it went up by 2.8% points in just two years.

Related link: Women In India Quit Over Work-life Balance

Malaysia is leading the globe in the proportion of female leaders holding board seats, due to the government program that mandates at least one woman to serve on the board of listed corporations. 

Although we have not yet reached the target of 30% women directors as outlined in the Malaysian Code on Corporate Governance, we have made notable progress.

Singapore has 20.8% of board seats held by women, which is less than the global average of 23.3%, but it is still higher than the Asia-Pacific average of 14.8% and the South-East Asia average of 19.9%.

Even said, the research pointed out that these figures were lower than those from 2021, which should serve as a reminder that more work needs to be done to achieve gender parity in leadership positions.

“This increasing trend indicates a growing recognition of the positive impact of gender diversity in the boardroom, which is especially important as organizations respond to new and evolving business challenges,” stated Seah Gek Choo, Boardroom Program Leader, Deloitte South East-Asia and Singapore. “While many countries in the region do not have legal requirements or quotas for the number of women on boards.”

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