India is a country of opportunities where all people have equal right. According to Indian Constitution people, All the citizen in India deserves equal right whether they are of any Caste, Religion or Gender. There are opportunities of some fields where women are less preferred. But now the scenario has been changed. Women are walking parallel with Men in every field whether it is Defence, Finance, Banking, Corporate or any other sector.
Women are part of many board meetings of companies in and outside India. In India, there are certain provisions preferred/ privileged considering the fact of disadvantages in some ways. Companies are showing interest more and more on appointing professionals as women directors on the board, instead of inducting family members, including wives and daughters, as directors to meet a regulatory deadline that require listed firms to appoint at least one woman director on their boards.
Importance and Role of Board of Directors
According to the Companies Act, 2013 there are certain provisions made for employing women directors on the Boards of the certain class of companies and it is a welcome move. Before we get more into it let’s pick a point of importance and role of the Board of directors. The Board of Directors is an important body. These are important persons elected by the shareholders and responsible for running the company.
Board of directors is collectively responsible for making policies for good governance. The Body should act in the best interests of the Company and Stakeholders. It mainly focuses on the accountability and responsibilities of directors by mandating certain disclosures such as evaluation of the performance of the board, CSR policy, whistleblower mechanism, risk policies etc in the Directors report.
Duties of Directors, Companies Act 2013
Companies Act, 2013 defines duties of directors and role of independent directors. It also cast a duty on the Board to device proper systems to ensure compliance with the provisions of all applicable laws and that such systems were adequate and operating effectively.
There are certain provisions for appointment of woman director. Due to this there has been an increase in the maximum number of directors from existing limit of 12 to 15 and provided for an increase. According to the special resolution, it can be beyond 15 by a special resolution. Kept the power with Central Govt for prescribing minimum number of directors in case of certain companies or class of companies - prohibited insider trading - provided for stringent penalties for violation of duties and nondisclosure of interest in related party transactions
Why focus on Woman directors?
According to the survey in North America, more than 700 reputed companies have the highest representation of women directors on board and have achieved better financial performance than those have less representation of women directors on Board. In the United States, women held about more than 16% of the board seats of companies. It is having a better percentage in European countries. These are listed companies which are a very dismal percentage. There has been thrust given by the New Act, 2013 is helping to improve the representation of women directors on the board.
According to the relevant Section is 149 of the Act, 2013. The provisions are mainly related to appointment of directors and matters such as the minimum and a maximum number of directors, type/class of directors to be appointed.
Rules have been displayed on the MCA website that indicates the following for appointment of women directors on the boards of companies:
- a) Every listed company shall appoint at least one woman director within one-year
- b) Every Public company that is having paid up capital of 100 crores or more or - a turnover of 300 crores or more have to compulsorily appoint within 3 years.
Point of view has made many things right. Companies have taken decisions and successfully built a good Business. In many situation Gender bias has affected many companies. According to the new Act a company should compulsory appoint at least one woman director and the company will have to search for good woman directors.
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