With DEI becoming a new global visionary, the FSC issued the 2023 Sustainability Action Plan for Listed Companies, revealing that companies to be listed in the future must include at least one female director.

Since gender equality was included in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) implemented by the United Nations in 2015, the discussion of affirmative action has gradually fermented around the world, affecting Taiwan.

The FSC's recently released "Action Plan for Sustainable Development of Listed Listed Companies (2023)" report contains a highlight - companies listed on the stock market from 2024 must have at least one female director.

We can't help but wonder, will this become a benchmark for Taiwan to move towards pluralism and inclusion? On the other hand, why in 2024, it is necessary to regulate the proportion of female directors in black and white?

Female directors become a listing cabinet must! The FSC promulgated the Sustainable Development Action Plan

Opening the report, it can be found that in the chapter of deepening the culture of corporate sustainable governance, the FSC said that in order to strengthen the diversity of directors, starting from 2023, it will promote three major changes year by year:

  1. Companies applying for IPOs in 2023 should appoint at least one female director
  2. From 2024 onwards, listed companies should appoint at least one female director according to the term of directors
  3. If less than 1/3 of the female directors in 2025 are required to disclose the reasons and improvement measures in the annual report

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Image|by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels

Maybe you are curious, Taiwan has been promoting the three laws of gender equality for a while, as a model of gender equality, Taiwan is not equal enough? Do we really need to regulate the number of female directors in listed companies?

Let's try to use numbers to clarify what women's participation in boards in Taiwan looks like today.

Crawling through the data of the Taiwan Stock Exchange, it can be found that nearly 30% of companies in China still do not have female directors. In 2022, the proportion of female directors of listed companies in Taiwan was 14.47%, compared with 15.48% for OTC companies.

Compared with 5 years ago, the proportion of female directors of 12.48% of Taiwanese listed companies and 13.43% of OTC companies is slow, and the growth rate in 2019 is closer to 0. If it grows at the same rate, the proportion of female directors in Taiwanese companies still has a long way to go to catch up with the norms of the FSC.

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Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

According to the report of the European Banking Authority (EBA), in 2022, more than 35% of listed companies in France, Italy and Sweden will have female directors, with an average of 18.05% in European countries, and 27% of directorships in the United States across the Atlantic are held by women.

In Asia, the proportion is relatively low: Hong Kong 16.6%, Japan 15.5%, China 13.8%, South Korea 5.2%.

Irene Natividad, CEO of the International Association of Women in Business (CWDI), said: "Companies in the Asia-Pacific region lag far behind Europe in promoting women into leadership. Ironically, there is no shortage of highly educated women with years of business experience in the Asia-Pacific region."

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Empowering Women's Thinking: What Are the Benefits of Women's Participation?

So, in addition to creating equal rights, what are the substantive benefits of women's participation? Harvard's views on women's participation in the board can be summarized into three points:

  1. Improve company performance: Companies with a higher percentage of female directors tend to perform better than others.
  2. Create more innovation: Female directors bring different perspectives and experiences, and promote the performance of the company's innovation and make new decisions that better reflect the needs of customers.
  3. Enhance company reputation: Female directors enhance a company's image and reputation and attract more talented people with diverse backgrounds and skills to join the company.

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See the structure: Women Fan DEI Vision will help companies painlessly introduce DEI culture

Although there are already some women who have broken through gender barriers and gained power within the organization with their individual abilities. But we can't just rely on women's efforts, we need to create a more supportive and equal environment.

In order to make Diversit, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) happen more naturally, women's fans also promote the DEI Vision Meeting, hoping to help enterprises painlessly introduce DEI culture through learning, sharing and common growth, create a team inclusive environment, and promote the pace of sustainable operation of enterprises.

Perhaps, after women increase their participation, the situation of women's participation is no longer just a reappearance of a glass cliff, nor is it just a slogan, but a tangible one, which has become the imprint of our progress towards pluralism and inclusion.

Gender Power Encyclopedia

Glass cliffs

Glass Cliff

Coined by the Harvard Business Review, glass cliff is relative to the glass ceiling. It means that when a company is in crisis, women are more often assigned than men to take on the leadership role of turning the crisis around, like jumping off a cliff. University of Exeter (Univ. A study by Exeter found that if there is a crisis in a company led by men, 69% will choose a new female leader; There is no difference in companies that were originally led by women.

Reference: Harvard Business Review