Deloitte Survey: Women in the boardroom
In Romania, the financial sector registers the most progress in gender balance
Bucharest, 16 July 2015 – The representation of women on corporate boards continues to increase but the number of women leading boards still remains low globally. Overall, women now hold 12% of seats worldwide with only 4% chairing boards, according to the fourth edition of the Women in the Boardroom: A Global Perspective, a report by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (Deloitte Global).
With women occupying 11% of the board seats of large listed companies, Romania remains close to the global average. Furthermore, Romania has a share of 9.7% represented by women among non-executive directors of large listed companies, while 25.4% senior executives of large listed companies are female. Corporate governance practices to improve the gender balance on boards are mostly implemented in the banking sector, as banking is a highly regulated industry. Thus, the most significant progress and changes in the next few years are expected to be made in the financial sector.
“Female representation on company boards is still low in comparison with the target of 40 percent; actually, the share of women has fallen to a critical level in the past few years. Some improvements have been noted in the financial industry, as well as among listed companies, as these are subject to the most regulation in terms of corporate governance,” said Adriana Lobda, Partner Deloitte Romania.
Like the majority of European countries, Romania currently imposes no quotas for women on boards or quotas for women in senior management positions.
In 2013, Basel III proposed several actions to address the market issues revealed by the financial crisis. Some of these actions relate to governance recommendations that banks consider diversity in the board structure and gender equality. Similar objectives are drawn by the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD IV) that became effective in January 2014.
According to the National Bank of Romania’s (NBR) official reports, Basel III/CRD IV are to be implemented in Romania between 2014 and 2019. Accordingly, the diversity issue was addressed through an ordinary regulation related to corporate governance in financial institutions.
In July 2013, at the direction of the Ministry of Labor, the Romanian Stock Exchange began the consultation process regarding the implementation of the directive. One of the steps included a survey to measure the representation of women serving on the boards of the largest listed Romanian companies.
“Romania has enough talent with the right qualifications to implement the directive’s provisions and achieve results similar to those of more developed countries. However, legislative initiatives have yielded limited progress. Strengthening the initiatives in this direction would help not only improve the country’s economic growth but also the organizational and financial performance of companies, as reflected by several studies addressing this matter,” added Lobda.
Deloitte’s report outlines the efforts of 49 countries to increase the number of women occupying board seats. European countries continue to lead on gender diversity in the boardroom, with Norway, France, Sweden and Italy all ranking high. Regionally, countries in the Americas and Asia Pacific region have progressed the least. According to the report, the regional breakdown of women chairs is: EMEA (5%), the Americas (4%) and Asia-Pacific (4%). The countries with the highest percentage of women heading boardrooms are Italy (22.2%), Norway (18.2%) and Austria (9.1%). The top countries in terms of women occupying board seats are Norway (36.7%), France (29.9%) and Sweden (24.4%).