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Greetings from PMI Bangalore India Chapter!
In the last month, three topics were very noteworthy for Project Managers like us. First, the Project Management National Conference 2015 jointly hosted by Bangalore Chapter was announced. The conference will be held at The Lalit Ashok, Bangalore from September 10-12, 2015.
The theme of the Conference, after meticulously reviewing the suggestions given by past delegates has been chosen as “ARCHITECTING PROJECT MANAGEMENT for Redefining India…”.
PMI decided to extend the Economic Exception Program till December 2015. More details are available in this edition of PM Essence.
The other topic of relevance was the announcement made by India's market regulator, SEBI which mandated listed companies to have at least one woman director on their boards, by 1st April 2015. Regionally, European and North American companies do better in having women on corporate boards: 23.9% of board directors are women in European retail/consumer products companies, while in North America, woman occupy 22.3% of board seats in the same industry. African companies in the study (11.4%), Asia-Pacific (9.6%), and Latin American (9.5%) retail/consumer product companies all fall significantly short of the 18.4% average representation within the industry [reference- http://www.globewomen.org/].
Based on recent study, India has approximately 6% of the total directors on boards as women. Hence we can see we fare poorly when compared to global standards. If we have to match to global standards we need to bring more diversity in the board. Studies have linked gender-diverse boards with better financial performance, better governance, increased innovation, and improved opportunities for other women within the companies. A survey of Fortune 500 companies indicates that companies with higher female board room representation outperformed on various financial parameters like return on sales (ROS) and return on investment (ROI).
While some of the progressive companies had women board members prior to SEBI's directive, there were many who hurriedly appointed women from the promoter's family on the last day to avoid strict penalties for non-compliance. Ensuring gender balance in the board does not mean we compromise the quality of the board. The selection of women directors based on their professional capabilities, will enhance the quality of the boards, leading to much better outcomes.
India is on the cusp of massive transformation, catalyzed by the various initiatives launched by our Prime Minister that promises to make India more self-reliant and start playing a major role in the world's economy. If we can execute the intended spirit behind increasing diversity in company board, it will unleash the hidden potential and serve as a game changer for Transforming India.