The percentage of woman directors in boards of the companies listed with Dhaka Stock Exchange inched up to 18 in 2018 from that of 17 a year ago, according to a research conducted by International Finance Corporation.
IFC unveiled the data at a programme titled ‘Ring the Bell for Gender Equality’ at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka on Tuesday.
IFC and DSE jointly organised the programme as a global initiative linked with International Women’s Day to promote women’s participation in the global economy to catalyse sustainable and inclusive private sector growth.
The recent IFC research found that out of the total of 2,871 directors in the companies listed with DSE, 507 were women.
Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission chairman M Khairul Hossain said the percentage of woman directors in the listed companies was very poor and that the rate should be increased for the sustainable development.
‘Increased inclusion of women in the workforce and in leadership roles has a positive effect on companies’ financial performance. The benefits are clear, we need to make them widely known,’ said Wendy Werner, IFC country manager for Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal.
‘When more women work, economies grow. Closing the gender gap and empowering women is particularly important for a country like Bangladesh to unleash the full growth potential,’ said Shoko Ishikawa, country representative of UN Women.
DSE managing director KAM Majedur Rahman said that board diversity could have positive impacts on financial performance, reputation, shareholder value and satisfaction, and investor confidence.
Majedur also said that the country’s premier bourse was uniquely positioned to play an important part in promoting women leadership in listed companies, with the support of investors and the private sector.
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