Percentage of women on boards of HK’s top companies reaches double digits for first time

Yes, that is Dave Franco

We guess it’s progress, but it’s still pretty pathetic.

Women now make up a whopping 11.1 percent of the board members of the leading companies in the Hang Sang Index (HSI), up from 9.6 percent last year, according to NGO Community Business’ annual Women on Boards Report.

It’s the first time since the report was launched in 2009 that the figure has reached double digits, an accomplishment so meager that Hong Kong should be more embarassed than anything. 

Out of the 655 directorships among the HSI companies, only 73 are held by women.

Though modest, it’s the biggest increase since the first report. 

Encouragingly, the three companies with the most women on their boards are HSBC Holdings (35.3 percent), The Link Management (30.8 percent) and China Resources Power Holdings Company (27.3 percent). 

Despite such leadership, almost 75 percent of the HSI companies showed absolutely no improvement whatsoever. 

The worst offenders are among a group of seven companies, including the Hong Kong and China Gas Company, Tencent Holdings and Petrochina Company, that have had a grand total of zero women on their boards since the first report in 2009. 

 “These disappointingly slow moving numbers clearly shows that there continues to be cultural and structural barriers facing women, denying them full participation in Hong Kong’s economic growth and excluding them from key decision-making positions,” said Fern Ngai, Community Business’ CEO.

Ngai continued that Hong Kong companies stand to lose in the long run if they fail to remain relevant and competitive through building diverse boards. 

In the UK, 23 percent of all board members are women. In both the US and Australia, that figure is 19.2 percent.


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