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Appointment of Women Directors

Kunal R. Sarpal 
on 28 March 2015

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Women Directors, yeah, we really need them!

Kunal, really, why do you want women ruling the Board too?

My reply, why not...?

It’s high time we walk the talk and start offering a board seat to all the competent ladies out there. Thanks to SEBI and the Companies Act, 2013, this mandates a certain class of Companies to MANDATORILY appoint a Woman on their Board.

Before I get all rationale and start with my speaking tree type gyan, let me first take you through some boring legal requirements!

Section 149 of the Companies Act, 2013 broadly talks about the appointment of directors. It relates to appointment, and matters such as min and max no. of directors, types/classes of directors to be appointed.

What does the law tell you to do?

1. Listed companies and certain other public companies shall be required to appoint at least 1 (one) woman director on its board.

2. Companies incorporated under CA 2013 shall be required to comply with this provision within 6 (six) months from date of incorporation. In case of companies incorporated under CA 1956, companies are required to comply with the provision within a period of 1 (one) year from the commencement of the act.

Companies all over have been whining about how difficult it to appoint one competent woman on their board. It’s really sad when they say this.

Existential level questions?

First, as professionals what is the difficulty here...

1. Are there enough women out there who are willing?

2. If yes, where is the database?

3. If all the SEBI wanted was to increase their representation on the Boards across companies? Or should they have a min qualifying or experience gap?

4. Who can and cannot apply for this? After all, directorship itself being a prestigious and onerous seat!

Coming back,

You there, 9000, yes, 9000 listed companies will need to comply with this within the next few days, else, face super stringent penalties.

Now, if you really mean the deal...here’s news for you...Chanda Kochhar, Indira Nooyi, Kalpana Morparia, Nainalal Kidwai and many others have been spearheading their respective organisations with great deal of excellence and panache.

I really fell giving a mandatory requirement to accommodate or forcefully have women on the board is not the solution. Meritocracy needs to come in; else, wives, relatives and other female acquaintances will quietly be brought in to comply with this reformative provision.

Call for action,

If you’re women with substantial experience and expertise, enrol today.

The only thing you need is a DIN (Director Identification Number) and a DSC (A digital signature certificate) both of which the appointing company would happily provide for you.

Fingers crossed will the day we get our share of Sandbergs and Mayers...!

Till then, practise what you preach, because people see what you do, and not what you say you do!

Regards

Kunal R. Sarpal


P.S. The above Companies who fall in the ambit need to appoint a woman director by 31.3.2015, that gives you a couple more days, Ouch!


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