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Gender Equality On Boards Debated

It has been recognised that advancing gender equality throughout business operations and value chains means better talent, higher productivity, more customers and a stronger bottom line. South Pacific Stock Exchange
09 Mar 2016 11:26
Gender Equality On Boards  Debated
Fiji Airways Flying Fijians rep Leone Nakarawa during training at the Sand Dunes in Sigatoka yesterday. Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA

It has been recognised that advancing gender equality throughout business operations and value chains means better talent, higher productivity, more customers and a stronger bottom line.

South Pacific Stock Exchange chief executive, Latileta Qoro, highlighted that this has been recognised by the private sector and the stock exchange.

“More businesses are successfully changing their practices, developing public-private partnerships and investing resources to achieving gender equality and bottom-line results,” she said.

Based on international trends, Ms Qoro stated gender diversity on listed company boards generate higher revenues and return on assets than those that do not.

Ms Qoro made these comments during the International Women’s Day celebrations at The Governor’s Gourmet Coffee House in Suva.

She said: “This trend shows that gender diversity is more than just being compliant but is well supported by a tangible impact on a company’s bottom line.”

The South Pacific Stock Exchange was one of the 35 stock exchanges around the world part of a global initiative called “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality’ to honour the International Women’s Day.

As part of the event, there was a panel discussion held followed by a debate on women representation and gender equality on boards in Fiji.

The debate included the representatives of listed companies and other key stakeholders and the topic was ‘Gender Equality on Listed Company Boards – To be or not to be?’

SPSE chairperson and President of Women in Business, Nur Bano Ali, said: “If we do not have women in leadership, we will not achieve gender parity.

She questioned what strategy is being taken to ensure that women can fully participate in the commercial world.

 

More statistics

Pleass Global Limited director, Catherine Pleass, said diverse organisations tend to be more creative, more successful with lower employee turnover and higher employee satisfaction.

She said this was according to a report by European Union on most developed countries.

“Women in Fiji have higher level of financial literacy in control because they manage the household, the workplace, family, or for a rainy day,” she said.

Meanwhile, Ms Qoro said out of 90 listed company directors, only five were female.

“The total number of listed companies is 19. Listed companies with female directors are three,” Ms Qoro highlighted.

Ms Bano said Women in Business have designed a workshop which trains women to be part of the board.

These workshops have taken place two times the past year and they are planning to continue it this year.

 

Edited by: RACHNA LAL

Feedback:  aatika.patel@fijisun.com.fj

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