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FHL Moves Towards Gender Diversity On Boards

Strives to be the first company here to have at least one female on every board of its subsidiary   Fijian Holdings Group is striving to be the first company
19 Oct 2016 11:08
FHL Moves Towards Gender Diversity On Boards
Fijian Holdings Group chief executive Nouzab Fareed.

Strives to be the first company here to have at least one female on every board of its subsidiary

 

Fijian Holdings Group is striving to be the first company in the country which will have at least one female on every board of its subsidiary.

FHL chief executive, Nouzab Fareed, confirmed this as the group plans to appoint independent board members in all its subsidiary boards.

“We want to set a model for the entire country. We don’t have enough female directors of this country,” he said.

Mr Fareed is the founder of the Australia Institute of Company Directors in Fiji and has been listening to the trends in the world and experts talking about women on board and board governance.

“I am of the view that going forward into 2017, every subsidiary in FHL will have at least one female director. So we will be first company compliant with gender diversity,” he said.

There has been a push from many leading women in business for gender diversity on boards.

The recently-concluded Top Executive (TOPEX) Conference also heard international speakers emphasising the need and benefits of having females on boards.

 

Training

The question arises if there are women in the country who are qualified to become directors or who can take up the position.

Mr Fareed said FHL’s model is such that they believe taking an infant in business, giving them the skills, exposing them and then getting a good person out of them.

“That is what FHL is doing with our management. If you look at our CEO at Pacific Cement, he has never touched cement before.

“He is just a financial services guy but we groomed him and he knows how to run a business.

“Whether it is cement or TV – chocolate – the business model is the same. Running a business, you are taught how to make decision and people can do that.

“We don’t have experts but we got people who can make business decisions. So that has worked and the same model we can apply to directors as well including females.”

 

The interest

Mr Fareed said they advertised for the second time for independent directors.

“FHL is probably one of the only companies which puts advertisement in the paper calling for independent directors.

“We have received about 80 applications and we are currently screening these.

“Among them you have doctors, lawyers, pensioners, teachers, politicians, journalists, school teachers and students.

“So out of this, we will screen it and go through the board nomination and we will pick what is best for the companies.

“Definitely we will be selecting a few females to go into these boards. It is very important to focus on running the business and that is very essential at this stage.”

 

Feedback:  rachnal@fijisun.com.fj

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