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Greater Gender Diversity Needed In Corporate Arena: IFC Rep

Greater gender diversity in the corporate arena can and should be achieved. This was a statement made by the International Finance Corporation Resident representative for Fiji Deva De Silva during
28 Nov 2018 12:08
Greater Gender Diversity Needed In Corporate Arena: IFC Rep

Greater gender diversity in the corporate arena can and should be achieved.

This was a statement made by the International Finance Corporation Resident representative for Fiji Deva De Silva during the Pacific Corporate Governance Institute’s Learning Series Breakfast at Suva’s Grand Pacific Hotel yesterday.

“We believe a strong private sector is critical to helping Fiji realise its full economic potential and attract more domestic and foreign direct investment,” Mr De Silva said.

“Numerous studies have confirmed the importance of good corporate governance on firms’ performance and access to capital.”

A recent IFC study on its investment portfolio found that companies that scored in the top quartile of CG changes recorded a return on equity nearly three-times those that scored in the bottom quartile (18.7 per cent vs 6.5 per cent).

From an investor’s perspective, investors cited a recent strategic sale exit which attracted a 40 per cent premium over the market price, due largely to good corporate governance practices.

“We are meeting here in the wake of the election and of course, congratulate the government of Fiji and look forward to working closely together in the future.

“The election saw a record number of women elected to Parliament. There are now 10 women in the Parliament  with women winning a record 20 per cent of the seats.

“It’s a significant move. And it would be good to see the upward involvement of more women continue not just in politics but also in the corporate world.

“We hope it will help spur more women on the boards of companies in Fiji.”

As the South Pacific Stock Exchange revealed earlier this year, only 13 of 105 directors from the 19 companies listed on the stock exchange are women.

“From a business perspective, we would like to see more women on boards of companies in Fiji.

“Greater gender diversity in the corporate arena can – and should be – achieved.

“The business case for greater women on boards – and even in senior management of companies is becoming increasingly evident.”

He highlighted the research showed that US Fortune 500 companies  which had the highest percentage of women directors reported, on average, 53 percent higher return on equity.

“We’re all aware that changing mindsets can be difficult to achieve. Taking the step to have more women on boards is not only good for promoting gender diversity within companies, it also makes smart business sense.

“Today we will be exploring Global Trends and Developments in Corporate Governance and also looking at changes in investor expectations which is highly relevant for Fiji.

“Overall, we know good corporate governance puts in place sound structures and processes to better direct and control the governing of companies. It improves the efficiency of the private sector and strengthens the overall business climate, and that means foreign investment and more jobs.”

He said the bottom line is that investors have great confidence in companies with good corporate governance.

The facilitator was Anne Molyneux, the Director of CS International, a global consulting firm, and a chartered accountant.

She is an experienced director and advises in corporate governance and reporting, banking and securities regulations.

 

About PCGI Learning Series

The purpose of the PCGI Learning Series is to raise awareness and provide information on key corporate governance related topics.

This PCGI Learning Series Breakfast session focused on global trends and developments in corporate governance and will incorporate major economies’ legislative and regulatory changes and changes in investor expectations, codes and practices.

This session was aimed at board directors and senior executives from companies across different industries.

Companies seeking to strengthen corporate governance practices and maximise long- term sustainability should attend.

Feedback:  maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

 



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