The Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Secretaries (HKICS) has published a review report entitled, ‘Missing Opportunities? A Review of Gender Diversity on Hong Kong Boards’ on 9 February 2021.

The report illustrates the inadequate representation of women on Hong Kong boards of listed companies. It calls for the regulatory imposition of a 30% target for women on boards (WOBs) over a six-year period. The target will be voluntary, but only in the sense that it will be subjected to a ‘comply or explain’ regime.

Ms Gillian Meller FCG(CS, CGP) FCS(CS, CGP), President of HKICS comments, ‘This matters. It matters because gender board diversity is well recognised as contributing to more effective boards and better corporate performance. It matters because the under-representation of women on our boards fails to meet the standards of an international financial centre. It matters as an issue of fairness and equality. It matters because Hong Kong companies are missing the opportunity to make full use of the talent available to serve on their boards and Hong Kong women are missing the opportunity to develop their careers and serve the Hong Kong corporate community. And it matters to our Institute as a promoter of excellence in governance and as a diverse organisation ourselves – two-thirds of our members are women.

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CSIA

Corporate Secretaries International Association Limited (CSIA) was established in Geneva in 2010 as an association constituted according to article 60 et seq, of the Swiss Civil Code and entered into the commercial register in Switzerland and was relocated and registered as a company limited by guarantee in Hong Kong in 2017.

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