Good corporate governance helps firms improve performance, drive growth, manage risks, attract and retain investors, and weather financial crises. To be at its best, a board requires a diversity of skills, cultures, and viewpoints on every set of issues.
The Case for More Women
A growing body of research shows that a broad set of business benefits is associated with gender diversity on corporate boards. These include improved financial performance and shareholder value, increased customer and employee satisfaction, rising investor confidence, and greater market knowledge and reputation.
IFC is building capacity, raising awareness, and expanding the discussion about gender diversity on boards in developing countries, as part of our overall corporate governance work.
In Pakistan, for example, IFC worked with the Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance to study gender diversity on boards and to organize roundtable discussions on the topic with female and male business leaders. We also trained Pakistani businesswomen on how to be stronger board members and/or how to become qualified to join a board.
IFC has also trained female corporate governance trainers in many countries through the Global Corporate Governance Forum, a multidonor trust fund facility co-founded by the World Bank and OECD.
Looking inward, IFC is working to diversify its own pool of candidates used to fill board positions in companies where we have ownership. By 2015 we expect to fill at least 30 percent of IFC-nominated director positions with women, up from 15 percent in 2011.