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Nikkei Markets

More women on Singapore boards but diversity still lacking

Companies reluctant to rotate independent directors, despite government prodding

The latest report shows that women account for 15.7% of directors in Singapore's 100 largest listed companies, an increase of half a percentage point from a year ago.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE (Nikkei Markets) -- The effort to boost diversity in Singapore boardrooms has improved the gender balance, but the culture of relying on personal networks to find potential directors remains a hurdle for women as well as those who lack the right connections.

Some 98% of listed companies identified potential independent directors through personal contacts of board members and management, says a recent survey by the government-backed Singapore Institute of Directors and Singapore Exchange Regulation. Just 17% said they also used executive search firms while a mere 8% said they used a service offered by the institute.

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