Harvey Nash and The University of Hong Kong deliver board preparedness programme to increase gender balance on boards

October 8, 2013

Earlier this year, we joined forces with The University of Hong Kong (www.hku.hk/) to create the world’s first certified, cross-industry, international board preparedness programme for women.

The Women’s Directorship Programme has been created as an answer to the worldwide business community’s call to tackle to existing gender diversity imbalance in boardrooms across the globe and invites senior industry leaders to share their knowledge. Visit our Women’s Directorship Programme site to find out more.
Good boards are balanced boards
Board members today face new challenges and have increased governance responsibilities since new waves of reform swept in. Directors need to be better prepared – beyond just compliance – to represent the interests of shareholders and stakeholders. Gender-balanced boards are proven to result in greater business success but women are still hugely underrepresented in boardrooms across the world. 
Going further than just talking about diversity
Our programme, based at the University of Hong Kong, aims to address the current and contemporary issues enabling women to be more effective at managing boards and increasing the supply of board ready women executives across industries.The programme will be led by a number of esteemed international professors and involve real life case studies and thought leadership delivered by industry leaders who are champions of diversity in the boardroom. 
Albert Ellis, CEO of Harvey Nash, said “Sustainable business success requires the support of a mature and diverse board, and gender-balance around the Boardroom table is a key element in this.
“Harvey Nash’s partnership with the University’s Executive Education of the Faculty of Business and Economics demonstrates our commitment to Asia, its important institutions and in particular, our investment in future female talent Although there has been a great deal of talk about gender balance and diversity, we are taking real action to unlock the talent pipeline and enable more senior business women to be successful in winning appointments to company boards.”
The current statistics
Men continue to dominate the top ranks of nearly every firm across the world. Women currently represent less than 10% of all board level positions despite making up more than 45% of the workforce across the world. The gender imbalance int he executive suite costs firms money. Companies that fail to retain and promote women to top leadership positions experience a significant drain on resources and talent. A McKinsey study found that companies with the highest female representation in top management positions achieved returns on equity 35% higher than companies with the lowest female representation.