Women on Boards

Hong Kong 2019
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Having a gender diverse board is not about optics, but about solidifying your business. A board made up of different, even conflicting, perspectives and life experiences encourages a culture of questioning and robust discussion. 

 

Key Data (Hong Kong)

Percentage of Women on Hang Seng Index (HSI) Boards

Data valid as of 2 October 2019
Share
13.4 %
Women on HSI boards
Analysis
2 October 2019 We are disappointed to report that the overall percentage of women on the boards of Hong Kong’s Hang...
Analysis
Percentage of Women on Hang Seng Index (HSI) Boards

2 October 2019

We are disappointed to report that the overall percentage of women on the boards of Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index companies has dropped over the last quarter from 13.5% to 13.4%, and since January 2019, has declined 0.5% from a high of 13.9%

Digging into the numbers, the decrease since last quarter can be attributed to the loss of one board seat (held by a woman – Mary Ma – who sadly passed away in August 2019.) Factoring this in, the total number of directorships held by women has decreased to 80, where it sat in Q2 of this year and the total number of directorships held by either men or women has dropped to 597 from 598 the previous quarter.

Since January, the number of women appointed to HSI board roles has been a paltry five (including Mary Ma). Unless there is a significant improvement in Q4, 2019 could be the worst year for women on boards since Community Business started tracking progress in 2009.

As we enter the final phase of 2019 and look ahead to the next year, it is discouraging to see an overall stagnation in Hong Kong with regard to female representation on boards.  At the same time, we see Singapore continuing to surge ahead by achieving 15.7% in H1 2019. 

We must reiterate again our message that having a gender diverse board is not about optics, but about solidifying your business. A board made up of different, even conflicting, perspectives and life experiences encourages a culture of questioning and robust discussion. This will not only help to mitigate risks and strengthen governance but ensure a higher probability of business success, which is backed by a growing body of research. In these volatile and disruptive times, companies should demand a strong, diverse board that futureproofs their existence.

Key Data (Hong Kong)

Summary of Gender Diversity on HSI Boards

Data valid as of 2 October 2019
Share

Companies with at least one female director

39 (78 %)
41 (80.4 %)
39 (78.0 %)
34 (68.0 %)
  • Jan 2019
  • Jan 2018
  • Jan 2017
  • Jan 2016

Companies with multiple female directors

20 (40 %)
24 (47.1 %)
20 (40.0 %)
19 (38.0 %)
  • Jan 2019
  • Jan 2018
  • Jan 2017
  • Jan 2016

Companies with female executive directors

16 (32 %)
19 (37.3 %)
15 (30.0 %)
13 (26.0 %)
  • Jan 2019
  • Jan 2018
  • Jan 2017
  • Jan 2016

Companies with female CEOs

1 (2 %)
1 (2.0 %)
1 (2.0 %)
2 (4.0 %)
  • Jan 2019
  • Jan 2018
  • Jan 2017
  • Jan 2016

Companies with all-male boards

11 (22 %)
10 (19.6 %)
11 (22.0 %)
16 (32.0 %)
  • Jan 2019
  • Jan 2018
  • Jan 2017
  • Jan 2016
Analysis
2 October 2019 Again, we are disappointed to report minimal movement across all our diversity markers. There was...
Analysis
Summary of Gender Diversity on HSI Boards

2 October 2019

Again, we are disappointed to report minimal movement across all our diversity markers. There was marginal progress among two indicators this last quarter: companies with at least one female director, rising from 76.0% to 78.0%, and a reduction in all-male boards – dropping from 12 to 11 (22.0%) notably due to the appointment of Yang Ke to the Tencent board.

Companies with a female CEO and those with female executive directors remained constant at 1 (2.0%) and 16 (32.0%) respectively and sadly, the number of companies with multiple female directors dropped from 21 to 20 (40.0%).

 

Key Data (Hong Kong)

Women on Boards League Table: HSI

Data valid as of 2 October 2019 | Currently 50 constituents on the HSI
Share

Most eventful

New HSI Constituent
Rank
23
(--)
Tencent Holdings Ltd*
11.10%
23 (--)
Tencent Holdings Ltd*
% Women
11.10%
Board Size
9
No. of Women
1
Stock Code
700
Chairperson
Ma, Pony Huateng
Female Directors
Ke, Yang
35
( 19)
Bank of Communications Co Ltd
7.70%
35 ( Group 2 Created with Sketch. 19)
Bank of Communications Co Ltd
% Women
7.70%
Board Size
13
No. of Women
1
Stock Code
3328
Chairperson
Ren, Deqi (Acting Chair)
Female Directors
Li, Jian (BOC)

Top 10

Rank
Company
2019 New
Percent
1
(--)
HSBC Holdings plc
38.50%
1 (--)
HSBC Holdings plc
% Women
38.50%
Board Size
13
No. of Women
5
Stock Code
5
Chairperson
Tucker, Mark Edward
Female Directors
van der Meer Mohr, Pauline
Lee, Irene Yun Lien
Miller, Heidi
Casey, Kathleen Louise
Cha Shih, Laura May Lung
1
(--)
Hang Seng Bank Ltd
38.50%
1 (--)
Hang Seng Bank Ltd
% Women
38.50%
Board Size
13
No. of Women
5
Stock Code
11
Chairperson
Ch'ien, Raymond Kuo Fung
Female Directors
Gan, Kathleen Chieh Huey
Cheang, Louisa Wai Wan
Kwan, Margaret Wing Han
Lee, Irene Yun Lien
Chiang, Lai Yuen
3
( 1)
Sino Biopharmaceutical Ltd
36.40%
3 ( Group 2 Created with Sketch. 1)
Sino Biopharmaceutical Ltd
% Women
36.40%
Board Size
11
No. of Women
4
Stock Code
1177
Chairperson
Tse, Theresa Y Y
Female Directors
Cheng, Cheung Ling
Tse, Theresa Y Y
Li, Mingqin
Lu, Hong
3
(--)
Link Real Estate Investment Trust
36.40%
3 (--)
Link Real Estate Investment Trust
% Women
36.40%
Board Size
11
No. of Women
4
Stock Code
823
Chairperson
Allen, Nicholas
Female Directors
Tse, Nancy
Tan, Poh Lee
Tan, May
Young, Elaine
5
(--)
China Shenhua Energy Company Ltd
33.30%
5 (--)
China Shenhua Energy Company Ltd
% Women
33.30%
Board Size
9
No. of Women
3
Stock Code
1088
Chairperson
Wang, Xiangxi
Female Directors
Jiang, Bo
Tam, Maria Wai Chu
Zhong, Christina Yingjie
6
(--)
MTR Corporation Ltd
25.00%
6 (--)
MTR Corporation Ltd
% Women
25.00%
Board Size
20
No. of Women
5
Stock Code
66
Chairperson
Auyeung, Rex Pak Kuen
Female Directors
Lee, Rose Wai Mun
Chan, Mable
Li Li, Lucia Ka Lai
Chan Yuen, Dorothy Tak Fai
Chan, Pamela Wong Shui
6
(--)
Bank of China Ltd
25.00%
6 (--)
Bank of China Ltd
% Women
25.00%
Board Size
12
No. of Women
3
Stock Code
3988
Chairperson
Liu, Liange
Female Directors
Wang, Xiaoya
Xiao, Lihong
Chao, Angela A
8
(--)
CK Infrastructure Holdings LTD (BM)
23.50%
8 (--)
CK Infrastructure Holdings LTD (BM)
% Women
23.50%
Board Size
17
No. of Women
4
Stock Code
1038
Chairperson
Li, Victor Tzar Kuoi
Female Directors
Chen, Tsien Hua
Kwok Lee, Eva
Lee Wong, Angelina Pui Ling
Sng, Sow Mei
9
(--)
CK Asset Holdings Ltd (KY)
23.10%
9 (--)
CK Asset Holdings Ltd (KY)
% Women
23.10%
Board Size
13
No. of Women
3
Stock Code
1113
Chairperson
Li, Victor Tzar Kuoi
Female Directors
Hung, Katherine Siu Lin
Pau, Ezra Yee Wan
Woo, Grace Chia Ching
10
(--)
CLP Holdings Ltd
21.40%
10 (--)
CLP Holdings Ltd
% Women
21.40%
Board Size
14
No. of Women
3
Stock Code
2
Chairperson
Kadoorie, Michael David
Female Directors
Tan, May Siew Boi
Mody, Zia
Law Fan, Fanny Chiu Fun
Analysis
2 October 2019 The top five companies on our Women on Boards League Table remain unchanged this quarter as well as...
Analysis
Women on Boards League Table: HSI

2 October 2019

The top five companies on our Women on Boards League Table remain unchanged this quarter as well as from our Q2 analysis. Hang Seng Bank retains the top spot at 38.5%, with HSBC moving up to join them in the top position. Sino Biopharmaceutical retains their 36.4 percentage, with Link Real Estate rising to meet them in joint third. China Shengua Energy remain in fifth, increasing their percentage to 33.3%.

Most notably this quarter Tencent rose 18 positions to 23rd due to the appointment of Yang Ke to their board, and Bank of Communications dropped 19 places to 35th with one of two female directors leaving the board. 

Key Data (Hong Kong)

All-Male Boards

Data valid as of 2 October 2019
Share
11 Companies with all-male boards
6 Companies which have never had female directors

Companies which do not have female directors

Companies which have never had female directors
Company
Industry
China Mobile Ltd (HK)
Commerce & Industry
China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation
Commerce & Industry
China Resources Land Ltd
Properties
CNOOC Ltd
Commerce & Industry
CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd
Commerce & Industry
Mengniu Dairy Company Ltd
Commerce & Industry
Power Assets Holdings Ltd
Utilities
Sunny Optical Technology (Group) Company Ltd
Commerce & Industry
Techtronic Industries Company Ltd
Commerce & Industry
The Hong Kong and China Gas Company Ltd
Utilities
WH Group Ltd (KY)
Commerce & Industry
Analysis
2 October 2019 This quarter saw a welcome reduction in the number of all-male boards this quarter from 12 to 11, with...
Analysis
All-Male Boards

2 October 2019

This quarter saw a welcome reduction in the number of all-male boards this quarter from 12 to 11, with the appointment of Yang Ke to the Tencent board. Ke’s appointment also removes Tencent from the list of companies which have never had a female board member, reducing this number from 7 to 6 this quarter.

Key Data (Hong Kong)

New Appointments by Gender

Data valid as of 2 October 2019
Share
5
8.1%
Women
57
91.9%
Men
Out of a total of62appointments
Analysis
2 October 2019 Unless there is a surge in appointments at the end of 2019, this year will mark a low point in the...
Analysis
New Appointments by Gender

2 October 2019

Unless there is a surge in appointments at the end of 2019, this year will mark a low point in the number of female appointments made, with the count at 5. Women currently account for 8.1% of all Hang Seng Index directors appointed in 2019.  

Key Data (Hong Kong)

New Female Director Appointments

Data valid as of 2 October 2019
Share
First time director on HSI board
First time appointed corporate director in Hong Kong
  • Ma, Mary Xuezheng 馬雪征

    NED, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd (Appt: 24 Apr 2019); INED, Swire Pacific Limited (Appt: 1 Aug 2019)
    Mary Ma Xuezheng was appointed to the HKEX and the Swire Pacific boards this year, and sadly passed away in August 2019 at the age of 66.
  • Gan, Kathleen Chieh Huey 顏杰慧

    Appt: 10 May 2019
    NED, Hang Seng Bank Ltd
    Profile
  • Lee, Velencia 李蕙蘭

    Appt: 1 Jul 2019
    FD, Sino Land Company Ltd
  • Ke, Yang 柯楊

    Appt: 15 Aug 2019
    Tencent Holdings Ltd
Analysis
2 October 2019 The additional new appointment made this quarter was to Yang Ke (Tencent). The appointment helped...
Analysis
New Female Director Appointments

2 October 2019

The additional new appointment made this quarter was to Yang Ke (Tencent). The appointment helped Tencent rise considerably in the rankings from 41 to 23rd.

Mary Ma (HKEX and Swire Pacific board member) sadly passed away in August 2019 at the age of 66.

Key Data (Hong Kong)

Progress by Geography

Data obtained from official sources
Share

Norway

Jan 2017
42.1 %

United Kingdom

Jul 2018
32.0 %

Australia

Jun 2019
29.7 %

Canada

Jul 2018
28.4 %

United States

Oct 2018
27.0 %

Malaysia

May 2019
23.7 %

New Zealand

Dec 2018
22.8 %

Singapore

Jun 2019
15.7 %

India

Mar 2018
14.0 %

Hong Kong

Jan 2019
13.9 %

Japan

Jul 2018
4.1 %
Analysis
This quarter sees both Singapore and Malaysia inch further away from Hong Kong, reporting 15.7% and 23.7% female board representation...
Analysis
Progress by Geography

This quarter sees both Singapore and Malaysia inch further away from Hong Kong, reporting 15.7% and 23.7% female board representation respectively. India remains ahead of Hong Kong with 14.0%. Both India and Malaysia have government quotas in place which may go some way to explaining their acceleration in recent years. Singapore, via the government-backed Council for Board Diversity*, has enacted a multi-pronged campaign involving naming-and-shaming, engaging with board decision makers, maintaining a list of female candidates, and showcasing through data the impact on corporate performance. Inspired by this galvanised action, vocal support from male champions at the board level has increased dramatically. All of these factors have led to rapid progress in Singapore, with female board appointments reaching a record high of 24.0% during 2018.

  • Previously named ‘Diversity Action Committee’ and starting in January 2019, its scope has expanded to also include statutory boards and non-profit organisations.
Analytical Summary
After a promising bump in Q3 we are disappointed to see the overall representation of women on Hong Kong’s top 50 listed companies' boards drop again. Of a total 60 appointments made this year, only 5 have been to women, and we are sad to report that one of those women (representing 2 board seats), Mary Ma, passed away in August.
2 October 2019
After a promising bump in Q3 we are disappointed to see the overall representation of women on Hong Kong’s top 50 listed companies' boards drop again. Of a total 60 appointments made this year, only 5 have been to women, and we are sad to report that one of those women (representing 2 board seats), Mary Ma, passed away in August.
It is frustrating to see that Hong Kong continues to buck global and regional trends in the advancement of women’s representation on boards. Complacency across the board in Hong Kong has become pervasive and progress continues to be contained within a few enlightened companies. Given the political and economic climate in Hong Kong, the futureproofing of boardrooms is even more urgent. If Hong Kong’s boardrooms do not actively strive to represent the wider population, how would they expect to understand the needs and expectations of the community? This will not only harm business prospects within the city but will put Hong Kong at a disadvantage on the global stage.