Gender diversity on boards is not about optics, but about solidifying your business. A board made up of different perspectives encourages a culture of questioning a robust discussion. We know from a growing body of research that this will help to mitigate risks and ensure a higher probability of business success.

Creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace underlines our company’s commitment to creating shared value for all stakeholders in our communities. Elevating more women to the board and leadership positions not only enables us to generate new ideas and foster creative solutions, but also is essential to our long-term business success. As a responsible corporate, we will continue to take the lead in supporting board diversity as we look towards the new future of work.
Adrian Cheng
CEO and Executive Vice-chairman of New World Development
There is no logical reason for women to still be a minority on so many boards in Hong Kong. Regulators should introduce quotas and a greater sense of urgency to reset the imbalance.
Angela Mackay
Global Publisher, FT Live & Managing Director, Asia Pacific at Financial Times
A main factor that has driven Board composition at Hang Seng Bank in recent years is demographic mirroring, with respect to customers and staff. That, overlaid by a meritocratic culture, have served and aligned the varied interests of the Bank's principal stakeholders well. Board level diversity demonstrably enhances institutional empathy towards people that matter, hence sustainability.
Dr Raymond Ch’ien
Independent Non-executive Chairman, Hang Seng Bank & Member of 30% Club Hong Kong
We ask every business leader to demand support from government, regulators and companies to urgently make meaningful progress, not just in increasing the percentage of women on Hong Kong boards but also to call out those companies which still have all-male boards. There is a rich field of female talent in Hong Kong but we need to identify and coach potential candidates, as well as build and collect quality data in order to connect and mobilise that talent. Let's set ourselves ambitious and measurable targets.
Irene Lee
Executive Chairperson of Hysan Development Company Ltd. & Chair, 30% Club Hong Kong
Given the acceleration we have seen across the region and the continued momentum of many markets globally even without mandated quotas, it is vital that Hong Kong take steps to diversify its boards or risk losing its competitive edge. 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 are backed by a growing body of research. In these VUCA times, companies should demand a strong, diverse board that futureproofs their existence. We urge all companies to take steps to ensure that women are given equal opportunity to participate and serve in leadership roles in the boardroom and executive suite – this is not only good for business but good for Hong Kong.
Fern Ngai
CEO, Community Business
If Hong Kong is going to thrive as a financial centre, it is going to need to have a reputation for strong governance, with board diversity as one of its hallmarks. When one in seven of the directors on the entire market are women, we stretch our credibility thin. It is time for us all to make progress on this issue, before our competitive advantage slides away.
Tim Payne
Senior Partner, Head of Asia at Brunswick & 30% Club Hong Kong Steering Committee Member

What can be done?

Demonstrate leadership and an understanding of the business case
by appointing women directors
Implement a board renewal process
to ensure that your board remains relevant and well positioned to steer your company for long term sustainability
Review your current board’s composition and structure
to diversity and strengthen the board by securing the right balance of skills, knowledge, experience, and independence
Create the environment for fresh ideas and innovation to flourish
by appointing new directors
Widen your search
when recruiting new directors, including engaging an executive search firm
Foster a boardroom culture
which encourages a diversity of perspectives and healthy debate, while mitigating group think
Be a visible champion of change
and demonstrate your commitment by joining the 30% Club
Set the tone from the top
that gender diversity is a strategic priority for your company
Engage male leaders
to support gender diversity and act as champions of change
Invest in your female leaders
through professional development and mentoring
Create a supportive culture and environment
to promote the advancement of women, to plug the leaking pipeline, and mitigate unconscious bias
Allow your senior female leaders to serve on external boards
to build their experience and contribute to the wider pool of female talent
Drive leadership accountability
by setting goals and targets, and benchmarking progress
Be an advocate and role model
for other women, especially those who are not in a position to advocate for themselves
Take advantage of opportunities
to learn and gain skills and experience, and to build your reputation
Increase your visibility
through networking and being strategic about finding a mentor, sponsor, or advisor
Link up with an executive search firm
to position yourself for board placement
Volunteer to serve on an NGO or advisory board
to bolster experience and profile, and to expand your network