Seminar on “Resolving the Performance Puzzle of Board Gender Diversity”

Date: 29 June 2018, Friday

The Diversity Action Committee (DAC) organised a seminar, with NUS Business School’s Centre for Governance, Institutions & Organisations (CGIO) as knowledge partner to present findings of a direct and positive link between women independent directors and business performance, using econometric techniques.

Mr Simon Israel, Board Chairman of Singtel and SingPost made the keynote address. The panel discussion was chaired by Mr Tham Sai Choy, First Vice-Chairman of Singapore Institute of Directors (SID) with

  • Piyush Gupta, CEO, DBS Group
  • Min Lan Tan, APAC Head of Chief Investment Office, UBS Global Wealth Management
  • Diaan-Yi Lin, Senior Partner, Singapore, McKinsey & Company
  • Associate Professor Lawrence LOH, Director, Centre for Governance, Institutions and Organisations.

EVENT HIGHLIGHTS VIDEO

READ PRESS RELEASE HERE

News coverage:


VIDEOS

Welcome
Ms YEO Lian Sim, Special Adviser (Diversity), SGX

Keynote Address
Mr Simon ISRAEL, Chairman, Singtel and SingPost

  • If a company is seen as supportive of female directors for the right reasons, it becomes a lot easier to attract female Board talent. Support is not simply about appointing women directors, it is about ensuring they are successfully integrated into the Board as valued contributors.
  • Board diversity is one of the foundations of effective and performing Boards.
  • Gender diversity is an important dimension and a hallmark of progressive Boards.
  • Gender diversity should be seen as a business imperative for the value it brings.

Read the Keynote Address here  .

Presentation
Associate Professor Lawrence LOH, Director, Centre for Governance, Institutions and Organisations

  • Up to now, studies across the world have found that the impact of board gender diversity on financial performance is either non-existent or weakly positive. Through econometric techniques, our study is the first in the Singapore context to establish that such a relationship exists through corporate governance.

Download slides here

Panel Discussion
– Chaired by Mr THAM Sai Choy, First Vice-Chairman, Singapore Institute of Directors.

Panel Speakers:

  1. Piyush Gupta, CEO, DBS Group:
    • Among men, too, the diversity of backgrounds and experiences brought benefits. But as men were in demand, it was better to “fish” in the less crowded pond of women talent.
    • He said that starting from the top, having role models of senior women attracted other talented women at every level below them. It then became easier to find the staff to hire.
  1. Min Lan Tan, APAC Head of Chief Investment Office, UBS Global Wealth Management:
    • The lack of diversity on board is indeed a potential red flag for investors, and diversity takes many forms – age, nationality, cultural background, experiences. Gender diversity itself, is for us, a good proxy of corporate governance and therefore for long term sustainability of the business. Believes we cannot underestimate the cognitive variety that diversity brings, especially in an age of technology disruption.
  1. Diaan-Yi Lin, Senior Partner, Singapore, McKinsey & Company:
    • The experience of her clients showed that when companies announced their intentions to hire women directors, recommendations would come, almost like crowd sourcing.
    • Change or expand criteria for board candidates to include individuals with specific skill sets required for the board. E.g. people who can understand consumer space, FinTech.
  1. Associate Professor Lawrence LOH, Director, Centre for Governance, Institutions and Organisations.


See more photos from the event here.