The Council for Board Diversity (CBD) was established by the Ministry of Social and Family Services to promote and achieve sustained increase in the number of women on boards of listed companies, statutory boards and non-profit organisations.
CBD succeeds the Diversity Action Committee (“DAC”) which focused on increasing women’s participation on corporate boards. CBD aims to sustain DAC’s momentum by expanding its efforts into the people and public sectors during its two-year term from January 2019 to December 2020. Read more about Our Story below.
We believe that diverse boards are catalysts to robust governance and better stewardship of organisations. Having diversity on boards allows organisations to have access to fresh perspectives for better decision making and risk management. It is widely recognized as a proxy for a well-managed board that is forward-looking and uses talent pool effectively.
Our objective is to increase the women’s participation on boards. While gender is just one aspect of diversity, it is an important and visible one widely tracked by institutional investors, governments and interest groups. Women on boards is also a useful lead-in to the subject of diversity, because as decision-makers consider having more women on their boards, they would naturally consider other aspects of diversity that will further contribute to the success of the organisation.
We adopt a multi-stakeholder approach to achieve our mission:
- Engage stakeholders on the appointment of women onto boards.
- Undertake activities to raise public awareness of the importance of board diversity through having women directors
- Work with partners to develop the pipeline of board-ready women
- Work with Government on policies and programmes that impact women on boards.
We leverage on the synergy of our learnings and networks across the private, people and public sectors to further multiply our efforts. We aim to complement individual company efforts and existing organisations in promoting board diversity.
CBD is made up of 20 eminent members with a diverse and strong slate of management and board expertise across different sectors, with President Halimah Yacob as its patron. Mr Loh Boon Chye, CEO of the Singapore Exchange (SGX) and Mrs Mildred Tan, Chairman of the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) were appointed as Co-Chairs in January 2019 by Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for Social and Family Development.
As leaders in their respective sectors with strong networks across boards of the private, public and people sectors, the Council is well positioned to lead the board diversity agenda and influence their respective sectors.
Find out more about our council members here.
Our efforts are possible with the support of our community of like-minded partners who drive advocacy and pledge continued commitment towards our mission. We would like to thank the following partners for their ongoing support, and without whom, our impact would not be as significant:
The CBD succeeds the Diversity Action Committee (“DAC”), which was established in 2014 to increase women’s representation participation on corporate boards. Under DAC’s purview from August 2014 to December 2018, women’s representation on boards of the Top 100 primary-listed companies had doubled to 15.2%, from 7.5% before DAC was formed.
Prior to the DAC, the Diversity Task Force regarding Women on Boards (“DTF”) had initiated an examination into the state of gender diversity on boards and in senior management of companies listed on the Singapore Exchange, as well as its impact on corporate performance and governance. Formed in late 2012, the DTF had recommended 10 measures to increase women’s representation on boards, including the establishment of the DAC to implement DTF’s recommendations.