From appointing family members to seeking more time, corporates have used every trick in the book to blunt SEBI’s order requiring them to have at least one woman on their board.Despite a six-month deadline extension and SEBI threatening to impose a penalty of up to ₹25 crore, 180 of the 1,456 companies listed on the NSE have not complied with the requirement yet, according to Prime Database. And it’s not because there aren’t enough women eligible to fill the vacant seats at corporate boardrooms across the country.

Sector-specific problem

Moorthy K Uppaluri, CEO, Randstad India, said sometimes the problem is also sector-specific. For example, he said, the auto sector and heavy engineering are heavily male-dominated, so finding women at senior management positions is difficult.

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