TUESDAY, April 16, 2024
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Women must be better represented in executive positions, SEC chief says

Women must be better represented in executive positions, SEC chief says

A firm believer that the roles of the Office of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) go beyond enforcing the rule of law and regulations for all listed entities on Thailand’s stock markets, its secretary-general, Pornanong Budsaratragoon, actively encourages these companies to fully support women's leadership at the top echelon of business.

This mission, she says, is part of the SEC's efforts to motivate Thailand to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

In an exclusive interview with The Nation, she described Thailand's overall situation for female executives as “quite good” when compared to other countries around the world.

According to the SEC's most recent report, Thailand has approximately 22% female representation on its boards of directors.

While this figure is comparable to the average of the top 20 countries worldwide, she stresses that it is insufficient for Thai companies to be recognised as a world leader in gender equity workplaces.

Women must be better represented in executive positions, SEC chief says

Citing the "critical mass theory", which explains how mass participation leads to mass engagement, she pointed out that a 30% female representation in executive positions is ideal.

"The theory suggests that if we have enough female participants, women will be able to do more with their jobs. As a result, they can express themselves openly and honestly," she said, adding that the agency is now working to increase that number by promoting listed firms to include more women on their boards, and not just in name.

Aside from reports that promote listed companies with good governance of female leadership, the SEC also provides guidelines to help companies start their journey to encourage women's participation at a higher level.

One of the most important benefits of promoting women's leadership, she notes, is that it increases diversity on boards, allowing businesses to better navigate and manage in a rapidly changing and uncertain world.

" Gender diversity and age diversity help the top level to lead the companies in the right direction as that diversity gives birth to diverse perspectives," she explained." The top level must lead by example, meaning that the board needs real actions to break through the frontier and face new challenges together."

Still, as a working woman in today's so-called “VUCA” (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity) world, Pornanong highlighted the significance of continuous self-improvement to be well prepared to face any challenge.

Women must be better represented in executive positions, SEC chief says

She pointed out the need to acquire new knowledge by encouraging all genders to adhere to the concept of lifelong learning, noting that learning no longer ends at the school or degree level.

"In my view, we should equip ourselves by learning new things, access the opportunities and also learn the risks we might face in the future," she said.

She suggested that learning to reskill and upskill can be accomplished by interacting with new groups, reading more, seeing more, constantly improving, and being passionate about listening to new concepts.

" I believe that both men and women face comparable challenges because uncertainty is a major issue today. We must be well prepared to face the risks and opportunities that come with uncertainty. We must be ready to face a world with unpredictable outcomes," she said.

Women must be better represented in executive positions, SEC chief says

Women must be better represented in executive positions, SEC chief says

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