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Some corporate executives made such a fuss about not being able to find enough women to diversify their boardrooms that the Chilean government came up with a list of 136 candidates to help them out. Maybe that sparked a little fire, because the annual round of shareholder meetings ended last month with four more women among the more than 250 directors in the benchmark IPSA index. Progress was limited, though. Now 9% of people on boards at the 30 corporations are women, up from 7.8% last year. “At this pace, we’ll need a Big Bang to get to where we should be,” said Luis Cubillos, a partner at Egon Zehnder Santiago, Chile.

Corporate Chile has to step up, he said, or face consequences. Men-heavy boards have “become an issue and it will probably have a cost for companies” as pension and private equity funds and other investors increasingly look at gender parity when deciding which stocks to hold.

Why is Chile slow to catch up? One answer might lie in how small the country is, with a population of about 18 million, and how intimate its corporate world. In fact, when women who belong to families with controlling stakes aren’t counted, female representation on boards drops to 5%, according to Cubillos.

 


 

Full Story: Need Female Board Members? Chile's Government Has a List for You. By Laura Millan Lombrana and Maria Jose Campano. 11, May 2019.

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