Women set to achieve parity on boards by 2045: Deloitte reports

The Deloitte Global Boardroom Program’s Seventh Edition of the Women in the Boardroom: A Global Perspective report includes updates from 72 countries on gender diversity in the boardroom, exploring insights on the political, social, and legislative trends behind these numbers.

While these private and public sector efforts demonstrate steps toward achieving parity, the pace of collective progress needs to pick up.

On behalf of our Major Partner organisation, Deloitte New Zealand, Champion for Change Mike Horne (Deloitte New Zealand Chief Executive) and Global Women Member Sonia Breeze, (Deloitte New Zealand’s Head of People and Performance) share that “despite this focus, progress remains slow and for women in leadership positions, even slower.”

New Zealand is in the top 10 countries for women on boards with women holding 31.9% of seats. Despite this, progress is lagging: there’s only been a 0.4% growth since the report’s previous edition published in 2019.

This contrasts with Deloitte’s global findings which show that there’s been a 2.8% increase of women on boards overseas. Internationally women holding board positions has grown to 19.7%.

At the growing pace of 2.8%, the world could expect to reach near-parity in 2045 — over twenty years from now.

There is clearly a material gap when it comes to gender diversity in board seats,” our Partners share. However, “this presents a real opportunity from a talent and diversity perspective to build competencies and diversify talent streams.”

The report also uses Deloitte Global’s Stretch Factor metric — a tool which examines how many board seats one person holds. New Zealand holds one of the highest stretch factors, which, as our champions share, indicates that “a number of board seats are occupied by the same director, thereby limiting the diversity of thought and experiences being added to board tables across the country.”

It’s up to each organisation to ensure there’s a true mix of diversity at the table. With Deloitte’s clear picture, statistics and recommendations for next steps, let’s use these learnings to make leaps and bounds to the percentage of wāhine on our boards when the next report is released.

“We know having a truly diverse board has been shown to improve both business performance and innovations and it’s important we continue working to identify and support up-and-coming talent to build the boards of the future,” Sonia and Mike conclude.

Access the Women in the Boardroom – a global perspective report via Deloitte here.