SINGAPORE (Dec 19): Many leading Asian companies’ boards are still reluctant to move out of their comfort zone when appointing non-executive directors, according to Heidrick & Struggles’ latest Board Monitor Asia Pacific report.

Although there have been recent news that more women have been appointed to boardroom positions, but drawing on data collected from companies listed on the ASX 200, Hang Seng Index (HSI), NZX 50 and Straits Times Index (STI), the report suggests that there is still some way to go to achieving boardroom diversity.

According to the report, boards still give priorities to CEOS, as 56% of the new non-executive directors (NEDs) appointed to these listed boards were current of former CEOs. New Zealand ranked highest with 67% followed by 63% in Singapore, 56% in Australia, and 46% in Hong Kong. This compares with 47% in US Fortune 500 companies.

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