100 Women in Finance, in collaboration with EY Malta, recently organised a conference titled The New Board Game, aimed at ensuringe diversity and effective strategic planning within the boardroom
According an EY Survey compiled earlier this year, just 20 per cent of women occupy a managerial role within an organisation, and only 3 per cent of women are on boards. Therefore, reasoning suggests that new practices must be put in motion to increase gender diversity within the boardroom and decrease the prevailing gap.
Elaine Mulcahy, chair of 100WF’s Malta Committee, introduced the event, while Joette Sciortino, Associate Partner with EY Malta opened the discussion by outlining the challenges that many listed and unlisted companies face with respect to board diversity and why this matters. Diversity is not just gender representation, but is also important to consider religion, educational backgrounds and leadership styles, when forming a board within an organisation, Ms Sciortino said.
Grace Camilleri, Partner, Banking Advisory Services, EY Malta, initiated a panel discussion by presenting a business model which works in a dynamic workplace, and highlighted the importance of increasing governance, transparency and communication with stakeholders, to mitigate any future risks. The panel agreed that businesses must develop and plan to deliver sustainable returns for the long term. Innovation and economic growth drive business, and to optimise this to its full potential the board must become a ‘constructive challenger’.
The panel agreed that it is vital that management and board members communicate well and that their visions meet. A board structure that engages internal talent is advantageous, as this does not only promote diversity, but also improves the company’s human capacity and gives incentives to employees.
Members of the panel also included David Demarco, Board Member, MIDI plc, Paulianne Nwoko, Managing Director, Apex Fund Services (Malta) Ltd, Caroline Farrugia, Board Member and Head of Finance, Vodafone Malta Ltd, Elvia George, Chief Financial Officer, BOV plc and Kevin Mallia, Partner, Advisory, EY Malta.