Mumbai: More than half of the top 500 companies listed on BSE do not have a woman director on board despite the government making it mandatory to have at least one, said a report.

In a study titled India Board Report 2015-2016 by consultancy firm PwC India in collaboration with talent advisory company Hunt Partners and law firm AZB & Partners, 64% of the companies surveyed lacked a woman director.

As per the Companies Act 2013, it is mandatory for listed firms to have at least one woman on the board.

“In 2011-2012, there was a slight improvement, but it has been stagnant thereafter," the study found.

The study also found that the lowest representation of independent directors was among listed public sector companies.

“Indian boards are still some distance away from a truly independent and diverse structure," the study said.

It pointed out that only 2.5% of the independent directors in the companies surveyed had their roles clearly defined in their appointment letters.

Over 250 independent directors took part in the survey.

The study revealed that the average compensation received by independent directors got a boost of 19% in 2014 as compared to the previous year. The average annual compensation of independent directors stood at 8.1 lakh last year.

“The subject matter of board effectiveness is now front and centre for all well managed companies. Seen in this context, the report does indicate that corporate governance in India has still some distance to cover," said Sunit Mehra, managing partner, Hunt Partners.

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