For every Maltese woman in the boardroom of a company registered in the country, there are roughly four Maltese men, according to a study conducted by idisav, a local company that assists businesses in exit planning, joint ventures, and fundraising.
The firm analysed a sample size of 862 Maltese directors across a cohort of companies from the Malta Business Registry spanning from C81001 to C85007.
Their findings showed that 81 per cent of Maltese directors were men, while only 19 per cent were women, demonstrating a stark gender imbalance.
The gender representation gap is even wider among local publicly listed companies.
A recent study found that, while across the European Union, women represented roughly 30 per cent of members of a board of directors of publicly listed companies, in Malta that dropped to 9.9 per cent.
Therefore, while Maltese men outnumber Maltese women four to one in locally registered companies, men outnumber women nine to one in companies listed on the Malta Stock Exchange.
In 2022, an EU Gender Balance Directive was approved, which set out to ensure that, by 30th June 2026, 40 per cent of non-executive directors, or a third of all directors are to be composed of the under-represented gender.
However, gaining representation isn’t enough, retention is also a challenge and a study by McKinsey found an increasing number of women expressed the desire to step down from their leadership position.
The study found that women in leadership positions faced higher rates of burnout, with at-home duties, unrecognised work and other factors listed as the reasons for this.
Some solutions to improve retention of female leaders included taking steps to minimise gender bias, strengthen employee communication, making work more sustainable when it comes to expectations and resetting norms around work-time flexibility.
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