25 November 2016 | Brief

Gender Participation and Influence in Corporate Governance Networks in Southeast Asia

Workplace Gender Equality


This series of briefs explores the structure of corporate governance networks in Southeast Asia, focusing on Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

It focuses on the role of board interlocks—where directors serve on multiple boards—and their implications for corporate strategy and governance. Each brief details the network structures within these countries, emphasising the interconnectedness among companies and the influence of gender diversity on corporate governance.

The research identifies the extent of network connections and discusses how strategic board placements can be leveraged to promote gender equality and effective governance in Southeast Asia’s corporate landscape.

The findings underline the importance of robust governance networks in enhancing firm performance and promoting gender diversity.

The series of briefs is published by the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre at the University of Sydney, commissioned by Investing in Women.


  • In Indonesia, the corporate governance network shows significant fragmentation, which provides an opportunity to introduce more female directors, particularly in leading sectors like real estate and financial services, to enhance decision-making and governance practices.
  • The Philippine corporate network is characterised by high levels of interconnectedness, which facilitates rapid information dissemination; however, the representation of women in these influential networks is disproportionately low, indicating a critical area for gender-focused initiatives.
  • Vietnam’s corporate governance network, while relatively fragmented, features a noteworthy presence of women in influential positions; this demonstrates that women can hold significant power in networks, challenging the traditional male-dominated structures.

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