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Exploring cross-industry connectedness in corporate governance networks in the Philippines

Investing in Women The University of Sydney


The Philippines


Workplace Gender Equality

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Exploring cross-industry connectedness in corporate governance networks in the Philippines

Exploring cross-industry connectedness in corporate governance networks in the Philippines

The Exploring Cross-Industry Connectedness in Corporate Governance Networks in the Philippines report examines the degree to which individual directors are sitting on multiple corporate boards, and the impact this has on the gender diversity of the Philippine business sector.

The presence of common directors who occupy board seats in several companies within the same industry can be viewed as an indicator of the degree of concentration of control or influence within that industry. At a country-wide level, connectedness in corporate governance networks can indicate that the control and management of capital may be concentrated in the hands of a few highly connected and influential directors.

The report explains how these ‘connectors’ are responsible for bridging companies and industries, and act as the glue that binds the network together. Because they act as bridges between companies and industries, connectors effectively define the critical pathways through which information travels across the corporate sector. Therefore, as gateways and gatekeepers to information, they occupy very important and influential positions in the network.

These connectors and superconnectors also play a significant role in defining the overall structure of the network. The gender make-up of these network connectors and superconnectors therefore impacts the degree to which women control capital and influence the business sector in the Philippines.


The report finds that a total of 690 individual directors serve on the 992 board seats of the major corporations in the Philippines. Analysis shows that 165 of the 690 individual directors of the major corporations in the country (or 24%) sit on multiple board seats. Corporate boards in the country are dominated by men, who comprise 85% of directorships in the country, and the gender composition of connectors reflects this though with a further slight increase in the dominance of men. Around 89% of the connectors in the network are men, while only 11% are women.

Among all network the connectors, 99 individuals (or 60% of connectors) occupy 2 board seats, and 33 individuals (or 20%) occupy 3 board seats. A further 33 individuals (or 20%) hold 4 or more directorships, thus putting them in the category of network ‘superconnectors’. Most of the superconnectors (14 individuals or 42%) occupy 4 board seats, while 18 individuals (or 55%) hold between 5 and 7 directorships. The single most connected individual in the network sits on 11 different boards. Among the 33 superconnectors in the network, only 1 is a woman, who holds 4 directorships. This indicates that network power and influence in the country is overwhelmingly concentrated among men.

The report concludes that while the participation of women in corporate boards is higher in the Philippines compared to other key countries in Southeast Asia (including Singapore and Indonesia), there continue to be significant opportunities to further improve gender diversity in the management and control of capital in the country.


  • Origin and significance of interlocks
  • The case of the Philippines
  • Network connectors
  • Corporate connectedness
  • Industry connectedness
  • Implications
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