Companies from the mainland that have historically been slow to change are one of the biggest obstacles for the Hong Kong stock exchange in achieving its goal for gender diversity on corporate boards, but that's finally beginning to change.

Major Chinese firms are appointing female directors, or setting targets for diversity, ahead of Hong Kong’s end-of-2024 deadline that could end up creating more than 1,300 positions exclusively for women.

Food delivery company Meituan is the most recent high-profile firm to name its first ever woman to its board, adding Esquel Enterprises Chairman Marjorie Yang — also one of three women on the seven-person board of Hong Kong-listed Budweiser Brewing Co. APAC, in June.