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The UAE maintains its leadership in the Gulf region in women’s participation in business



Women hold 7% of board seats in the Gulf and 20% globally

June 1, 2023

17:58 PM

Dubai: “The Gulf”
A new report from global consulting firm Bain & Company says that while Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have seen unprecedented changes in terms of women’s representation in the workplace, there is still a need to implement more gender equality standards.
Regional data from the report shows that governments in GCC countries have played a key role in promoting gender equality in various sectors. The UAE and Qatar continue to lead the way in women’s participation in the workforce. 53% of Emirati women and 60% of Qatari women are in the workforce. Saudi Arabia is witnessing rapid change; Saudi Arabia’s female participation rate reached 37% in the first quarter of 2023, seven years ahead of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 targets.
For example, women occupy approximately 7% of board seats in GCC countries, compared to 20% worldwide.
Taking a closer look at the root causes, Bain & Company research indicates that 70% of women report gender bias and stereotypes, along with inadequate recruitment processes, lack of mentoring, training and work-life balance support as key challenges. These challenges face women globally, delaying the advancement of women in corporate leadership in the region.
Research shows that gender-diverse and geographically diverse teams make better business decisions 87% of the time, with women overrepresenting 70% of top-performing teams in GCC countries.
The Diversity, Equity and Regional Inclusion report includes the results of a survey of 1,150 men and women in various sectors of business, diagnoses of 25 large companies in the GCC countries, focus groups and interviews with 50 women in senior positions. .
Ann-Laurie Malasad, CEO of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Bain & Company Middle East, said: “Women have changed the landscape of the workplace in the GCC, with a growing number of companies rising by 30%. Government push for gender equality is a big catalyst for this change, and many companies are gender diverse. Adding to their agenda has seen clear results over the past five years. Encouragingly, many of these organizations are leading local and gender equality practices and policies at the global level, which uniquely reflect the region’s cultural and social context.
Karen Calaf, head of business women at Bain & Company, Middle East, said: “Women can add significant value to the workplace, but there are still too few women in leadership positions across boards and companies in the region. There are plenty of practices for companies to start or advance their gender equality journey. And all companies have their By contributing and learning from each other, we can continue to work towards implementing equality and closing the gender gap.

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Bill Dittman
Bill Dittman
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