Despite the ever-increasing number of women in board leadership roles in the region, progress is not being made quickly enough. According to the IFC, a 2016 study of nearly 1,500 publicly listed companies in 13 countries across the MENA region found that only 17% had some female representation on their boards. Of those, only 4% had female board chairs. There are signs of progress – for example, the UAE announced earlier this year that all listed companies will require at least one female director on their boards, but as the World Economic Forum has noted, "CEOs have an opportunity to lead by example through actions that demonstrably advance and empower women in the workplace".
In this unique session, AIWF and the Pearl Initiative bring gender parity champions from the MENA together to:
- Share their companies’ tried and tested strategies and best practices for promoting diversity on executive boards and in the MENA workforce;
- Discuss the link between women’s representation on boards with better corporate governance and improved diversity and inclusion, learning from what has worked elsewhere and building on the groundswell of support for change in the region and globally
- Highlight the complexities and opportunities for women’s leadership on family business boards, in succession, and in governance of family business
- Address how business leaders can promote gender parity on corporate boards and in executive leadership.