Report: Over 85% of GCC listed companies have no female board members

Author: Michael Fahy, ZAWYA, Published on: 19 December 2018

"Over 85% of GCC listed companies have no female board member - study", 19 December 2018

More than 85 percent of the biggest companies listed on Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) stock markets have no female representation on their boards, according to a new study by State Street Global Advisors. The asset management company presented a paper in Dubai last week on enhancing gender diversity on company boards in the region, which stated that of 170 major listed companies surveyed, 147 (85.6 percent) did not have a single female board representative. It also found that only 5.06 percent of companies have any females represented within senior management teams... [I]f gender parity in workforce participation were reached in the GCC, it could boost GDP by 32 percent, adding $80 billion to the economy. The SSGA report also said that the rate of female labour market participation, at 30 percent, is well below the global average of 49 percent, even though 60 percent of the GCC's university graduates are female... SSGA's study found significant divergence between various GCC markets, with women more frequently represented on boards in Oman and Bahrain. In both countries, the percentage of companies with no female board directors was 60 percent, compared with 95 percent in Abu Dhabi and 96 percent in Saudi Arabia...

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