Generally the Middle East stand behind most developed nations in many things but when it comes to the number of women serving on corporate boards, it lags not that much behind, said an industry expert, highlighting however the need to do more.

Deloitte, a leading provider of financial advisory services, audit and tax consulting in its fourth edition of the “Women in the Boardroom: A Global Perspective.”  Refer: , holds as put by its Rana Ghandour Salhab, talent and communications partner that “The global statistics mask important differences within countries.  For example, Scandinavian countries have successful policies that make it easier for women to serve on boards, compared with the Asia-Pacific region which has been slow to implement such policies.”

The report said the representation of women on global corporate boards continues nevertheless to increase, but the number of women leading boards still remains low generally.

Overall, women now hold 12 per cent of seats worldwide with only 4 per cent chairing boards.

The report outlines the efforts of 49 countries to increase the number of women occupying board seats.  European countries obviously continue to lead on gender diversity in the boardroom, with Norway, France, Sweden and Italy all ranking high and American and Asia Pacific region countries have progressed the least.

According to the report the regional breakdown of women chairs is:

  1. Europe, Middle East and Africa lead with 5%,
  2. The Americas with 4% and
  3. Asia-Pacific region with 4%.

“Research shows that women are a key driving force for the GCC economic engine.  There is a strong business case for having more women on such leadership platforms as diverse and balanced teams improve an organization’s bottom line.  In fact, companies with more women on their boards were found to outperform their rivals,” said Cynthia Corby, audit partner, Deloitte UAE.

Source : Trade Arabia