Dr. Hala Al-Saeed:

More women in leading positions stirs higher growth

Egyptian women board representation in banks hits 12%

 

Dr. Mohamed Omran:

FRA ready to qualify women to prosper and lead

FRA to launch a network corporate app to reach more women cadres

 

Dr. Maya Morsy:

We need plans to expand the number of women decision-makers

Women must have influential number of board seats

 

Ms. Dina Abdel Fattah:

Top 50 Forum urges call for action on having more women on board

 

Dr. Moushira Khattab:

Women economic empowerment requires data circulation, new laws, a sustainable development-backed plan

March 2, 2020 – Cairo

The Top 50 Women Forum, the biggest female technocrat platform in Egypt, has on Sunday convened its first enlarged meeting on increasing the number of women on corporate and institution boards.

Titled “Egyptian Women on Boards”, the meeting was held under the patronage of Egypt’s Ministry of Planning, the National Council for Women (NCW), and the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA).

The meeting also discussed the main obstacles to the advancement and retention of women in leadership roles.

Egyptian Minister of Planning Hala Al-Saeed, FRA chairman Mohammed Omran, and NCW chairperson Maya Morsy, Ambassador Moushira Khattab, Top 50 Women Forum founder Dina Abdel Fattah, and prominent lawyer Mona Zulficar were among the participants in the meeting.

A large number of high-profile officials and CEOs of corporate and economic institutions also participated in the meeting. The participants aimed at creating a comprehensive mobilization, increasing the number of women on boards, amending the rules regulating private sector institutions. They also sought to pursue ways to bring into effect FRA’s decree on the women representation on the boards of bourse-listed companies as well as the non-banking financial institutions.

Minister Hala Al-Saeed said the Egyptian government now believes that women empowerment is not just a matter of improving a social situation or promoting gender equality, but has also become an economic necessity to achieve an inclusive and sustainable growth.

Several studies found that increasing the share of women in the labor market and leadership roles as well as achieving a true gender equality could stir higher economic growth opportunities, Al-Saeed added.

According to a study made by the Arab Monetary Fund, removing gender economic inequality can boost global GDP growth to range between $12 trillion and $28 trillion by 2025, she added.

The Egyptian minister also commended the FRA’s decree, which includes an amendment to the listing and delisting rules on the Egyptian Stock Exchange (EGX). The new amendment aimed at ensuring a better representation of women on boards of the EGX-listed companies as well as the non-banking financial institutions.

Currently, there are 8 female ministers, representing 25% of the Egyptian government, the highest percentage in Egypt’s history that even exceeds the number of female ministers in several developed countries such as the United States, Al-Saeed said.

Egyptian women now have 89 parliament seats, representing a 15% share, compared with only 2% in 2011, she added. In addition, women also hold a 45% share of total public sector jobs in Egypt, higher than the global average percentage of 32%.

In the banking sector, women reported a board representation of 12% in 2019, up from around 10% in 2018, Al-Saeed said. Meanwhile, women have made up 18% of editor-in-chiefs at national newspapers.

About FRA’s decree, Dr. Mohamed Omran said it is the first step in a strategy that aimed at supporting women’s empowerment to have a decision-making power in various economic sectors.

Diversity matters as gender-inclusive corporates can make better and more diverse decisions, Omran noted.

The decree is the first step in pursuit of seeing at least 30% of the EGX-listed companies and their subsidiaries having women board members, FRA chairman added.

The authority has recently appointed around 36 fresh graduates of Egyptian universities, of which two-thirds were women, he said.

Moreover, Omran said the FRA plans to launch a networking mobile application, serving as a liaison between highly qualified women and institutions that are looking to appoint exceptional female cadres in various economic areas.

The new application consists of three divisions that involve: creating a database of nominated highly qualified women, then forming a jury in charge of the selection process, and at last giving the corporates an access to the final database of women cadres, he added.

Omran also praised the Top 50 Women Forum’s first-of-its-kind initiative to expand its empowerment role to include more women from 29 governorates across the country. The forum plans this year to support numerous exceptional female cadres, who have an influential impact in their economic fields.

As such, FRA is willing to give the full support for those women under the Forum’s initiative by providing the needed technical assistance in appreciation of the significant role played by Egyptian women in the labor market, he added.

“This is the golden age for Egypt’s women,” said NCW chairperson Maya Morsy, referring to the generous support given by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for women political and economic empowerment.

Women’s economic empowerment needs a clear vision and strategy that starts with reaching a 30% target percentage of women on board representation by 2030, she added.

Morsy suggested that the FRA would issue a yearly list of the top performing women on boards of the EGX-listed companies and non-banking financial institutions, to be released each March, the national women’s history month globally.

This list will make corporates feel proud of the female cadres they have in one hand and boost the honorees’ self-esteem and enthusiasm to achieve more success and inspire others in other hand, she added.

In the same line, Ambassador Moushira Khattab urged the necessity of having gender equality according to the principles of rule of law.

Gender equality in the world of work is a win-win on many fronts, Khattab said, referring to a World Bank study that said Egypt’s gross domestic product (GDP) could soar 32% if gender equality achieved in the labor market. This is in comparison with only 9% in Japan and 5% in the United States.

The study shows the exceptional footprint Egyptian women can make to the national economy if given the needed support, she added.

Moreover, Dina Abdel Fattah said increasing the number of women on boards of companies and institutions could lead to a genuine experience for Egypt’s inclusive development process.

Top 50 Women Forum seeks a call for action on having more women on board and in leadership and decision-making roles, Abdel Fattah added.

“We need to bring into effect the FRA’s decree on increasing the women on board representation, and then build on it by empowering more women in leadership roles to work on achieving the sustainable development goals and improving the economic performance,” she said.

In 2016, Top 50 Women Forum was founded by the inaugural batch of Egypt’s Top 50 most influential women for year 2015 during Amwal Al Ghad Annual Awards Ceremony in January 2016, under the auspices of the Egyptian Prime Minister. It is dedicated towards empowering women to achieve their full social and economic potentials. It also initiates public-private interactive dialogues and programs to foster women’s development and leadership throughout the nation.