UAE tops MENA rankings in World Bank’s ‘Women, Business and the Law’ 2021 report

Embracing the digital revolution, female leaders in UAE are leading the way in the renaissance of corporate leadership and business upheaval post COVID.

KPMG’s UAE Female Leaders Outlook has found UAE female leaders less pessimistic about Covid-19’s impact, unlocking new technological advancement, changing stakeholder expectations.

While more than half (55%) of UAE female leaders found their pre-Covid-19 business models shift to and focus on digital, nearly all of them (95%) were confident that the digital economy and e-commerce companies will emerge winners from the current crisis.

Female leaders seem cut from a different cloth compared to their male counterparts, with a majority of them (89% in UAE) wanting to cement the sustainability and climate change gains that came about during COVID. While most business owners demonstrate a tunnel vision towards maximizing profits, three-quarters (73%) of female leaders in the UAE and 57% globally, placed ‘making a positive impact on the world’ as one of the top three factors motivating them, above ‘long-term business success.

Also serious about bridging racial and gender disparity at their organizations, with nearly two-thirds supportive of their company’s positive changes, a significant number of women leaders also show tremendous optimism in matters of employment, with 44% feeling secure in their careers.

The efforts of women in climbing the corporate success ladder combined with ground-breaking legislative reforms implemented over the past few years in the UAE have created an atmosphere of hope amidst the recent bleakness in business. As it is known, the World Bank annually releases the ‘Women, Business and the Law’ (WBL) report, which is composed of eight indicators structured around women’s interactions with the law: Mobility, Workplace, Pay, Entrepreneurship, Pension, Marriage, Parenthood, and Assets. UAE has topped the MENA region rankings for 2021, achieving a full score in the first five out of eight listed indicators.

REINVENTING THE WHEEL

Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, said the UAE’s massive strides are a result of new laws and more than 20 legislative reforms focused on enhancing women’s economic participation. She also acknowledged the comprehensive efforts made by several government bodies to regularly review gender-inclusive legislation to enhance its positive impact on women’s economic empowerment.

Unexpected disruptions are usually seen as a hindrance to the status quo, with many loathing the idea of going back to the drawing board, but women leaders worldwide look at it differently – a rarely-presented opportunity to course-correct where the world is headed and take the reins back. The support in the form of legislature from governments globally is crucial at this stage, ensuring to lead society towards a more sustainable, egalitarian, and inclusive business structure, which works for all and not just the 1%.

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