Women represent only 2 percent of board positions across the Gulf region and only account for only 17 percent of all executive roles in UAE, a new report has showed.
The study published by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Middle East has found that a majority of finance professionals believe finance needs to lead the way in improving the rate of gender diversity across the GCC.
More than three quarters (76 percent) think that there will be a significant increase in women in executive and board positions within five years, it said
The report added that a majority (82 percent) agree that the finance function plays an important role in shaping the business case for diversity.
It also showed that nearly half (48 percent) believe that negative gender biases are still prevalent in firms across the region.
Organisations must set "tone from the top" to attract and retain top female talent, said ACCA Middle East.
Lindsay Degouve de Nuncques, head of ACCA Middle East, said: "Progress on gender diversity has been somewhat slow across both the GCC and globally - only 5 percent of Fortune 500 companies are led by CEOs and the gender pay gap persists across the OECD.
"Regionally, while labour laws and employment legislation have been enacted to further gender parity, only 13 percent of women occupy CEO positions compared to 21 percent in all developing nations.
"It is clear that an immense level of change is required by organisations in developed and developing economies to address this," said Nuncques.
Sourece: Arabian Business