UAE asks listed companies to add at least one woman to board

The United Arab Emirates, dwelling to Dubai and Abu Dhabi inventory markets, would require not less than one feminine director on the boards of all listed corporations, as companies world wide face stress to spice up gender range.

The transfer is geared toward empowering Emirati girls and inspiring them to play a larger function on the boards of listed corporations, the Securities and Commodities Authority mentioned in a press release.

The 5 greatest corporations listed on Dubai Monetary Market PJSC and the Abu Dhabi Securities Trade have 84 board members, of which solely three are girls, in keeping with information on the change web sites.

“We beforehand used to simply accept explanations if there wasn’t compliance, however now we’re shifting to make feminine illustration obligatory,” the regulator’s Chief Government Officer Obaid Saif Al Zaabi was quoted as saying by the Nationwide newspaper. “So now there should be not less than one feminine member on the board of any listed firm.”

The UAE’s central financial institution has already signed a memorandum of understanding with Aurora50, a agency centered on gender-balanced boardrooms, to work towards elevating the variety of girls on the boards of each private and non-private corporations within the nation.


The area has “come a good distance up to now decade,” mentioned Racha Alkhawaja, Dubai-based group chief distribution and improvement officer at Equitativa Group and the choice to convey not less than one girl on boards of listed corporations “comes below the entire matter of quotas.”

Whereas girls are current on the boards of 28 out of 110 listed corporations within the UAE, they make up solely 3.5% of all board positions, in keeping with information compiled by Aurora50.

“Quotas at this early stage may be mandatory to make sure that corporations do the additional effort find these girls,” Alkhawaja mentioned. “There are nonetheless numerous girls which can be invisible. They’re there, they do rather well, they’re very senior, they’re very distinguished, however are nonetheless invisible.”

In India, the place a legislation handed in 2013 makes it obligatory for corporations to have not less than one feminine board member, girls held 17% of the positions, Aurora50 mentioned. France had the very best share of ladies on boards in 2020, with 43.6%, in keeping with information gathered by BoardEx.

Within the UAE, the regulator has not but made it obligatory for listed companies to reveal equality and social governance metrics, however has lately inspired corporations to start out reporting.

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