Photo by Christina on Unsplash

Driving Societal Impact

through Growing Women Leaders in the Boardroom

In this digital age as we talk about the impact of AI in every aspect of our lives, fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), it isn't just a nice-to-have; it's a crucial component of building a sustainable future and creating meaningful societal impact.

The Middle East region has historically presented challenges for women seeking leadership positions, particularly in the corporate realm. However, we are witnessing a transformative shift as organizations recognize the immense value of gender diversity in the boardroom and the visionary act of UAE government enforcing a new rule for public companies to have at least one women board of director. Of course, having one is not enough but it has a message in itself to start with this ambition and grow from this.

However, according to a recent study by the World Economic Forum, gender parity in the Middle East and North Africa remains the lowest in the world, with only 32% of women participating in the workforce, highlighting the urgent need for concerted efforts to empower women leaders.

At GVGL - Good Vibes Good Life - Global Marketing Management, we understand that diverse perspectives drive innovation, enhance decision-making, and ultimately lead to better business outcomes. Research conducted by McKinsey & Company reveals that companies with gender-diverse executive teams are 21% more likely to outperform their industry peers in terms of profitability. These statistics underscore the tangible benefits of fostering gender diversity at all levels of leadership.

Through our programs designed to help companies build their DEI strategies, we are not only assisting organizations in strengthening their brand and reputation but also facilitating the advancement of women into leadership roles. By embedding DEI principles into the DNA of businesses, we are actively contributing to societal progress to be more equal and also for women to have representation in leadership roles. Society is not built only by men and in order for women to have impact in society, they should also be in decision making roles.

Empowering women leaders isn't just about filling quotas or meeting diversity targets; it's about creating a culture where every individual, regardless of gender, feels valued, respected, and supported in reaching their full potential. By fostering an inclusive environment, companies can attract top talent, improve employee satisfaction and retention, and enhance their bottom line. A study by Catalyst found that companies with the highest representation of women on their boards experienced a 53% higher return on equity compared to those with the lowest representation, highlighting the correlation between gender diversity in leadership and financial performance.

At GVGL, we believe that true empowerment goes beyond surface-level initiatives. It requires a comprehensive approach that addresses systemic barriers, provides mentorship and development opportunities, and promotes a culture of accountability and support. Through our partnerships with companies across various industries, we are driving meaningful change from within, challenging traditional norms, and paving the way for a more equitable future.

Furthermore, as the Chairwoman of the IWBD (International Women Board of Directors), I am passionate about amplifying the voices of women leaders on a global scale. By facilitating networking opportunities, mentorship programs, and advocacy initiatives, we are building a community of empowered women who are not only excelling in their respective fields but also inspiring the next generation of female leaders.

To wrap up, empowering women leaders and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the boardroom isn’t just a business imperative, it’s a moral obligation and a driver of societal impact. Through our collaborative efforts at GVGL and the IWBD, we are committed to creating a more equitable and prosperous future for women in the Middle East and beyond. Together, we can build a world where every individual has the opportunity to thrive, grow and shine regardless of gender or background.

 


Written By Ebru Tuygun, GVGL Managing Director, IWBD Chairwoman, Marketing Society Board Member

Published on 8 April 2024
 

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