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Women in Leadership

Another gap that is worth discussing is the leadership gap. While women’s labor participation has increased, they have tended to be concentrated in the lower levels of organizations. Where data is available (see Table 2.3- The 2016 Global Gender Gap Report - World Economic Forum), the female to male ratios in senior leadership positions in the public and private sectors

Table 2.3 Female representation in senior leadership

Female

Male

Female to male ratio

Rank (of 123 countries)

Bahrain

22

78

0.28

94

Tunisia

15

85

0.18

106

Kuwait

14

86

0.16

108

Morocco

13

87

0.15

111

Qatar

12

88

0.14

112

UAE

10

90

0.11

115

Algeria

10

90

0.11

116

Syria

9

91

0.10

117

Lebanon

8

92

0.09

118

Egypt

6

94

0.06

119

Saudi Arabia

6

94

0.06

120

Yemen

2

98

0.02

123

range between 0.02 and 0.28, which is way below the world average. Only Bahrain (at 94) is ranked among the top 100 countries (out of 123 countries), while all the remaining countries show the lowest female to male ratios, mostly ranked near the bottom. These figures clearly indicate that there are roadblocks in terms of women’s advancement into senior positions in government and in the private sector. Forbes’ Top Arab Business Leaders lists include one female business leader in Kuwait (at #55) from about 121 individuals listed. None of the top ten executive management positions in the Forbes’ Middle East list in the retail, telecommunications, food, or financial services sectors, featured a woman.38

 
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