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Finance Should Lead From the Top on Gender Diversity, Finds ACCA Middle East

Dubai, United Arab Emirates -Thursday, February 2nd 2017 [ ME NewsWire ]

A new report published today by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) 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.

Women in Finance: beyond the numbers, launched today in Dubai, has found that:

    A majority (82%) agree that the finance function plays an important role in shaping the business case for diversity.
    More than three quarters (76%) think that there will be a significant increase in women in executive and board positions within five years.
    Nearly half (48%) believe that negative gender biases are still prevalent in firms across the region.
    Women represent only 2% of board positions across GCC; women account for only 17% of all executive roles in UAE and only 7% in Qatar.
    Organisations must set ‘tone from the top’ to attract and retain top female talent, says ACCA Middle East.

Responding to the report findings Lindsay Degouve de Nuncques, head of ACCA Middle East, says:

Progress on gender diversity has been somewhat slow across both the GCC and globally: only 5% 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% of women occupy CEO positions compared to 21% 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.

Lindsay Degouve de Nuncques thinks that the ‘tone from the top’ will be important to meet the expectations of a millennial workforce:

The GCC has one of the youngest populations in the world: with a median age of 30.3 in UAE and 27.2 in Saudi Arabia. Our findings reflect that the expectations of Generation Next – those aged between 16-36 years – are very different from previous generations, especially with regards to gender parity in the workplace.

Yet the level of change required is not just going to happen from below. All of our respondents agree that the ‘tone from the top’ is vital in nurturing and promoting women to the most senior positions, and the growing significance of the finance function means it should be willing to lead the way.

The report was launched at an event held today (2 February) which brought together senior finance professionals and leaders from the UAE. During the event, the audience heard from Cynthia Corby, Partner at Deloitte Middle East; Her Excellency Sara Al Madani; Farah Foustok, CEO, Lazard Gulf Limited and Founder of the 30% Club GCC and Clare Woodcraft-Scott, CEO of the Emirates Foundation. The event was further supported by Deloitte Middle East, Manchester Business School Middle East Centre, Hawkamah, the institute for corporate governance and the 30% Club GCC.

You can read and download the report here

About ACCA

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants. It offers business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.

ACCA supports its 188,000 members and 480,000 students in 178 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. ACCA works through a network of 100 offices and centres and more than 7,110 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through its public interest remit, ACCA promotes appropriate regulation of accounting and conducts relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.

Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. It believes that accountants bring value to economies in all stages of development and seek to develop capacity in the profession and encourage the adoption of global standards. ACCA’s core values are aligned to the needs of employers in all sectors and it ensures that through its range of qualifications, it prepares accountants for business. ACCA seeks to open up the profession to people of all backgrounds and remove artificial barriers, innovating its qualifications and delivery to meet the diverse needs of trainee professionals and their employers. More information is here:



Nav Dulay, +971-4-364-2139

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