Women in Top Management

According to the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI), Pakistan’s corporate sector only has 2% of women in the top management position. This number is 16% for senior management positions and 36% on mid-level positions, reports roznama 92.

Last week we celebrated International Women’s Day and though some of us have started the conversation about the role of women in the tech and corporate sector, we still have to acknowledge how bad things are.

Thes above-mentioned percentages don’t sound too surprising when we look at the WEF (World Economic Forum) Index where Pakistan stands at 143rd position out of 144 countries, which is second lowest in the world and lowest in South Asia.

The index measures the gender gaps in different countries based on four areas; economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.

According to the Corporate Governance Code under the Companies Act of 2017, all Public companies are required to induct at least one woman director, a step implemented by January 1st.

This move when rightly implemented will at least double the current women in top management but sadly, it won’t provide a permanent solution for the inclusion of women in Pakistan’s corporate sector.

A report released by Women on Board Pakistan last year showed that by the end of the fiscal year 2015-16, women held 351 out of the 3,866 directorships of the 505 firms listed on PSX.

Surprisingly, out of 351 women represented in directorships, only 32 were sitting on the board of 21 companies as independent women professionals while the rest were on the board of 164 corporations through their relationship with the sponsoring families or they themselves owned a part of the firm.

Last year, Sima Kamil made history when she assumed the role of President & CEO UBL as she was the first women to lead a Pakistani bank. Many such women exist in the country that are breaking barriers in their respective industry but we still have a long way to go.

Research has time and again proved that gender diversity leads to better progress of any company

Last year, a research collaboration between EY (formerly Ernst & Young) and the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a Washington, DC-based think tank concluded that having more women in top management positions leads to more profits.

OICCI is working on creating suggestions for the inclusion of women in top management positions and to prevent sexual harassment which it will then present to the government to make them into laws.


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