Egypt’s new listing amendments mandate more women on boards

Egypt’s market regulator on Tuesday has passed listing rule amendments that would require publicly listed companies to boost gender diversity in their boardrooms.

The new amendments mandate that publicly listed companies as well as non-banking financial firms must work to increase women’s representation on boards, said Mohamed Omran – chairman of the Egyptian Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA).

The rationale behind this move is to improve Egypt’s ranking in the World Bank Group’s Doing Business Index as part of the FRA’s strategy to achieve sustainable development and empower women, Omran added.

Egypt spares no effort to achieve gender equality, as it has always been working on promoting women’s empowerment within the society. In 2017, the government launched its 2030 Vision. One of the goals of this vision aims at increasing women representation in leadership positions by 30 percent in 2030.

Diversity in corporate boardrooms is making uneven progress globally, Omran said. In Egypt, one of studies on nearly 2,139 private-sector and publicly listed companies during the 2014-2016 period showed that their gains have been more substantial when having higher representation of women on board, he added.

According to the study, companies that have at least 25 percent of women on board achieved more than double in profits. In addition, companies that work to achieve gender equality on board rely less on borrowing, Omran added.