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Thursday, 1 April 2021

Women made up only 13% of board seats in Egypt’s companies in 2020

Women made up only 13% of board seats in Egypt’s companies in 2020, with a total of 714 holding seats, up 30% y-o-y from 2019, the Women on Boards Observatory annual report states. Just over 57% of EGX-listed companies have at least one woman on their boards, up from 46.5% in 2019, said the report. The observatory, which was founded in 2017 by the AUC School of Business, monitors the amount of women on boards of companies listed on the EGX, companies regulated and registered with the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA), Public Enterprises Ministry companies and banks.

The Egyptian Media Production City has the highest number of women on its board amongst EGX-listed companies, with 7 out of 16 board seats being held by women. It is followed by Marine and Oil Services with 6 women on its 14-member board. The Public Enterprise Ministry company with the highest number of women on its board is Memphis Pharmaceuticals, with 3 women and 2 men.

Real estate appears to be the sector with the most women board members, with 34 women sitting on boards of EGX-listed firms, the report shows. However, this only makes up 6% of the total board members in the sector. In percentage terms, the energy and support services sector tops other sectors with 30% women board members.

A long way yet to go: To reach the observatory’s 2030 strategy target, an additional 945 women need to be added — or an average of 95 women annually. “320 women in EGX-listed companies, 50 women in banks, 95 women in public enterprise companies and 480 women in FRA companies are needed to join boards until 2030,” according to the report.

SMART POLICY- The FRA’s Egyptian Institute of Directors is offering women a 50% discount for its Certified Board Member Certification program, the regulator’s training arm said in an announcement picked up by local media. The program is funded by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and aims to increase the number of women on company boards. Women who complete the certification will also be included in the institute’s database of board-ready individuals. The FRA had previously mandated that all EGX-listed companies have at least one woman on their board by the end of 2020.

The continental leader in the number of women on boards is South Africa, with 29%, Bloomberg reports. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange is the only developing country bourse that beat the Group 20 average of 20%. South African women chair 11% of companies, also beating the G20 average of 5.5.%.

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