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PWC : ‘More women in workforce could boost Mena’s GDP’

MANAMA: As much as $2 trillion could be added to the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region’s gross domestic product (GDP) if women’s participation in the workforce is increased, according to PwC.

The consulting firm’s new study, which looks at the challenges women face in achieving their career ambitions, highlighted that the employment prospects and career opportunities of women in the region still leave room for improvement.

Among the women polled for the study, the majority of women (94 per cent) said they prefer a balance in work and personal life and take part in training and development to advance in their career. However, only 62pc of them agree that their employer provides them a satisfactory work-life balance and training and development opportunities.

“The economic prize from getting this right could be significant… Analysis shows that increasing the share of women in work in Mena to match the male employment rate could increase the GDP by 57pc, or as much as $2 trillion,” PwC said.


About 84pc of women also aspire to land leadership roles in their fields; however, they also illustrated that work is not their only priority. About 80pc of them agree that it is important to play a leading role in looking after their families.

PwC said that in order to effectively attract, recruit and retain talented young women, it is critical to embed diversity strategies for the entire career lifecycle, set diversity KPIs to ensure fair assessments for women and reinforce supportive workplace cultures.

“Identifying, developing, promoting and retaining women is essential for the success of our business and our region more broadly,” said Hani Ashkar, PwC Middle East senior partner.

“Key takeaways from our most recent research include encouraging employers to create a strategy that includes investing in skills, reforming cultures, embedding equitable workplace policies, respecting personal time and wellbeing as well as developing metrics to actively track the progress in supporting female employees,” Mr Ashkar said.




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