Qatar, which has already seen an increasing number of women occupying decision-making positions, ought to encourage its listed firms bring in more women on their boards as part of strategies to further improve its ranking in the ESG (environment social governance) framework.
Although many listed companies perform better in ranking in terms of emerging market or Qatar average in terms of ESG; the women representation in the board of directors has been lackadaisical, according to an official of a global index compiler.
As per the 2018 information provided by the listed entities in the ESG platform on the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) website, only one has women representation on the board.
The QSE itself was found to have no women in its board of directors, which otherwise comprises nine members.
Qatar Chamber board member Khalid Klefeekh al-Hajri has last year told the third edition of the Doha Women Forum that Qatari women make up about 37% of the female labour force aged between 25 and 29 years, and nearly 49% for the 30-34 age group in Qatar.
He had said about 30% of the decision-making positions in the country, which include leadership posts in the business sector, are women.
Women’s entrepreneurship is an integral part of the current global economic system and a growing trend here in the country, according to Qatar Business Incubation Centre.
Qatar has one of the highest levels of female literacy in the Mena (Middle East and North Africa) region. Also, around 59% of women in the country over the age of 25 years are registered as employed and working, compared to the Mena average of 25%.
The female representation is one of the parameters in the ESG framework, which has been getting increased prominence in view of its importance in the socially responsible investments.
QSE chief executive Rashid bin Ali al-Mansoori had last year pitched for a mandatory ESG reporting by the listed entities, which could help investors determine a company’s ability to create value on a sustainable basis.
The QSE is among the first stock exchanges in the world to encourage transparency and disclosure by promoting the digitalisation of ESG data.
The online ESG platform allows all listed companies to login, upload their sustainability reports and submit their sustainability data on the QSE’s 34 ESG indicators. Investors can have real-time access to publicly reported essential sustainability data, information and reports organised by each issuer all from a single source.
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