Qatar has been witnessing increased role of women in key positions in the financial sector, especially in the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC)-based corporate entities, according to a top official of the QFC.
According to 2019 data, 13.5% of senior level positions in QFC companies were filled by women – compared to 8.5% in Qatar’s financial sector as a whole, said Sheikha Alanoud bint Hamad al-Thani, deputy chief executive and chief business officer of the QFC.
This came in response to an interview at the World Economic Forum. She is one among the three Qatari Young Global Leaders who are playing their part in fulfilling their nation’s future-proof vision.
“This number continues to grow – and at the same time, these companies are posting record profits," said Sheikha Alanoud, who has been championing the role of women, having hired and mentored numerous women over the course of her career.
About the ESG (environment, social and governance) framework, she said the QFC’s firms are at the forefront of the ESG revolution”, describing how 1,300 firms in the centre are currently tackling the ESG challenges from the energy transition to governance.
The QFC’s sustainable sukuk and bonds framework integrates local requirements and features with International Capital Markets Association’s globally accepted principles to create a harmonised financial market ecosystem locally, based on international standards.
It will promote appropriate disclosures, the flow of relevant information, reporting, and transparency and ensure that these instruments meet their objectives and minimise the risks of greenwashing.
In 2021, the Qatar Stock Exchange rolled out its first ESG-tradable index and announced plans to mandate ESG disclosures for publicly-listed firms.
This move reflects a broader global shift towards long-term value creation in the country.
Ahmed Ali al-Hammadi, the chief investment officer for Europe, Russia and Turkey at the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), said the sovereign wealth fund has looked inwards building its vision and formulate the role that it will play as fiduciaries to Qatar’s future generations.
In 2017, the QIA co-founded the One Planet Sovereign Wealth Funds initiative, working with other sovereign wealth funds and large asset managers, to examine how climate-related risks and opportunities are assessed.
He said in 2022, the QIA’s progress will position it as a global sustainability leader.
"The actions we are taking show the commitment of our industry to shape the global effort on climate change," he said.
Abdulrahman Essa al-Mannai, the chief executive of Milaha Group, one of the Middle East’s largest maritime and logistics companies, said high standards of corporate governance and transparency start at the top and penetrate all levels of the company.
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