Conference Report: Women in Business and Management: gaining momentum in the Middle East and North Africa

Over the past two decades, women in the Middle East and North Africa have considerably improved their professional capabilities and are gradually increasing their participation in economic activities and asserting their presence in the world of business. However, they still face a number of challenges in climbing up to the top of the corporate ladder.

In January 2015, the ILO’s Bureau for Employers’ Activities (ACT/EMP) launched its Global Report on Women in Business and Management: Gaining Momentum to provide the latest data, trends and progress around the world on women running businesses and as managers in the corporate world. The Bureau for Employers’ Activities, with the support of the Gender, Equality and Diversity Branch (GED), followed up the global publication with an international conference on Reflecting global change: Women in Business and Management held in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) at the CBI headquarters in London in April 2015. Along the same lines, the Bureau furthermore undertook a report and held a regional conference for Asia and the Pacific in Singapore in July 2015.

The Arab region has followed with the publication of Women in Business and Management - Gaining Momentum in the Middle East and North Africa and a Conference was held on 1 February 2016 in Muscat, Oman to report on and discuss the situation of women in business and management in this part of the world. The Conference gathered more than 60 company representatives, employers’ and business’ organizations, as well as experts and practitioners from the region and abroad to discuss potential measures that could support women’s performance in the private sector.

The report illustrations are produced by Hala Hassan.