Cairo, Egypt, May 15, 2017—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, together with UN Women, the Global Compact
Network in Egypt, the Egyptian Institute of Directors, and the National
Council for Women, is hosting a conference aiming to encourage private
companies to increase women’s participation in the economy, part of IFC’s
wider efforts to improve corporate governance by fostering gender inclusion.
While half of the world’s women participate in the labor market, many
have fewer employment opportunities and lower incomes than their male counterparts.
In Egypt, women represent
just 12 percent of permanent full-time workers and 30 percent of business
owners. Only 7 percent of Egypt’s firms are led by a female executive,
and they earn, on average, about 22 percent less than their male counterparts.
Closing these gaps could help Egypt increase its gross domestic product
by 32 percent.
“At IFC, we believe that empowering women is essential to building a strong
economy and driving economic growth,” said Nada Shousha, IFC Senior Advisor
in Egypt. “Diversity in boardrooms helps companies tap into a more diverse
pools of talent and skills, improving their competitiveness and increasing
their return on investments.”
According to a recent IFC study,
companies with female directors performed significantly better than those
without, with a return on assets three times higher and return on equity
twice as high.
The event is part of IFC’s corporate governance program in Egypt, which
aims to help local firms operate more efficiently and improve access to
capital. The program is supported by the government of Japan.
Between fiscal years 2011 and 2016, IFC invested close to $1.5 billion
in Egypt and provided a wide range of advisory services to businesses and
government agencies to support private sector development (the amount includes
financing mobilized from other investors). Combined, that work has helped
to finance smaller firms, fund infrastructure development, improve the
country's business climate and promote corporate governance practices.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working
with 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our six decades of experience to
create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY16, our long-term investments
in developing countries rose to nearly $19 billion, leveraging our capital,
expertise and influence to help the private sector end extreme poverty
and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
UN Global Compact
The United Nations Global Compact is a call to companies everywhere to
align their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles
in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption,
and to take action in support of UN goals and issues embodied in the Sustainable
Development Goals. The UN Global Compact is a leadership platform for the
development, implementation and disclosure of responsible corporate practices.
Launched in 2000, it is the largest corporate sustainability initiative
in the world, with more than 8,000 companies and 4,000 non-business signatories
based in over 170 countries, and more than 85 Local Networks. For more
information, visit www.unglobalcompact.org.
Follow us on Twitter: @globalcompact
UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment
of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established
to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. UN Women supports
UN Member States as they set global standards for achieving gender equality,
and works with governments and civil society to design laws, policies,
programmes and services needed to implement these standards. UN Women also
coordinates and promotes the UN system’s work in advancing gender equality.
For more information, visit www.unwomen.org