UAE Looks to Increase Women Board Membership and Representation

In an effort to empower Emirati women and to encourage them to play a greater role as board members of listed companies, the United Arab Emirates’ Securities and Commodities Authority (“SCA”) has required all UAE listed companies to have at least one female board director.

Although it is reported that women sit on the boards of 28 of the 110 (26%) listed companies in the UAE, women only hold 3.5% of all board positions. As such, this new SCA requirement seeks to increase female representation at the highest levels of listed companies. Previously, the SCA set a target for companies to achieve 20% female representation on their boards and required those companies that fail to attain this level to explain the reasons for any shortfall.

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