Female Leaders in the UAE are prepared to tackle business challenges head-on: KPMG Report

By Esahaque Eswaramangalam, Chief Editor
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Female Leaders in UAE | Representational Image

KPMG’s second annual UAE Female Leaders Outlook again finds that female executives in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are not only keenly aware of persisting business difficulties and shifting market priorities, but they also are ready to tackle them head-on.

The purpose of the second KPMG Global Female Leaders Outlook (GFLO) is to present insights into female leaders’ viewpoints. The GFLO is closely based on the questionnaire used for the KPMG Global CEO Outlook, which was published by KPMG International in May 2019 for the fifth consecutive year. The vast majority (86%) of the 1,300 CEOs who took part in that survey were male leaders of large companies. Likewise, 94% of CEOs who participated in the UAE CEO Outlook were male.

Comparison of belief in growth outlooks for the next three years

Comparison of Confidence between UAE CEOs and UAE Female Leaders

Major Findings

Clear Purpose

Most of the UAE Female Leaders consider that Value and readiness drive long-term impact. 74% of UAE female leaders feel responsible for ensuring that customer values are reflected in their company’s environmental, social and governance policies. 24% are motivated by the prospect of enabling long term success. 50% are inspired by the potential to make a positive impact on the world. 46% see modernizing the workforce as their company’s best strategy for future-readiness.

Agility is Key

Empowered to innovate, positioned to thrive, 84% of UAE Female Leaders see agility as the new currency of a successful business. All of them see the need to improve innovation processes and execution. 24% want to collaborate with innovative start-ups to pursue growth.

Anticipating Growth

UAE Female Leaders trust in an employee-centric approach to drive change in their organizations. 78% are optimistic about the growth of their own company, yet only 40% are optimistic regarding the global economy. 62% expect headcount growth in the next three years. 68% are prioritizing investment in developing workforce skills and capabilities rather than in new technologies.

Enabling Advancement 

Female leaders in the UAE are addressing diversity challenges head-on. 52% believe they will make their next career move within their current company. 56% have encountered or continue to encounter gender discrimination or stereotyping in their daily work lives. 72% believe that change management in the work environment and business structures is the most important factor in the push for gender equality.