The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) and UN Women Egypt organised two seminars on gender equality and enhancing the work environment on 22 and 26 June.
The seminars included the participation of Hisham Ramadan, Assistant Chairperson of the FRA; and Gielan Al-Messiri, Deputy Country Representative for UN Women Egypt.
In his opening remarks, Ramadan urged the non-banking financial sector to prioritise integrating the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) into their strategies and to check the new global trends that highlight the importance of compatibility with sustainability and compliance standards related to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) disclosures.
Ramadan also explained to the representatives of the non-banking sector that in response to the authority’s decisions regarding women’s representation in Boards of Directors, the number of women on boards has increased over the past two years in the companies overseen by the authority.
The FRA oversaw a total of 838 companies in 2019, and the number of companies with Boards of Directors that did not include a female representative was 471 companies (56%).
The percentage of women’s representation has greatly improved since then, resulting in reducing the number of companies withs boards that do not include females to only 177 companies in 2021 — representing 20% of the total 892 companies overseen by the authority in 2021.
Ramadan also referred to how the FRA is a leading institution in implementing the principles of sustainability, noting that the authority’s Board of Directors includes two women.
The authority has also issued an ethical charter to prevent harassment and create a work environment that provides equal opportunities for both genders. It also follows a sustainability approach with its suppliers, which is based on the suppliers’ commitment to provide sustainable products that preserve the environment and promote equality between men and women in the workplace.
This series of seminars were held within the framework of the authority’s implementation of the work plan that was agreed upon with UN Women under the authority’s endorsement of the (WEPs), encouraging non-banking financial companies to sign them.
For her part, El-Messiri stated that the FRA’s regulation in Egypt serves as a role model at the global level in promoting women’s economic empowerment.
She added that UN Women Egypt is pleased to continue working with the FRA on non-banking financial activities to increase the rate of Egyptian women’s economic participation in the labour market, which has remained low and stagnant over time despite the rising rate of educational attainment for women.
El-Messiri also highlighted that UN Women will provide technical support to companies working in the non-banking financial sector in order to increase women’s representation on corporate boards.