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IFC and Partners Collaborate to Empower Egypt's Women

CAIRO, 15 May 2017 / PRN Africa / -- 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.

 

 

SOURCE International Finance Corporation (IFC)

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