The Financial Regulatory Authority and UN Women Egypt organize a series of seminars on “Gender Equality and Enhancing the Work Environment”
CAIRO - 4 July 2022: The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) and UN Women Egypt organized two seminars on “Gender Equality and Enhancing the Work Environment” on the 22nd and 26th of June 2022 in the presence of Hisham Ramadan, Assistant Chairman of the Financial Regulatory Authority and Gielan ElMessiri; Deputy Country Representative, UN Women Egypt.
Hisham Ramadan urged during his speech the non-banking financial sector to prioritize 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 the women’s representation on the boards of directors, the number of women on boards has increased over the past two years in the companies overseen by the Authority.
The number of companies overseen by the Financial Regulatory Authority, including companies listed on the Egyptian Stock Exchange was 838 companies in 2019, and the number of companies whose board of directors did not include a female representative was 471 companies, at a rate of 56 percent of the companies.
The percentage of women’s representation has greatly improved, resulting in reducing the number of companies whose board does not include females to only 177 companies in 2021, representing 20 percent of the total 892 companies overseen by the Authority in 2021.
Ramadan also referred to how the Financial Regulatory Authority 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. The authority 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 seminar comes 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 Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), encouraging non-banking financial companies to sign the WEPs.
In her statement, Gielan El-Messiri; UN Women Egypt Deputy Country Representative, stated that the Financial Regulatory Authority regulation in Egypt serves as a role model at the global level in promoting women's economic empowerment.
ElMessiri added that UN Women Egypt is pleased to continue working with the Financial Regulatory Authority on non-banking financial activities to increase the rate of Egyptian women’s economic participation in the labor market, which has remained low and stagnant over time despite the rising educational attainment of women.
She 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.
Sina Habous, UN Women Consultant for the promotion of the WEPs, also mentioned in her presentation to the representatives of non-banking financial sector overseen by the Financial Regulatory Authority, that empowering women and achieving gender equality in the work environment has become an economic and competitive requirement and needs to be integrated in the corporate identity in the economic and financial sector. She also encouraged companies to progress in aligning with the regulatory framework established by the Authority and to comply with it through the obligation to disclose their performance in relation to the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting.
Habous added that UN Women is keen on providing free consulting services and technical assistance to a number of companies operating in the non-banking financial sector and companies listed on the Egyptian Stock Exchange to sign the Women’s Empowerment Principles and integrate such principles into their business strategies as part of their alignment with international frameworks and global trends.
It is worth noting that the Financial Regulatory Authority has signed the Women’s Empowerment Principles in early April 2022 and developed an action plan to be implemented within a year that includes implementing a number of activities to encourage the non-banking financial sector to sign and implement the principles, and that include initiating an institutional direction to achieve gender equality, treating all women and men fairly at work, respecting and supporting human rights and non-discrimination, and ensuring the health, safety and well-being of all women and men.
This is in addition to promoting women’s education, training and professional development, adopting practices that support women’s empowerment, promoting equality through community initiatives and encouraging participation, and working to publicly measure and report on progress towards achieving gender equality.