As one of the leading private sector companies in Kuwait, and one of the largest holding companies in the MENA region, KIPCO upholds the highest standards and best practices across its companies operating in 24 countries. KIPCO’s commitment to gender equality and the empowerment of women in the workplace is fundamental to the company’s values. At the KIPCO Group, women are represented across a range of industries, including banking, finance, real estate and education.
KIPCO prides itself on having cultivated an environment that gives women equal opportunity to showcase their knowledge and professional abilities, and those who have excelled have been given a place at the decision-making table. Women are represented in all hierarchies of the Group companies and are integral to everyday operations, including Boards of Directors and Executive Management.
Recent studies have shown that companies ranking higher on the gender equality scale were 15% more likely to outperform their competitors, while companies in the bottom 25% of that scale were likely to perform under the industry average. When it comes to senior management positions, a Credit Suisse study found that companies hiring more women in executive positions tended to perform better on the stock market, were valued higher and produced higher returns on equity. A similar study done by Dow Jones found that private equity firms with at least one female execute were more likely to succeed than those that didn’t have any.
Financial institutions have begun to take notice of the value that women can bring to the business, and last year alone they raised over $1.4 billion in bonds to finance female-led businesses and companies known to support workplace gender equality. Corporations around the world are now waking up to the benefits of a diverse workforce, and KIPCO sees itself as an industry leader in this regard.
As part of its efforts to support women’s development, KIPCO and its Group companies actively take participate in seminars and events that serve as a platform for successful female role models to share their experiences and inspire the younger women to develop in their careers. We are also invested in the training and development of women, particularly in the area of leadership and management. As a company, we encourage open discussion about what more can be done to empower women in the workplace, and we believe that this is a step that must be taken in order to ensure progress in achieving gender equality, and creating a merit-based environment where gender plays no role in the assessment of an employee’s skills and capabilities.
The empowerment of Kuwaiti women in the workplace is highlighted as one of the goals for the ‘NewKuwait’ 2035 plan, where one of the plan’s five pillars is the ‘Development of Crafts and Economic Skills for Kuwaiti Women’. The government’s efforts to equip Kuwaiti women with the skillset required to thrive in the local business climate and to support female empowerment initiatives must be met, we believe, by reciprocate efforts in the private sector.
Through the ‘Women Mentor Forum’ and other like-minded programs, the path is being set to strengthen the female role in the private sector and educate the public on the importance of both genders being equally represented at all levels of society, so that by 2035 we can achieve the diverse and more productive Kuwait that we all aspire for.
Eman M. Al Awadhi
Group Communications Director, Corporate Communications Department
Kuwait Projects Co. (KIPCO)