The future is female
Welcome to the 3rd edition of the Global Female Leaders Outlook. This edition sees greater participation from Kuwait's female leaders, and we are grateful for the invaluable and specific insights they have provided.
The COVID-19 pandemic is the defining global crisis of our time. Compared with previous crises, COVID-19 has the potential to ignite more persistent change, not only in our personal lives (home working and schooling) but also in business-related areas (digital transformation and communication) as well as the public space (governmental involvement and regulation).
Another salient feature that makes this crisis so extraordinary is the disproportional effect it is having on women. School and nursery closures, for example, have increased pressure on women around the world. They predominantly have had to bear the burden of organizing and caring for families while working from home.
This effect was seen in the 2020 labor force statistics which showed the percentage of females in the workforce in Kuwait continue its decline and dip below 25% for the first time since 2006*. Despite this dip, Kuwait remains No1. in the GCC region and No.4 in the MENA region in terms of the percentage of females in the workforce; this at least brings hope for the future.
When we decided to produce another Global Female Leaders Outlook, it quickly became apparent that there may be specific implications from the pandemic for female business leaders.
However, contrary to many analysts' opinions, our respondents are less pessimistic about COVID-19's impact on women. Our respondents believe that the crisis may create new opportunities for women due to improved digital communication, technology advances, and changes in stakeholder expectations. Our female leaders are also encouraging inclusiveness and diversity in the workforce as they see this as a critical factor in retaining the workforce.
I would like to thank the female leaders featured in this edition for taking out time from their schedules to provide their insights on the impact of Covid-19 and recovery plan for their businesses, impact on the sector, and the measures they are taking to inspire diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace