It’s no secret that organizational leadership is worried about finding the right people. Attracting and hiring the right talent and developing workforce skills are internal concerns among corporate leaders.
Interestingly, according to the recent edition of the KPMG 2022 Women Business Leaders Outlook, women leaders in the UAE are more people-focused than their male counterparts, with 64% of UAE women prioritizing investment in developing their workforce’s skills and capabilities. This is compared with a mere 24% for men, who are instead prioritizing buying new technology.
The study polled women leaders from 50 countries, including the UAE.
Additionally, three-quarters of UAE women leaders (72%) felt their organization had a responsibility to assist with workforce reskilling to avoid layoffs, compared to 60% of men.
According to the survey, UAE women leaders prioritize supply chain reconfiguration and security, as well as digitalization, connectivity, and cyber security resilience. This differed from the priorities stated by UAE male CEOs, who listed digitalization as the top priority, followed by inflation-proofing capital and input costs and improving the employee value proposition to attract and retain talent.
UAE women leaders are optimistic about their business prospects as they pursue aggressive M&A strategies, with 74% believing that new partnerships will be critical to maintaining the rapid pace of digital transformation post-pandemic.
More than half of the women surveyed in the UAE believed their employers needed to be more open about equal pay. Up to 82% of respondents think that much more work needs to be done to enhance gender diversity on boards and in executive positions, while 62% of respondents say that they regularly encounter bias and stereotyping at work.
Regarding ESG difficulties, male and female leaders had different opinions. In contrast to just 5% of men, 29% of women said that the lack of a generally recognized worldwide framework for evaluating and revealing ESG performance was the most urgent problem.
In the UAE, around two-thirds of both men and women believed that stakeholders would continue to monitor businesses’ performance on social concerns, such as staff diversity and inclusion.