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Saturday, 04 February 2023 11:49 GMT

The Role Of Headhunters In Increasing The Number Of Women In Boardrooms

(MENAFN- Khaleej Times)

Published: Tue 13 Dec 2022, 9:57 PM

The headhunting process plays an important role when it comes to increasing the number of women in boardrooms, according to panellists at the Khaleej Times Middle East Women Board of Directors Forum.

“Headhunters' role has become more important to increase presence of women in boardrooms. Some are hesitant to select female candidates and it takes a longer process,” said Feyza Narli, general manager of Manpower Group.

She said that meticulousness during the headhunting process to search a wider pool of candidates would ensure more females are hired in the process. When it comes to hiring women for boards, she said that women require more work and effort rather than men.“The glass ceiling is the biggest problem. When it comes to moving up in the hierarchy that could be a disadvantage in comparison to men,” she said.

It is important for women to not give up when they see difficulties.“We should identify the strategy to increase the performance of women. It's important to make diversity and inclusion as a corporate culture,” she said.


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The conversation about inclusion needs to be dialled up according to Golnaz Bahmanyar, partner - Middle East Consumer & Retail practice, Egon Zehnder.“Diversity is easy to measure because it's quantifiable. Inclusion in the boardroom is about an experience of behaviours that are shown around the table. There's a lot of legacy in boards and how they are run. I think it's our duty to dialup the conversation,” she said.

Wassim Karkabi, managing partner & board director - Middle East, Russia & Greater China, Stanton Chase, said that in this part of the world there's a cultural element that needs to be slowly changed.“The mind set needs to change towards different kinds of diversities,” he said.

When it comes to placing women on boards the attention needs to be directed to the kind of conversation that take place inside the board.“The talk on a board is all about value, revenue, profitability. How do you bring value for the shareholders? We need to show them in dollar signs how women would add value to the board. Until we can do that it's going to be an uphill swim,” he said.

He argued that there are certain traits that women have that are lacking in men such as emotional intelligence.“It is key to leadership. Women need to bring themselves to the table and not show up as men because that adds zero value to the board,” he said.

Women looking to be on boards need to also take a look at their background to see how they can best add value to a board but also, they need to learn about corporate governance.

“If you don't understand or have a qualification in corporate governance it would be like wanting to drive a car with no license or without taking lessons. Understanding the inner language at a board is important otherwise you'll miss out on the fundamentals,” he said.


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