'There’s a push for equality in the work place, but more still needs to be done' says leading expert

Updated 10 April 2018

'There’s a push for equality in the work place, but more still needs to be done' says leading expert

  • There is a tidal wave of change taking place in the Kingdom, with regards to creating parity of the workplace
  • Only one third of women make it into managerial roles, while the figure doubles to two-thirds for men

KING ABDULLAH ECONOMIC CITY, Saudi Arabia: “I’m often struck when I do team workshops in the region and the Kingdom at the imbalance that I see. Oftentimes there’ll be 15 men and a couple of women, sometimes 18 or 20 men and zero women and it’s really quite striking.” Nicolai Nielson, Expert Junior Partner at McKinsey & Company said as he kicked off his discussion on the power of parity, or equality, on Tuesday at the inaugural Arab Women Forum in King Abdullah Economic City.

Nielson said he believes that by understanding the mindsets and contexts that people have and finding out how to shift those understandings we can “achieve power of parity (equality between men and women) and reinvent the workplace.” 

McKinsey has been researching power of parity for the past 10 years, revealing that the economic status quo is not being met due to the exclusion of women. Their participation can add up to 12 trillion dollars of global GDP by 2025.

“We are beginning to see an increased momentum in interest in female participation in the work force, but we know that there is a lot to be done.”

But the figures show that this inequality is not unique to the Kingdom or the Arab world – it is a global issue to varying degrees.

According to research carried out by McKinsey & Company women make up half the world’s population. But of those, only 39 percent are in employment.

A quarter of women make it to management positions and a mere 5 percent become CEOs.

Only 43 percent of men think women are good leaders compared to 76 percent of women, while 62 percent of women think that having children is compatible with a high-level career, compared to 80 percent of men.

At an organizational level, research has shown that there is a high correlation between more diverse organizations – with a good mix of male and female workers - and their financial performance.

“There is a bias among many men that leadership styles of women are less effective. Leadership styles and behaviors that are most coordinated with success, it goes more in line with female styles of leadership. Things like empathy, emotional intelligence, incorporating diversified opinions are becoming increasingly important and are more prevalent in women than in men”

Currently gender parity in the Gulf region is relatively low when compared to other parts of the world. But that means it has an opportunity to increase diversity and boost its economy by employing more women. Saudi Arabia’s vision 2030 aims to secure more jobs for Saudi women.

Nielson added: “The Kingdom is transforming at an unprecedented rate.”

 
IN NUMBERS
 

  • 25 percent of men are confident they will succeed in their company - less than 60 percent of women have that same confidence
  • 76 percent of men feel confident about success, but this number drops by nearly 20 percent to 58 percent for women
  • A third of women become managers – but the figure doubles for men


Barclays sees $2 per barrel impact to oil prices as coronavirus fears threaten demand

Updated 28 January 2020

Barclays sees $2 per barrel impact to oil prices as coronavirus fears threaten demand

  • More than 100 people have died and over 4,000 cases of the new virus have been confirmed in China
  • Barclays expects the OPEC and other allies to step in and take further measures to keep the markets tight

BENGALURU: Barclays said on Tuesday oil prices will be impacted by $2 per barrel on the potential economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak in China.
More than 100 people have died and over 4,000 cases of the new virus have been confirmed in China, leading authorities to increase preventive measures, impose travel restrictions and also extend the Lunar New Year holidays to limit the spread of the virus.
The bank sees a $2 per barrel downside to their full-year Brent and WTI forecasts of $62 per barrel and $57 per barrel, respectively.
Compounding the effects of the spillover to economic growth from China and the region, Barclays expects transitory oil demand erosion of about 0.6-0.8 million barrels per day (mb/d) in the first quarter of this year, or 0.2 mb/d for the full year.
“If air passenger traffic in China declined by half in first quarter of 2020, it would likely lead to a 300,000 barrels per day year on year decline in jet-kerosene demand from China,” the bank said adding the fall in road transport would likely be less severe than in the past given reduced reliance on buses.
Barclays expects the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other allies to step in and take further measures to keep the markets tight, in case the fall in demand is more acute.
Oil prices have been down for the last six sessions, but the bank said that the market reaction was likely overdone.
Barclays said the actual economic fallout from the coronavirus could be less severe than the 2003 SARS outbreak, given that the new virus seems less lethal than SARS so far and the measures taken by Chinese authorities.
The bank said the geopolitical risks to global supplies remain high as US-Iran tensions could continue to gradually escalate and oil production in Libya could fall further if the blockade of key infrastructure facilities continues.
Brent crude prices are currently trading around $59 per barrel and US WTI at around at $53 per barrel.