(MENAFN - Arab News) Saudi Arabia ranks 44th globally and fifth at the level of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in a list that evaluates countries with women serving on company boards and top managerial levels.
According to the latest report released by MyHiringClub.com, Kuwait ranks 35th globally (first at the GCC level), Oman 37th, Bahrain 40th, UAE 42nd and Saudi Arabia 44th.
GCC economists said local business community is need of women's participation in company boardrooms, particularly following the appointment of 30 women at the Shoura Council.
Economic analyst Walid Al-Subaie said the Kingdom's occupation of this rank demonstrates the importance of activating the role of women in contributing to the business decision-making process.
Saudi Arabia' share is 54 percent of total women labor force in the GCC region, a matter that will allow the women to take serious steps to go beyond their traditional role and make remarkable progress in the area of labor, education, and socioeconomic development, he was quoted by local media as saying.
The presence of more than SR 375 billion as frozen assets in local banks, based on the estimates of the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC), necessitates creation of investment avenues for these huge amounts through productive projects that will, hopefully, raise women's share in the private sector, he said.
Naif Al-Eid, another economic analyst, said the appointment of 30 women to the Shoura Council is poised to open new horizons for women to effectively
contribute in the decision-making process of private sector companies.
He called on the women to have a positive presence at the company boards, especially in the presence of qualified cadres who have benefited from foreign scholarship programs in the last decade.
Last week, an international expert on Shariah-compliant capital markets and treasury, called on Saudi businesswomen to invest their funds which are kept frozen in banks.
Azeemeh Zaheer, vice president of the London-based Gatehouse Bank, who is currently visiting the Kingdom, said Arab women are not only players in economy and development but have become a big financial force, notably after asset build-ups in the Arab counties, in general, and the GCC countries, in particular.
Dean of Jeddah-based Dar Al-Hekma Girls College Suhair Al-Qurashi said Saudi women have become intensively involved in a number of business activities.
Based on the latest data, the number of businesses registered for Saudi women stood at nearly 36,200 which represents 4.7 percent of total registered businesses in the Kingdom, she said.
The volume of women investments in businesses has so far reached SR 3 billion, which represents 4.3 percent of the total number of private sector companies in the Kingdom, she pointed out.