Women across the region are coming to the forefront as they take on the lead in businesses and across the public sector organizations. Female university graduates outnumber the male graduates in the region, bucking a global trend.
Today women in the Arab world have advanced in industries that were typically male dominated, breaking the proverbial glass ceiling. They lead companies in oil and gas while pioneering the next innovation in cryptocurrencies or fintech. Our latest list of The Middle East’s Most Influential Women honors these high achievers. The list features 100 female executives and businesswomen and 10 women heading government departments in the region.
Unlike in the Western countries where the banking industry is male-dominated, women in the region have made a mark with 29 of the 100 influential women working in the banking and financial services industry. In addition, women have major roles to play as regulators of the economy. The stock exchanges in both Saudi Arabia and Morocco are headed by women while the Road Transport Authority in the U.A.E. and the Central Bank of Egypt are also led by women.
Women across the region are also playing a growing role in the governance of their countries. The region had over 50 women ministers while some of the countries have the most gender diverse cabinets.
This year we have also included expat women in the Middle East who have contributed greatly to regional economy. The list features 16 expat women across industries.
To formulate this ranking of the most influential businesswomen, we considered:
• Revenues of the companies that they lead.
• The title, scope and impact of the role that they perform.
• The amount of experience that they possess.
• The growth of their firm, and other initiatives that they have led in the last three years.
We ranked the top 10 women heading government departments on the basis of:
• The GDP of their countries.
• The scope of their departments.