Most of the people on this list have been working their way up a steep career ladder for decades to reach the top of their professions. If there were glass ceilings to be smashed, these are some of the titans that first smashed them.
In the 2020 list, there are 22 new entries and 23 nationalities represented across 28 sectors. Emiratis are the most prevalent nationality with 23 entries. There are also nine Egyptians, eight Lebanese and eight Omani women. British women have the highest representation among non-Arabs, with seven entries. The top 10 is dominated by Saudis, with three of the country’s biggest names in the top five: Samba Financial Group’s Rania Nashar, Tadawul’s Sarah Al Suhaimi and Saudi British Bank’s Lubna Olayan.
Our list was constructed via nominations and through in-depth research based on criteria including the size of the businesses that these women head, their accomplishments over the last year, the initiatives they champion, and their overall work experience.
The majority (79) of the 100 women are self-made, 16 of whom have started their own businesses. And 21 women work in their family businesses, with many of them starting out when it was rare to find women in the workplace. There are 21 women from the banking and financial services sector, including four from stock exchanges and financial regulators.
Please see below for the Middle East's 100 Power Businesswomen 2020.