Women on Board

On October 20th of 2016, the Lebanese League for Women in Business (LLWB), launched a milestone and daring initiative:  30% Women in the Board Room by 2025.

The initiative is in partnership with the Chambers of Commerce of Beirut and Mount Lebanon (CCIAB), Lebanese Businessmen Association (RDCL), Capital Concept, and International Labor Organization (ILO).  So far 27 seven companies have signed our “Call for Action” and committed to the cause.

The reasons behind this advocacy cause are:

·         Companies that embrace diversity over-perform companies that do not.

·         There are no women on board of Lebanese companies except in family businesses. Adding to that, their participation does not exceed 1%

·         Most women in executive positions are not given the opportunity to move forward or the window to become board members. They simply remain in their current positions for years and decades with no chance of promotion

·         Lack of legislation and public policies that oblige both private and public sectors to choose and promote executive women to board member positions

·         Lack of equal gender balance @ management level

·         The environment and the culture; both are unprepared yet to encourage women to “break the glass ceiling”

LLWB with the help of experts have set the following action plan:

1.    Drafted the needed policy

2.    Are in the middle of writing the draft law to be submitted to the Ministry of Women Affairs

3.    Signed an MOU with the International Labor Organization to do the needed auditing and training for private sector companies

4.    Set a program of training for women executives from different industries to enhance their skills and knowledge (in order to have a group of professional ladies’ ready to become Board Members)

5.    Meeting with different stakeholders from private and public sectors to promote the initiative and engage them in advocating for it. Put them in the right mind set to identify qualified women, work on guiding them through the right career path. To build on their skills, personality and competencies.

6.    Approach companies in Lebanon to join our movement and align their corporate strategies to embrace the “Women on Boardroom” initiative

The above will only materialize if men and women work together to make the change, advocate for a new culture and enhance the knowledge of all qualified women.