Telecommunications and IT have traditionally been perceived as male-dominated industries, both in the Middle East and around the world, and to an extent this is the case. You only have to attend a telecoms exhibition or conference in the region to see the gender imbalance.
Women appear to be particularly under-represented at higher levels of the region’s telecoms companies. Until a few years ago, there was not a single female CEO of a telecom operator in the Middle East or Africa, although there were many female executives in other senior roles.
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But there are increasing signs of a significant shift taking place, particularly in the past three or four years, as this Powerlist testifies.
Indeed, there are now at least four female CEOs in charge of some of the region’s biggest and fastest growing operators, and in some of the toughest markets. Talented women also occupy a range of other senior posts, from CFO, to chief legal advisor, chief technology officer and chief engineer, at operators across the Middle East and Africa.
As more women enter the sector, particularly in the engineering roles that tend to offer the best track for promotion, the industry will see a steady rise in the number women occupying director-level positions.
As this Powerlist demonstrates, any perceived gender imbalance is not set in stone, and a vast number of women are already proven leaders in all aspects of the MEA region’s telecoms sector, and their influence can only grow, benefiting the industry and end users on the way.