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March 9, 2021

Gender diversity policies advised

Business

March 9, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has asked listed companies for the formulation and implementation of gender diversity policies to attract and retain talented women, a statement said on Monday.

Pakistan figures fairly low in the Global Gender Gap report index, prepared by the World Economic Forum and there is a strong need to encourage women participation in the workforce, developing in-demand skills, and creating opportunities for women to advance into leadership roles within the corporate sector, it added.

The commission had always been a strong advocate for gender equality, internally and in its regulated sectors, and firmly believes that gender diversity in decision making has a proven correlation with the enhanced financial performance of the corporate sector and the overall growth of the economy.

Promoting gender diversity has also been addressed in the Companies Act, 2017, and the Listed Companies (Code of Corporate Governance) Regulations, 2019, which necessitates all listed companies to have at least one woman director on their boards, the statement said.

In a circular, issued on Monday, the board of directors of the listed companies has been advised to oversee the implementation of gender diversity policies in their companies. The boards have also been asked to conduct gender pay gap analysis within the organisation and formulate policies for the development of skills of their women employees.

The measures for a conducive work environment include, but are not limited to, provision of the daycare facilities, better maternity leaves, robust anti-harassment, and speak-up policies.