Ann Gallo, chief communications officer of Hitachi Vantara, recently spoke at The Marketing Society UAE’s Leadership Breakfast, sharing her insights as the GCC technology companies work to close the gender gap and increase corporate competitiveness to unlock nearly $100 trillion in global GDP by 2025.

Women in the GCC represent only two per cent of board positions and 13 per cent of chief executive officers (CEO), according to the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). However, according to the Pearl Initiative, women in the GCC attach high importance to their careers, with 62 per cent of women aspiring to a management role and 50 per cent to a board position.

The ACCA report adds that promoting women into leadership roles could generate $12 trillion to the global annual GDP, or $96 trillion total by 2025. Companies with women in upper-level leadership perform better than average, the Brookings Institute reports.

Companies in the technology field worldwide are already seeing an increase of women in the workplace and in C-suite positions. There is also strong potential for women in the GCC, argues Hitachi Vantara, a global digital transformation enabler.

“Technology has been one of the first sectors to embrace women professionals, from coders to researchers to CEOs. By bringing more women into senior leadership roles, GCC companies can better reflect society and increase profitability and regional GDP growth,” said Gallo.

During her talk, Mary Ann Gallo also addressed how, as one of the company’s leading C-suite woman executives, she led the company’s global rebrand and discussed how to build a purposeful brand.

“A cornerstone of Hitachi Vantara’s brand values is Social Innovation – creating a safer, smarter and healthier future. Social Innovation requires companies to incorporate different opinions and ways of thinking. Women in leadership roles at technology companies are uniquely positioned to take their own experiences and apply them to how their brands can create a better world in the digitally-connected future,” added Gallo.

Across the GCC, national visions such as UAE Vision 2021 and Saudi Vision 2030 are outlining how to boost women’s participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields at university, and how to drive public and private sectors to support women entering the workforce.

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