Dubai, UAE— In a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) study in the MENA region’s accounting profession, 63 percent of women across each of the surveyed MENA regions report experiencing behaviors they perceive to be rooted in bias against people like them.
83 percent of respondents with a disability and 53 percent of female respondents have left an employer due to a lack of DE&I.
The findings of the study were released by Institute of Management Accountants (IMC) and IFAC International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). The release of the “Diversifying Accounting Talent in the MENA region: A Critical Imperative to Achieve Transformational Outcomes” report was part of a series of regional studies.
The diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) research study focuses primarily on gender, nationality, and ability within the MENA region, assessing deeply rooted issues inhibiting DE&I progress within the accounting profession. Importantly, the report offers actionable solutions to help close the gap in DE&I.
The report collated responses to a survey from more than 1,100 current and former accounting professionals in the MENA region and exposes key factors contributing to the underrepresentation of diversity in the profession, particularly at the leadership levels.
Ninety percent of survey respondents identified as being current or former members of the accounting profession in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Lebanon.
The study found that while 66 percent of survey respondents believe the MENA accounting profession to be equitable and inclusive, these numbers dropped significantly when looking at underrepresented demographic groups.
Fewer than 35 percent of women surveyed believe that they receive equitable treatment, operate in an inclusive environment fostered by senior leadership, and have access to the same opportunities, information, support, and resources as their male counterparts.