On March 20, 2023, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Kuwait, KPMG conducted its women-led event ProudCast to celebrate the contributions of women to business and to inspire young women. The hybrid event promoted the 2023 International Women’s Day theme, “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality,” and discussed the issues and inequalities that might be hindering women’s advancement. that might be affecting women’s growth.

In her speech, Karen Watts, Partner — Quality and Risk, KPMG in Kuwait, said, “While International Women’s Day has been with us for over a 100 years and much progress has been made, there remains more to do to achieve gender equality as a basic human right for all women. Globally, KPMG has set an intention to have women in 33 percent of leadership roles by 2025, which includes partners and directors. This represents a third of our leadership across the globe and will help drive our commitment to advancing gender equality, across all KPMG member firms. As of 30 September 2022, women represented 33% of the people of KPMG Kuwait. This is an encouraging start but requires our continued focus and efforts to ensure that women are equally represented at all levels and that we achieve and exceed this global target.”

The key points that emerged from the discussions highlighted the increase in the number of women in the finance and tech sectors, owing to their diverse outlook. However, attracting more female talent will require drastic shifts in recruitment methods and fostering a strong people-based culture. The event shed light on factors that may inhibit women’s performance at work and stressed on addressing unconscious biases, having a strong support system and transparent communication, and being vocal and confident in the face of adversity as potential measures to tackle them. Women are capable, relentless and solution-oriented, and these traits can be reinforced further by able female mentorship, compassion and further investment in female talent.

ProudCast comes in close succession of the launch of GCC Female Leaders Outlook 2022, a report by KPMG in Kuwait, which provided a collection of insights based on the findings gathered from 60+ female leaders in the GCC region. The women-centric thought leadership publication called attention to the gender gap in the digital age, which motivation alone cannot bridge. It pointed out that the change in needs has to be matched with the change in mindset that supports the roles women play now and will take up in newer realities. The report also illustrated that majority of the female leaders are confident of their growth prospects and are on top of their career progress paths. However, facilitating sustained realization of their potential necessitates rearranging employee value propositions and addressing gender concerns.