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  • Publication
    The Business Case for Investing in Women’s Employment in Iraq: Company Insight - Ashur International Bank for Investment - Advancing Women in Business Leadership & Management Banking/ Financial Sector, Iraq
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022) International Finance Corporation; World Bank
    In Iraq, women are generally absent from senior management and leadership positions, with an estimated representation of just 1 percent - even lower than the regional average. Women also account for more than half of the financial sector’s workforce, owing in part to government directives to appoint more females within Iraqi banks. In 2018, with International Finance Corporation (IFC) assistance, the Central Bank of Iraq required that every Iraqi bank’s board of directors should include at least one woman. Many private banks in Iraq are currently developing modern banking practices, with several of them prioritizing gender diversity in leadership positions. This company insight explores the experience of one such Iraqi bank, Ashur International Bank for Investment (Ashur Bank), which has been a pioneer for private banks in recruiting and promoting women to management positions. In Ashur Bank’s experience, these policies have improved the company’s performance, driven economic growth and profitability, and improved innovation. The sample size however is not statistically significant and cannot be used to draw definite conclusions but rather provides anecdotal evidence on the topic of this study.