New partnerships to enhance female role at board-level - GulfToday

New partnerships to enhance female role at board-level


The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

Organised under the patronage of Sheikha Shamma Bint Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan and in celebration of Emirati Women’s Day, Aurora50 celebrated the successful conclusion of the inaugural Board Summit. The 2-day virtual event created discourse between over 500 Ministers, seasoned board directors and aspiring female board talent, on how to increase female representation on UAE boards.

Sheikha Shamma Bint Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Co-founder of Aurora50, opened the event with an inspiring address, where she emphasised: “Women are, and will remain, one of the most valuable resources in shaping the future of our nation. It is the responsibility of every organisation to realise this untapped potential and empower these talented individuals to take on the positions that will help them make a difference. On the eve of our Golden Jubilee, as the United Arab Emirates charts its course for the next 50 years, we have the opportunity to achieve so much more and to truly impact change where it matters.”  As part of his keynote address, Abdullah BinTouq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy and Chairman, Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority, ESCA,reiterated: “The UAE’s Vision 2021 clearly reflects the commitment of the UAE government and leadership to improve gender parity as a means to achieve progress. This year’s Emirati Women’s Day theme also underscores the importance of our country attaches to tapping into the value of diversity and inclusiveness to bring about a systemic change to boardroom environments. In light of the current circumstances, it is even more important to expedite the development of women and enable them to assume leadership and board directorships, which in turn is needed for good corporate governance and economic sustainability. Through the implementation of the recently announced flexible package and its plan of 33 initiatives designed to advance the UAE’s economy and boost its business competitiveness, we look forward to creating more promising opportunities for Emirati women.”

At the event, Sheikha Shamma Bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan also announced the signing of a wide-ranging cooperation between the ESCA and Aurora50, outlining areas for cooperation to increase the representation of women on UAE boards.

The Memorandum of Understanding was witnessed by Aurora50 co-founder Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan and Abdullah Bin Touq Al Marri, and signed by ESCA CEO Dr Obaid Saif Hamad Al Zaabi and Aurora50 co-founder and Director, Diana Wilde.

Abdullah Al Marri explained that the signing of the memorandum contributes to accelerating the efforts to empower women economically and enhance their participation in the boards of directors of public and private sector companies, in line with international best practices. These will enable them to play an active role in economic activities and society in general, and allow Emirati women who have proven their leadership and success across diverse sectors to participate in the formulation of policies, strategies and economic decision-making in the corporate and business sectors.

Several other partnerships were also announced at the event, including the signing of Mubadala Investment Company as a ‘Founding Partner’ and First Abu Dhabi Bank, FAB, as a ‘Corporate Partner’ to the 20 for 2020 initiative. In keeping with this year’s Emirati Women’s Day theme, Sheikha Shamma Bint Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan also unveiled ‘Manarat- Women on Boards Network’, the first formal network for women serving on boards of companies listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, ADX, and Dubai Financial Market, DFM.

The ‘Manarat - Women on Boards Network’ has been specially designed to foster nurturing relationships between current female board directors and high-potential and competent female board talent.

Manarat, which is Arabic for ‘lighthouses’, reflects the group’s intent to act as guiding lights to competent women who are working towards building successful board careers. In its inaugural edition, The Board Summit featured a line-up of several noteworthy board directors and business leaders including Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi; Tayba Al Hashemi, CEO, Al Yasat Petroleum and Board Director, ADNOC Onshore, and Mishal Kanoo, Chairman of The Kanoo Group.

The event also provided unique networking opportunities to connect experienced board members with one other, as well as high-potential future board talent. Additionally, a pre-recorded panel discussion on the development of a board talent pipeline moderated by Bloomberg Daybreak Middle East co-anchor Manus Cranny with two panelists - Fatema Al Nuaimi, CEO ADNOC LNG and Chair ADNOC Gender Balance Committee, and Maha AlQattan, Group Chief People Officer, DP World, was made available to Summit attendees to view at their convenience.


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