Dubai Women Establishment Participates in First Power Breakfast on Board Diversity

14 December, 2010
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Under the patronage of HH Sheikha Manal Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Initiative first in a series of activities jointly developed by Dubai Women Establishment and Mudara Institute of Directors aimed at increasing the representation of women in senior executive roles.

Building on Dubai Women Establishment’s strategy of supporting the empowerment of women in the workplace, overcoming the gender gap in the region’s corporate world and growing the leadership presence of women in the boardroom, the DWE participated in the first Power Breakfast on Board Diversity, organised by “Mudara” Institute of Directors.
Held under the patronage of HH Sheikha Manal Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Women Establishment and wife of HH Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, the Power Breakfast took place on December 14 at the Gate Village, Dubai, and was the first in a series of activities and initiatives developed by Mudara Institute in partnership with DWE that are aimed at increasing representation of women directors or boards and in senior executive positions.
Bringing together regional and international women business leaders, the initiative aims to empower and expand the role of women in the region’s corporate world and to highlight the business case for greater diversity in the region’s board rooms as one of the key strategies to address the region’s corporate governance challenge of building independent directors.
“Working with Mudara on this initiative supports DWE’s goal of providing continuous opportunities to working women to enhance the hard and soft skills required to progress to senior leadership roles in their careers. The glass ceiling continues to exist when it comes to women having a significant presence in senior executive roles within the region’s business landscape. Initiatives such as these help raise awareness on the challenges and opportunities that continue to play a role in achieving a more equitable gender balance in the boardroom.”  Says Shamsa Saleh, CEO DWE
Dr Nasser Saidi, Executive Director of Hawkamah Institute, commented, “Mudara and Hawkamah strongly believe that regional women leaders are the most untapped source of value and innovation that regional companies can access for more independent thinking and for better governance practices in Boardrooms throughout the GCC. Our initiative is aimed at strengthening boards, improving the representation of women and moving towards greater gender equality. ”
The “Women on Board” initiative has a number objectives, which are: Identify regionally-specific issues and challenges faced by women leaders as they enter Boardrooms. Develop a network of women entrepreneurs, business and political leaders that can take a more active role in corporate governance advocacy. Build the capacity of these women leaders to serve as professional Directors through Hawkamah and Mudara accredited and widely-respected Director development process. Mobilise the network of business leaders to empower more women to take on more leadership roles in the region’s Boardrooms through a range of activities, including advocacy, workshops and one-to-one mentoring.
During the event, participants were acquainted with strategies and tools that could enhance the ability of women business leaders to effectively serve in the region’s board rooms. The two-hour event included a series of thought-provoking sessions led by professional executive coaches and leading regional executives from the fields of business, corporate governance and finance, that explored such topics as the business case for board diversity, a reality check on regional board practices and a woman’s perspective on dynamics in the region’s male-dominated boardrooms.

Shamsa Saleh – CEO of Dubai Women Establishment

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