SBWC to help boost women's leadership role
Sharjah, January 7, 2014
GCC-based The Pearl Initiative has signed a MoU with Sharjah Business Women Council (SBWC) to focus on programmes aimed at helping women enter key executive positions and also as board members of companies in the region.
The Pearl Initiative is a private sector-led, not-for-profit organisation developed in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Partnerships to promote best business practices in the Gulf region.
The agreement was signed between Ameera Abdelrahim Binkaram, the SBWC chairperson and Imelda Dunlop, the executive director of the Pearl Initiative, at a ceremony held at the American University of Sharjah in the presence of Badr Jafar, the founder of the Pearl Initiative and managing director of Crescent Group and Eman Al Mahmoud, the secretary general of the council's executive board.
As a platform for change and development in corporate governance practices across the Gulf Region, the Pearl Initiative will work with SBWC to clearly define the business case for the advancement of women in senior management and board positions in organisations across the GCC, said a statement from SBWC.
The overall aim of the agreement is to develop a first-of-a-kind programme that will inform business leaders on practical methods of attracting, retaining and developing women in senior positions in the UAE and GCC region, and thereby create a larger pool of "board- ready women," it stated
The agreement will enable both organisations to develop insight and increase dialogue among business leaders, academia, the investment community and the media with a view to improving Board diversity, strategic decision making and competitiveness.
"Our primary goal at the SBWC is to encourage women to excel in the field of business and facilitate the healthy growth of women-owned businesses. To this end collaboration among the stakeholders in the business community is essential," remarked Ameera Abdelrahim Binkaram.
"We are therefore extremely pleased to be entering into this agreement with the Pearl Initiative and look forward to seeing the business women in our region reap the rewards of our cooperative efforts," she observed.
The first project, this agreement will facilitate is a major survey of women in senior management and leadership positions within the GCC to examine the processes and procedures that enabled them to reach senior levels in their organisations so these steps can be developed into a framework for assisting career development for women, she added.
Dunlop said the signing of the agreement represents an important step in helping the Pearl Initiative build and raise awareness on the business benefits of advancement of women in decision-making positions.
"In doing this we will be able to improve the dialogue needed to create an environment where women are fundamental to the sustainable success of the Private Sector," observed Dunlop.
“With a focus on preparing the next generation of leaders on the importance of integrity and ethics, we aim to ensure the next generation of women leaders are inspired to pursue the career paths they choose to follow free of glass ceilings,” she stated.
"Both parties will immediately start work on a joint programme to develop important regional insight and foster communication between business leaders," she added.-TradeArabia News Service