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Aurora50 debut summit calls for more women on company boards

ABU DHABI, August 29, 2020

Abu Dhabi-based Aurora50 has announced the successful conclusion of its inaugural two-day virtual Board Summit with announcement of new partnerships and initiatives to boost female representation at board-level.
 
Organised under the patronage of its co-founder Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan and in celebration of Emirati Women’s Day, Aurora50 created discourse between over 500 ministers, seasoned board directors and aspiring female board talent, on how to increase female representation on UAE boards.
 
Opening the event, Sheikha Shamma said: "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 UAE 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," she stated.
 
As part of his keynote address, Abdullah binTouq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy and Chairman, Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (Esca) said: "This year’s Emirati Women’s Day theme underscores the importance our country attaches to tapping into the value of diversity and inclusiveness to bring about a systemic change to boardroom environments."
 
"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," he added.
 
At the event, Sheikha Shamma 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 MoU was signed by Esca CEO Dr Obaid Saif Hamad Al Zaabi and Aurora50 co-founder and Director Diana Wilde in the presence of Sheikha Shamma and Al Marri.
 
The deal is aimed at enabling 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, stated Al Marri.
 
Areas for cooperation include the organisation of training programmes in stock markets and the financial services industry; sharing statistics and exchanging information, expertise, and research; organising specialised conferences, seminars and workshops, as well as collaboration towards qualification, education and awareness.
 
Several other partnerships were also announced 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 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 and Dubai Financial Market.
 
On Manarat (Arabic for lighthouses), Sheikha Shamma said: "What began as a conversation with a select group of female directors holding board seats on locally listed companies, has materialized into a tangible reality that provides female board members the opportunity to support each other and empower other competent women who aspire for board careers."
 
Many of these women only hold 1 board position, therefore there are opportunities for boards to source and interview these women for possible seats in the future," she added.
 
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.-TradeArabia News Service



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