Dubai: A recent research spearheaded by Aurora50 and Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government has revealed that the UAE Government’s consistent efforts to improve gender diversity in the boardrooms have resulted in more women holding board positions, touching 8.9 percent this year, up from 3.5 percent in 2020.
Aurora50 is a social enterprise working towards gender parity in GCC boardrooms.
In a first-of-its-kind study undertaken in the GCC, the report interacted with 16 women who have independent board directorships to understand key steps that aspiring women board directors can proactively take throughout their careers to reach non-executive board roles.
The report, “Non-executive Board Careers in the UAE: A Path to Gender Balance,” revealed that 77 of the 868 board seats from the 115 listed companies on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange and the Dubai Financial Market are now held by women.
The boost to women on boards in the UAE follows the Securities and Commodities Authority setting a quota last year mandating all listed companies in the UAE to appoint at least one woman to their boards.
Ms. Wilde further added that, “It is vital now that boards embracing greater diversity must also ensure they do so through inclusive leadership to reap the rewards of higher performance and profitability.”
Meanwhile, Ms. Fatema Al Nuaimi, Chief Executive Officer for ADNOC LNG, observed that, “ADNOC is committed to supporting gender balance and helping women develop, grow and excel in their careers, which is why we are proud to have collaborated with Aurora50. This important research provides better insight and actionable recommendations to further accelerate gender diversity on boards in support of the national gender balance agenda.”
LEADING BY EXAMPLE
Ms. Al Nuaimi is one of ADNOC Group’s 3 female chief executives, and the energy company has committed to ensuring at least one woman sits on the board of every ADNOC Group company by the end of 2022.
Currently, 16 women sit on its 18 boards. ADNOC has its own gender balance committee and women’s leadership development program, and it was Aurora50’s first corporate client.
Sharing her excitement about the report, Dr. Maryam Buti Alsuwaidi, Chief Executive Officer of UAE Capital Markets regulatory authority, the Securities and Commodities Authority, stated that, “I am delighted by the news that over two years, the market has seen a growth in the number of board seats held by women. Now 59.1 percent of listed companies have at least one woman board member and 8.9 percent of all board members of listed companies being women.”