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Dubai Women Establishment, Hawkamah IOD sign MoU

Strategy to focus on corporate governance, training initiatives and developing a growing pool of UAE women directors that can serve in board-level positions.

Dubai Women Establishment today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Hawkamah, the Institute for Corporate Governance (HICG), aimed at creating a framework to advocate greater female representation in directorship positions in both the public and the private sectors.

The MOU was signed by HE Mona Al Marri, Chairperson of the Dubai Women Establishment board and Director General of Dubai Media Office, and HE Hamad Buamim, Chairman of Hawkamah.

Under the Royal Patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Women Establishment, wife of HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, UAE, the MoU will focus on areas of cooperation and will include opportunities for all signatories to participate in knowledge sharing activities and research, report creation and strengthening corporate government frameworks to encourage greater female participation at the board level.

The MoU also envisages future collaborations relating to research studies, creating networking opportunities on a national, regional and international level and developing a communications and awareness-raising strategy aimed at advocating greater gender diversity in the boardroom

The MoU will also see DWE being addressed as a Strategic Partner to the HICG Women Directors Program (WDP) 2015.

Commenting on the MoU, HE Mona Al Marri, Chairperson of the Board of Dubai Women Establishment and Director General of Dubai Media Office, said: “This MoU falls in line with the vision of Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Women Establishment, advocating gender diversity across various spheres of development. The MoU also complements the “Women in Boards Initiative” which was launched by Her Highness in 2010, and served as the impetus behind the launch of the ministerial decree that stipulated the presence of women in boardrooms at the government level.”

By collaborating with entities that share our common goals, we believe we can influence the public and private sector to show a stronger commitment towards achieving greater gender diversity in the boardroom. This can be achieved by jointly focusing our efforts on increasing internal capacities through training, raising awareness through a clearly developed communications strategy and working to strengthen corporate governance frameworks that support female representation in the boardroom,” She added.

H.E. Hamad Buamim, Chairman of HICG said: “Women have excelled in all economic activities as entrepreneurs and managers; it is time for their achievements to be reflected through their presence on corporate boards. Boardroom diversity is proven to have a positive impact on board and company performance. It is good for women directors but equally important; it has proven to be good for companies.”

Furthermore, the agreement reflects DWE’s ongoing efforts to encourage and facilitate the active participation of Emirati women in the economy and create corporate governance frameworks that support and encourage greater female participation in the workplace and their progression to positions of leadership. Working together with Hawkamah will help build positive perceptions on women in the boardroom, offer opportunities for mentorship among senior business women and encourage women entrepreneurs, business and political influencers to play a greater advocacy role and influence policy change that supports the rise of the percentage of women serving in board level positions.

Similarly, through this collaboration with DWE, Hawkamah aims to further align their goals towards nurturing a culture that believes in the long-term presence of women in the boardroom and works towards making it a reality in this region.

The Directors Development Program will focus on reaching out to leading educational institutes, local, regional and international business organizations and assessing the impact of policy changes. Access to DWE’s network of inspiring women leaders in both the public and private sectors will immeasurably strengthen the program’s efforts and will positively influence women empowerment in the region.