About Aurora50

Aurora50 was co-founded by Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan and Diana Wilde in 2020 with a powerful vision: to achieve gender balance in the workplace.

A UAE-based social enterprise, our first – successful – initiative has been to increase the number of women on boards in the UAE through the Pathway20 accelerator programme and Manarat invite-only  club for regional women who are independent board directors. We have now expanded our focus to support listed corporations, large private organisations and high-growth businesses alike with all their diversity, equity and inclusion (also known as DE&I, D&I, DEI, DEIB or EDI) needs.

The Accelerator for Internal Management (AIM) is a customised executive leadership development accelerator for high-potential women leaders and executives and Gateway gives executive women the tools to seek out their first board position, while our Table Talks are a series of curated discussions to build inclusive leaders and teams by exploring diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) issues and tackling unconscious bias. Aalam Games are a fun way to kickstart your company’s DEI journey.​

Talented men and women thrive in organisations that provide equal opportunities, which need to attract, retain and promote new staff to create the balanced, performance-led businesses they wish to become. From first-time managers all the way to the boardroom, Aurora50 develops inclusive leaders and environments, finding solutions to your DEI goals.

A50 Aalam Games Diversity Matters game

Social impact of Aurora50 initiatives

Aurora50 helps organisations with their environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) ratings, in line with the United Nations’ sustainable development goal 5 (SDG 5) of gender equality.

The UN 2030 Agenda has been adopted by the UAE to align with its national development plan, Centennial 2071 (previously Vision 2021). 


Middle Eastern women work together

AIM: Executive leadership development course

This Accelerator for Internal Management (AIM) is a tailor-made executive leadership development course that enables participants to create a career roadmap, identify key stakeholders within the company for career progression and to convey their value proposition while better aligning with company growth objectives.

Who is it for? High-potential women leaders and executives

Pathway20: Accelerator for early-stage female board directors

A 12-month accelerator for early-stage female board directors with curated workshops, practical case studies & simulations and mentoring from non-executive directors (NEDs) with 10+ years of board experience, getting participants connected to 20+ boards of listed and large-scale private companies.

Who is it for? Female C-suite (executive management) and early-stage board directors looking to expand their board portfolio

A photo of young and smiling Arab businesswoman gesturing while giving presentation. Emirati business people are wearing traditional clothes of those and abaya. Multi-ethnic colleagues are listening to her very carefully. All are in brightly lit office.

Manarat: Connecting female NEDs of listed companies

Aurora50’s network of female NEDs in the GCC, these women directors connect with Pathway20 participants to bridge the systemic issue of a networking gap for women.

Who’s it for? Current regional‭ ‬women board directors

Table Talks‭: Create inclusive leaders & teams

A series of curated discussions to build inclusive leaders and teams by exploring diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) issues, tackling unconscious bias, understanding best practices and getting practical support.‬

Who’s it for? Whole organisations

Aalam Games: To kick-start your DEI journey

Board and card games to kick-start your DEI journey for leadership, management and teams across the organisation.

Who’s it for? Whole organisations

Emirati Women’s Day: Team-building experience

Team-building experience to celebrate the UAE’s progress in inclusion on the occasion of Emirati Women’s Day.

Who’s it for? Whole organisations

Bespoke research

Aurora50 recently published a research report, in collaboration with the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government and sponsored by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, looking at the progress of female board directors in the UAE and put together a 5-step framework for women to achieve their first board position within 10-15 years. We are happy to discuss your research needs.

Who’s it for? Whole organisations

Our founders

Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, co-founder of Aurora50 and CEO and founder of Alliances for Global Sustainability

Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan

Sheikha Shamma is a progressive, entrepreneurial member of the Royal Family of the United Arab Emirates, sharing the vision established by her beloved great-grandfather and the UAE’s founding ruler, HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, for the sustainable development of the UAE and its people, particularly in education, culture and the empowerment of women and youth.

A philanthropist and published author, as well as co-founding Aurora50, she is chief executive of Alliances for Global Sustainability, founder of RESET MENA, and founder of the Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan Sustainability Initiatives. She also serves as a member of the UAE’s Circular Economy Council, Yale’s Center for Environmental Law and Policy Advisory Board and the Industry and Academic Advisory Board for the Academy of International Business MENA. In 2020, the Emirates Green Building Council appointed her as honorary president.

Sheikha Shamma is a graduate of the University of Cambridge with a master’s degree in sustainability leadership.

Aurora50 co-founder Diana WIlde

Diana Wilde

Ms Wilde is a business leader with more than 20 years’ experience in strategy and business development.

An impact entrepreneur, she has substantial experience growing businesses in the information services, training and events industries. A business and finance graduate from the University of Westminster, she is certified in IDEO’s Advanced Design Thinking.

Ms Wilde has always been passionate about making a difference and building communities, particularly in the area of diversity and inclusion. She is also a committee member for the Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT) Middle East.

You can find out more about the rest of the team in this blog post celebrating our second birthday.

Aurora50 Team

Daniel Dean
Performance Manger
Kamille Marchant
Operations and Logistics
Tori DaHarb
Adnan Arif

Number of women on listed boards in the UAE more than doubles in two years:

Non-executive board careers in the UAE: A path to gender balance