Diana Wilde, co-founder of Aurora50, talks to Business Breakfast’s Richard Dean about the number of board member seats held by women in the UAE more than doubling to almost nine percent in two years. and the method behind the research report
Ms Wilde told Business Breakfast that incremental changes to the number of women of boards is now “accelerating” and that some 59 percent of the 115 companies listed in the UAE have at least one woman on their board, mentioning “trailblazers” like HE Dr Aisha bint Butti Bin Bishr,
vice chairperson of Emaar Development.
She said the quota implemented last year “is working well” and that where new companies were being listed via initial public offerings (IPOs), appointments of women to their boards were happening “straightaway”.
[See the interview on Dubai One.]
Over-boarding ‘spreads directors thinly’
Discussing the research report Non-executive Board Careers in the UAE: A Path to Gender Balance published by Aurora50 and the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG) and sponsored by ADNOC, Ms Wilde also talked about the issue of ‘over-boarding’ board directors of both sexes, when a single board director holds multiple board roles for different organisations.
While it can be “easier” to look for people who already have board experience, she said, as those directors get spread “more thinly”, it impacts the value they add within boardrooms.
Instead, she advised, boards need to improve the pipeline of talent so it is “really full”, to bring more men and women to the board and to “start earlier” in preparing people for boards, recognising talent early and, particularly, getting women in executive positions much earlier in their careers and into not-for-profit board seats to gain access to the boardroom and “build their credibility” at an early stage.
‘Connecting the dots’
Aurora50’s Pathway20 accelerator programme, Ms Wilde said, “connects the dots” for women who lack connections and boards who “don’t necessarily know these ladies exist”.
Read about the five steps aspiring board directors need to take to reach an independent role in 10-15 years and download the full research report for free.
In full in this episode of Dubai Eye 103.8’s Bitesize Business Breakfast: Almost half of UAE companies are budgeting for higher salaries during their annual pay reviews this year, as inflation increases the cost of living globally, according to a new report. Robert Richter, Middle East head of data business for human capital solutions at Aon explains the finding of the report. Plus, the number of board member seats held by women in the UAE has more than doubled in two years. Diana Wilde, Co-Founder, Aurora50 joined us to explain the method behind their research. And Emirates says it is seeing record booking levels for summer travel out of the UAE.