Opening the boardroom door for you

Due to popular demand, Aurora50 has created Gateway, a live, virtual programme for senior women executives in the GCC region.

It will help you understand board essentials and the skillset needed to achieve your first board seat.

Gateway is for the woman who wants to fully understand the essentials of committees, boards and skills needed for the boardroom, so she can proactively map a route to her first appointment and add the most value once there.

Price: Dh6,600 + VAT (5%)

Next start date – TBC

Middle Eastern women work together

What is Gateway?

The workshops will be delivered by certified coaches, trainers and experienced, current regional board directors, to educate you on boardroom basics, the different board types and cultures – from family businesses to not-for-profits and government subsidiary board – and how to align local regulations to international standards.

Gateway will teach you how to:

Market, lobby and position yourself as a board candidate

Create a personal development plan to hone a board director’s skillset

Strategically network, locally and internationally.


Executive director, INSEAD Corporate Governance Centre

Board member, Anghami

Provost and vice-principal, Herriot Watt University

Chief investment officer and professional non-executive director,  Knowledge Fund, Government of Dubai

Partner, head of corporate governance, KPMG Lower Gulf

Why Gateway?

Whether you want your first board seat in one year or 10 years, create a plan to find a board or committee role within your organisation or externally.

Sharpen your awareness about what boards do, the different types of boards and committees, which type of board is right for you, your skillset and goals.

Evaluate why a board career is important to you, and learn how you can champion yourself and become highly visible in your organisation.

Analyse and build your personal development plan by matching skills and competencies that will be in demand in future board positions, from environmental, social and governance (ESG) to cyber-security and corporate governance.

Develop an action plan through real-life application to your own board journey and peer-to-peer feedback cycles.

What will Gateway teach me?

Content is delivered over six weeks and across three modules; participants should spend no more than around five hours per module, including pre-reading, in-person virtual workshops and assignments.

There will be three virtual, live workshops:

The boardroom defined. What do boards do and what is their purpose? Introduction to modern corporate governance and ethics. What makes a board effective?

Financial essentials and new skills for future board directors. Identifying how to read between the lines of financial statements, financial red flags and exploring future board member skills.

Profile-building - the essentials of building your board brand. Preparing your board bio and CV. How to position yourself as a board candidate. Building your own 'advisory board', support system and trusted circle.

You can also expect to learn about boardroom culture and nuances in the GCC and local regulations versus international standards.

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Choose Aurora50: Proven, trusted UAE board experience

Aurora50 blends our trainers’ expertise with our own extensive, local industry knowledge – honed through experience from our Pathway20 independent board director accelerator and the invite-only Manarat club for the GCC’s female listed board directors – to deliver you a proven and trusted action plan to help you kickstart your board career as a woman.

Since 2020, Aurora50’s UAE-based co-founders, Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan and Diana Wilde, have lobbied for gender balance in the workplace, starting with the board.

In that time, the UAE has introduced a quota for women on boards and seen the number of women holding board positions more than double, from 3.5 percent in 2020 to 8.9 percent in 2022.

Three of our Pathway20 alumna have secured independent, listed board seats, and the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change specifically mentions Aurora50’s relationship with the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) in its report on the modernisation of the Middle East as an example of “pioneering Middle Eastern women and women-led initiatives” driving “positive change and equality” in finance.

Our theory of change

There is a large disconnect between female board talent in the UAE and boards that are looking to appoint women board directors, often caused by women’s lack of network access to board members.

By building the pipeline of competent women to take board seats, Aurora50 believes we can reach a ratio of women holding 20 percent of UAE-listed board seats within a decade.

Through Gateway, we will teach you how to identify boards you can add value to and charter your journey to success.

CPD accredited

Aurora50 is a member of Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Continuing professional development shows a commitment to ongoing lifelong learning.

You can be credited for a minimum of 9 CPD points (hours) for completing Gateway.

Accredited CPD training means the learning activity has reached the required CPD standards and benchmarks, and has been scrutinised rigorously to ensure integrity and quality.

Aurora50 has been a member of the CPD Standards Office (CPDSO) since May 2022.

Accredited CPD course logo | CPD provider 22436, 2022-2024


Gateway, a live, virtual programme to open the boardroom door to senior women executives in the GCC region.

Learn how to navigate your way to the top and get insights on how to champion DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) in your organisation.