AD Ports Group
GLOW (Gain Leadership Opportunities for Women)

Setting the scene

At AD Ports Group, a major company listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is a key pillar of the people development and sustainability agenda.

In 2021, AD Ports Group wanted to proactively establish a talent development strategy to enable its high-potential Emirati women employees to lead change, amid rapid company expansion and international development spurred by changes the Covid-19 global pandemic was bringing worldwide.

Emirati woman on AD Ports Group's GLOW accelerator

AD Ports Group asked Aurora50 to address key points, such as:

CHALLENGES women face in taking their careers to a leadership level.

ACCELERATING the careers of high-potential Emirati women to decision-making levels.

ENCOURAGING women to drive their own career forward in line with an evolving business landscape.

Taking action as a thought leader

DEI being a strategic pillar for AD Ports Group, they kickstarted an initiative to accelerate high potential Emirati women in the organisation. Through this initiative, AD Ports Group aimed to nurture leadership competencies, cultivate positive behavioural changes and enable them to tackle root causes and barriers to growth, that may be present at work or in their personal lives.

How Aurora50 helped

Researched and developed the structure, content, tools and delivery format for GLOW, an in-house leadership accelerator programme designed for AD Ports Group.

Equipped the workshops with design thinking tools and augmented them with inspirational speakers.

Provided participants with support to enhance their growth mindset to align with their career plans within AD Ports Group.

The GLOW accelerator

FOSTERS accountability, vision and action, based on core principles of design thinking, so participants can drive change at an organisational and/ or regional level.

CULTIVATES continuous learning and behavioural change. Examples and activities were taken from participants’ own work context; all tools can be reused in different contexts.

IDENTIFIES specific challenges that women face. These include stakeholder mapping, profile-building, leadership communications and plotting a personalised career growth strategy for each participant.

At the end, participants said:

88% felt more capable of navigating their way to leadership positions


94% were more confident of arriving at their value proposition


84% were more confident in communicating their value to internal stakeholders


Insights actioned into development by participants:


  • More adaptable
  • Boost in confidence, addressing imposter syndrome
  • Effective stress management


  • Views issues from different perspectives
  • Takes accountability for own career growth
  • Improved professional and personal relationships


  • Manages different styles in the team through agile leadership
  • Enhanced communication and strategic thinking
  • Uses mentorship and coaching to lead

What did their teams and leaders notice?

Positive behavioural changes

New approaches to work responsibilities

Handles conflict with greater harmony and confidence

Reduced stress levels

Enhanced communication

Looking to the future

GLOW continues to encourage AD Ports Group’s women to pursue leadership opportunities.

Participants’ potential has been showcased within AD Ports Group, as well as externally.

A second cohort was mobilised with GLOW's concepts embedded into AD Ports Group‘s talent development agenda.

AD Ports Group is running the GLOW (Gain Leadership Opportunities for Women) in-house leadership accelerator with Aurora50 for a second year. GLOW, an eight-week programme customised exclusively for AD Ports Group, focuses on both the personal development and technical capabilities of AD Ports Group’s Emirati women employees.

In launching GLOW, Maitha Al Murar, Group Chief HR Officer, AD Ports Group, said: “With GLOW, AD Ports Group is preparing competent Emirati woman to feel confident in leadership roles, helping their current development and enabling them to feel assured of their value in both business and in society.”

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