ADNOC’s Pathway to gender balance by Thuraya Al Maskari, Vice President, Group Corporate Governance at ADNOC

Nothing makes me happier than seeing Emirati women take their role and assume their rightful place in society.” These words of the late Sheikh Zayed encapsulate ADNOC’s spirit as a leading light in gender parity.

At ADNOC, we are committed to fostering and supporting the development of talented women into business leaders. In the words of H.E. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and ADNOC MD & Group CEO: “At ADNOC we recognize the value of gender equality and women empowerment, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it makes business sense.”

The UAE’s visionary leadership and national agenda towards gender diversity has always been an inspiration to us. Third party research and success stories further served as a catalyst to our commitment to gender balance, which is rooted in the belief that diversity in leadership can add different perspectives, leading to more innovative business solutions.

At ADNOC, we strive to promote gender diversity and translate the country’s strategies into our day-to-day practices, which in turn feeds our drive for excellence and innovation.

ADNOC leaders have ensured that the ‘tone-from-the-top’ cascades through the organisation, driving a culture of diversity through the Group, supported by structures and systems that ensure that women can develop their careers and move into higher management and leadership roles, like any of their male peers.

Today, women within the ADNOC Group assume challenging roles and surpass expectations – as board members, CEOs, senior executives and site operation managers. Let’s pause for a second and look at the numbers –

  • 3 women appointed in CEO positions
  • Women comprise over 17% of management roles at ADNOC
  • Female representation on 15 of the 17 Group’s boards
  • A total of 22 female board directors across the Group

At ADNOC, the first step in building a successful diversity strategy is identifying high potential talent, and then developing them into leaders who can occupy critical roles. ADNOC provides a robust support system for talented female leadership aspirants, through a network of mentors who provide advice and guidance, while ensuring that their mentees’ hard work and achievements are visible to top leadership.

In a nutshell, ADNOC’s development programs equip its women with skills that increase our confidence, which in turn helps us reach out for the stretch opportunities that will deliver long-term success for us, individually, and for the ADNOC Group.

If I look back at the year that was, ADNOC’s strong resilience and business continuity amidst the impacts of COVID-19 are perhaps in part due to our diverse workforce and leadership, who collectively rose to the challenges presented by the pandemic.

In conclusion, as the world continues to be dynamic, I hope that like ADNOC – more companies will invest in developing their talented female employees for leadership and board roles. After all, championing diversity is good business, and good for business.

ABOUT THURAYA AL MASKARI

Thuraya is the Vice President of Corporate Governance for the ADNOC Group.  She has led the ADNOC Group’s efforts to develop strategies and structures that optimize governance and unlock opportunities for a global organization since 2016 when she was handpicked to establish a new Corporate Governance department for ADNOC. 

Thuraya continues to champion ADNOC’s corporate governance practice and is adept at operating alongside a diverse array of executives, board members and senior stakeholders. She plays an integral part in defining and supporting the delegation of authorities across the ADNOC Group so that information flows effectively and the foundations for decisions are solid.

Prior to her current role, Thuraya spent over a decade using her geological qualifications in various technical related roles. Thuraya is an active member and/or officer of a number of key committees, the memberships of which include ADNOC’s executive leadership and she uses the platform her connections afford her to promote diversity and Emiratization at all levels of the ADNOC Group. Thuraya holds a BA, Ecology and Geosciences from Monash University, Australia and is a director of ADNOC Reinsurance.