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

  • A five-step framework for accelerating female board careers
  • Latest numbers for women on listed boards in the UAE

In collaboration with

Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG) logo

Strategic partner

ADNOC logo (small portrait)


In 2020, women held 3.5 percent of all board positions in the UAE. The next year, the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) set a quota for all listed companies to put at least one woman on their boards by 2025. As of June 2022, women hold 8.9 percent of the 868 listed board seats in the UAE.

It is solid progress in two years, but how can we accelerate it? What can organisations do to help put more women on boards? And how can women themselves clear the pathway to the board?

To find the answers, Aurora50, a social enterprise working to increase board-level diversity in the UAE, teamed up with the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG) to conduct a research, sponsored by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).

From our research, we believe there are five steps that will take an aspiring woman through to her first non-executive board director appointments in 10-15 years or even less: 1) plan; 2) build; 3) brand; 4) sustain; and 5) give.

In the report:

  • Latest statistics for UAE board seats, plus international and regional data
  • Timeline of UAE progress for women at work and on boards
  • Full five-step checklist for women to get their first independent board directorship
  • What organisations can do to help women get a board seat
  • What supportive men at an executive or board level can do to help women reach the board

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

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