Aurora50's Pathway20 logo - for gender-balanced boards


The GCC's first accelerator to increase boardroom gender balance

Pathway20 is the region’s only board career accelerator dedicated solely to building the pipeline of highly competent female board directors and connecting them to boards of listed and large-scale private companies. 

Ready to drive diversity at the top?

Play Video about Women of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC LNG). Picture courtesy ADNOC

Video: Three ADNOC Pathway20 participants talk about the results: read script


Anchor partner

Founding partner

Mubadala logo

Corporate partners

How is Pathway20 unique?

Pathway20 offers a distinctive framework to support women in their early board careers.

Through a targeted 12-month programme, women discover what it takes to build a successful board career and how to really add value in the boardroom. 

Pathway20 offers unmatched networking opportunities, connecting participants from the GCC’s largest and most influential organisations, who collectively showcase their wealth of experience across a broad range of industries.

This is a fast and effective opportunity for a board-ready woman to accelerate her impact, as she learns from the first-hand experiences of brilliant directors and board advisors. 

Through workshops, discussions and one-to-ones, participants learn to add value in the boardroom, connect with seasoned directors and get exposure to all the skills needed to build a board career. 

Boards are actively involved in resolving perceived talent gaps, improving gender parity and creating an ecosystem where corporations have access to exceptional female talent.

Are you ready for Pathway20?

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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 simultaneously building the pipeline of competent women and connecting them to current board directors and chairs, Aurora50 believes we will reduce the network gap between boards and talent and that we can reach a ratio of women holding 20 percent of UAE-listed board seats within a decade.

As such, we commit to connecting each Pathway20 participant to at least 20 boards. This theory of change is the driving force that informs all aspects of Pathway20.

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 36 CPD points (hours) for completing Pathway20.

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

“ADNOC has an unwavering commitment in supporting females to grow, develop and excel in their careers, which is why we are proud to be an anchor partner of the Pathway20 initiative. We believe that gender diversity in leadership positions contributes to innovative thinking that drives competitive advantage. As we seek to contribute towards our nation’s prosperity, this programme will build a pipeline of female talent in leadership positions.”

Fatema Al Nuaimi, CEO, ADNOC LNG, and chair of the ADNOC Gender Balance Committee

Fatema Al Nuaimi, Chief Executive Officer, ADNOC LNG
Homaid Al Shimmari, Deputy Group CEO and Chief Corporate & Human Capital Officer in Mubadala Investment Company

“At Mubadala, we recognise that women’s equality and empowerment is not only vital for society but is also valuable for our business and the community. As a partner of the Pathway20 initiative, we are keen to continue working together to ensure talented women assume leadership roles across the region.”

Homaid Al Shimmari, deputy group CEO, chief corporate and human capital officer, Mubadala Investment Company

Pathway20 alumni news

Pathway20 initiative

Your team members will join a robust peer network

Pathway20 peer network collage: Far left: HE Sara Awadh Musallam, Chair of Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge, member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and vice-chair of Du; second left: HE Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology and chair of the UAE Space Agency; middle: HE Huda AlHashimi, Deputy Minister of Cabinet Affairs for Strategic Affairs; second right: Dr Aisha bin Bishr, Vice-chair of Emaar Development; far right: Sangeeta Desai, board director, Anton; NED to Boat Rocker Media​

L-R: HE Sara Awadh Musallam, Chair of Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge, member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and vice-chair of Du; HE Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology and chair of the UAE Space Agency; HE Huda AlHashimi, Deputy Minister of Cabinet Affairs for Strategic Affairs; Dr Aisha bin Bishr, Vice-chair of Emaar Development; Sangeeta Desai, board director, Anton and NED to Boat Rocker Media

Steering committee

Chaired by Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa al Nahyan, our steering committee comprises our co-founders and senior representatives from leading organisations with considerable boardroom experience.

The committee members provide high-level oversight and practical support to the initiative, ensuring that the development programme is relevant to future board directors, in line with global and regional trends. 

Think tank

Commitment to making a positive impact on the region's business ecosystem
Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, co-founder Aurora50 (ADMO)

Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa al Nahyan

Steering committee chair; co-founder, Aurora50
Diana Wilde, co-founder of Aurora50

Diana Wilde

Co-founder, Aurora50

Strategic corporates

Growing from within, delivering quality service and protecting shareholder interests
Fatema Al Nuaimi, Chief Executive Officer, ADNOC LNG

Fatema Al Nuaimi

Ahmed Sari Al Mazrouei, Senior Advisor, Mubadala Investment Company

Ahmed Sari Al Mazrouei

Senior advisor, Mubadala Investment Company

Independent directors

Successfully transitioning to non-executive board roles and holding multiple assignments
Sangeeta Desai, board director, Anton; NED to Boat Rocker Media​

Sangeeta Desai

Independent director, various entities
Mustafa Kheriba, Iceberg Capital Executive Chairman and Venom Foundation board member

Mustafa Kheriba

Independent director, various entities


Compliance, navigating complexities and building value together with the public sector
HE Dr Maryam Buti Al Suwaidi, CEO, Emirates Securities & Commodities Authority (SCA)​

HE Dr Maryam Buti Al Suwaidi

CEO, Emirates Securities & Commodities Authority (SCA)

Questions? Connect with us

There are two ways to connect with the Pathway20 team:

1. Send us a message

1. Schedule a call

2. Subscribe to our newsletter

to access practical tips for building a board career, stay up to date on enrolment opportunities, hear from board peers and much more.


Our partners are forwardthinking organisations making tangible shifts towards a more gender-balanced ecosystem. Leading by example, these organisations are building internal talent pipelines, thus demonstrating their commitment to board-level gender diversity. Additionally, they provide us with pragmatic guidance in shaping our annual programme and, ultimately, the boards of tomorrow.

Anchor partner

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) logo


ADNOC is one of the world’s leading diversified energy and petrochemicals groups with a daily output of about 3 million barrels of oil and 10.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas. With 14 specialist subsidiary and joint venture companies, ADNOC is a primary catalyst for the UAE’s growth and diversification.

Founding partner

Mubadala logo


Mubadala Investment Company is a sovereign investor managing a global portfolio, aimed at generating sustainable financial returns for the Government of Abu Dhabi. Mubadala’s $232 billion (AED 853 billion) portfolio spans six continents with interests in multiple sectors and asset classes. We leverage our deep sectoral expertise and long-standing partnerships to drive sustainable growth and profit, while supporting the continued diversification and global integration of the economy of the United Arab Emirates. Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, Mubadala has offices in London, Rio de Janeiro, Moscow, New York, San Francisco and Beijing.

Corporate partners

FAB (First Abu Dhabi Bank) logo

FAB is the UAE’s largest bank and one of the world’s largest and safest financial institutions. FAB’s vision is to create value for its employees, clients, customers, shareholders and communities to grow stronger through differentiation, agility and innovation. Aligned to the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision, inspired by global standards and guided by the expectations of stakeholders, FAB takes a leading role in fostering development and driving change towards a more sustainable future.

AD Ports Group logo

Abu Dhabi Ports is the region’s premier facilitator of logistics, transport, and trade, bridging Abu Dhabi with the world. Established in 2006, the company owns and manages 11 ports and terminals in the UAE and Guinea, alongside KEZAD Group, the largest integrated trade, logistics, and industrial business portfolio in the Middle East. Abu Dhabi Ports is part of ADQ, one of the region’s largest holding companies with a broad portfolio of major enterprises spanning key sectors of Abu Dhabi’s diversified economy.

Sandooq Al Watan (SAW) logo

Sandooq Al Watan is a community initiative launched by Emirati businessmen seeking to promote social cohesion, in line with the UAE leadership’s vision of a sustainable future for the country and its citizens. It also reflects the private sector’s commitment to social responsibility and positive role in supporting social development projects and plans. For more info:

Americana logo (square)

Americana Restaurants is a trailblazer in the MENA region and Kazakhstan’s Out of Home Dining industry, and among the world’s leading operators of QSR and casual dining restaurants. With a diverse portfolio of iconic global brands and a dominant regional footprint, they have delivered consistent growth and innovation for over half a century – to now stand alone in the market. The millions of customers they serve each day are placed at the heart of their omni-channel universe. Their dedicated team of over 40,000 talented women and men work with pride and purpose to create memorable moments through fantastic food, superior service and exceptional experiences.

Knowledge partners

Our knowledge partners contribute to the annual Pathway20 development programme and raise awareness for board-level gender balance.

ADGM (Abu Dhabi Global Market) logo

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) opened for business on 21 October 2015. ADGM’s strategy is anchored by Abu Dhabi’s key strengths panning over private banking, wealth management, asset management, derivatives and commodities trading, financial innovation, sustainability and more. ADGM comprises of three authorities: ADGM Courts, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority and the Registration Authority.

ADX (Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange) logo

Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) was established on November 15 of the year 2000 by Local Law No. (3) Of 2000, the provisions of which vest the market with a legal entity of autonomous status, independent finance and management. The Law also provides ADX with the necessary supervisory and executive powers to exercise its functions. ADX is a market for trading securities; including shares issued by public joint stock companies, bonds issued by governments or corporations, exchange traded funds, and any other financial instruments approved by the UAE Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA)

DFM (Dubai Financial Market) logo

Dubai Financial Market (DFM) is the region’s leading capital market operating as a secondary market for the trading of securities issued by public shareholding companies, bonds issued by federal or local governments, local public institutions and mutual funds as well as other local or foreign DFM approved financial instruments. DFM’s continuous efforts and strategic initiatives have further reinforced Dubai as a centre of excellence in this part of the world and enhanced its leading position as a sustainable capital market which embraces international best practices to provide stakeholders with innovative services in conducting trading, settlement and depository of securities, in an efficient, transparent and liquid environment.

Create a balanced future

You can help create a world we can all be proud of

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