(left) Naeema Ahli, Director of Corporate Support and Acting CEO of Dubai Women Establishment (DWE), and Sultana Saif, Director of the Women Development Department at DWE Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: As many as 20 Emirati women who are leaders in their fields in the UAE’s public and private sector will be participating in London for the ‘Women on International Boards’ programme organised by Dubai Women Establishment (DWE), which kicks off tomorrow, May 30.

The programme is held under the patronage of Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council and President of Dubai Women Establishment, wife of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court.

The programme will run till June 5.

In cooperation with DWE, the Institute of Directors (IoD) has specifically customised the programme with training materials curated by “leaders with global experiences”. The programme targets women leaders in various governmental, semi-governmental and private sectors of the UAE and has 20 participants. It aims to reinforce learning from peers and the importance of benefiting from practical solutions for effective management.

The programme aligns with the framework to enhance the role of women in shaping the economic and social future of Dubai – it focuses on highlighting the vital role of women as members of boards of directors in various local and global institutions. The programme also aims to improve the professional and leadership capabilities of women and to provide Emirati women participating in the programme with practical leadership skills and high-level professional and administrative skills.

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The participants in the programme belong to a variety of governmental and semi-governmental institutions as well as the private sector, including: Prime Minister’s Office, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs - Dubai, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Financial Audit Authority Dubai, Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), Dubai Future Foundation, Government of Dubai Media Office, Dubai Media Corporation, Dubai Women Establishment, Mohammed Bin Rashid Housing Establishment, The Emirates Group, Abu Dhabi Government Support Department, Abu Dhabi securities Exchange, ADNOC, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Emirates Global Aluminum Company, Zayed University, and Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange.

Leading generation

Naeema Ahli, Director of Corporate Support and Acting CEO of Dubai Women Establishment, said the DWE, under the directives Sheikha Manal, is always keen to improve and equip Emirati women with the necessary skills required to deal with strategic challenges and providing them with the capabilities that qualify them to play an important role in local and global institutions which contributes to shaping the future and achieving results in the field of leadership.

Sultana Saif, Director of the Women Development Department at DWE, said that the support and keenness of the UAE government, especially DWE, to hone the capabilities of Emirati women and enhance their potential affirms their prominent and imperative role in driving the socio-economic future of the UAE.

She added that the UAE has made significant strides in enhancing women’s representation in decision-making positions. Additionally, she highlighted that the UAE is the first country in the region to issue binding legislation mandating women’s representation on the boards of government institutions.

Institute of Directors

Since its inception in 1903, the Institute of Directors (IoD) has three central values: professional development, valuable connections, and meaningful influence. The faculty of the programme come from various professional backgrounds and business experiences and are qualified leaders and directors. The Women on International Boards programme is taught by David Joel, Deborah Benson, Murray Eldridge and Sheelagh Duffield.

7 Modules

The programme covers seven main areas that are all essential for current and aspiring directors as well as senior governance professionals, including Corporate Governance, Leadership for Directors, Strategy for Directors, The Effective Board, Risk Governance, Finance for Non-Finance Directors and Role of the Director and the Board.

The first module, “Corporate Governance,” focuses on the purpose, evolution and importance of corporate governance globally.

The second module, “Leadership for Directors,” is an extensive module that highlights the importance of strong leadership to realize an organisation’s vision. It also guides participants in developing effective strategic change.

In “Strategy for Directors,” the third module, participants explore the relationship between strategy, governance and risk, and they develop their skills in implementing and evaluating organizational strategy.

The fourth module, “The Effective Board,” covers the roles and tasks of the board, board decision-making, board evaluation and board committees.

In “Risk Governance”, the fifth module, the topics covered include principles of risk management, risk management models, establishing a risk-aware culture, crisis management and the like.

In “Finance for Non-Finance Directors”, the sixth module, participants will be able to understand key financial concepts and terminology. They will leave with the skills and knowledge needed to evaluate business plans, question financial information, and contribute more effectively to boardroom decision-making.

In the final module of the programme, “Role of the Director and the Board”, participants will be able to understand the directors’ duties and legal responsibilities and the board’s role in corporate governance and risk management. They will leave with the confidence to tackle boardroom challenges and be equipped to take their careers to the next level.