The Central Bank of UAE collaborated with Aurora50, a social enterprise focused on gender-balanced boardrooms in the UAE, to improve the representation of women on company boards.
The partnership aims to boost female representation on public and private sector boards by increasing knowledge exchange and building a strong pipeline of female talent, the banking regulator said in a statement on Saturday.
“We are committed to supporting the national agenda through engaging with the nomination committees of the boards of financial institutions to ensure a fair representation of women on their boards, as required by the CBUAE Corporate Governance regulation,” Abdulhamid M. Saeed Alahmadi, governor of the Central Bank of the UAE, said.
Globally, there are large gaps between the representation of men and women in leadership positions in banks and in banking-supervision agencies worldwide. Women account for less than 2 per cent of financial institutions’ chief executives and less than 20 per cent of executive board members, according to research by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The partnership between the UAE central bank and Aurora50 will provide a platform for sharing knowledge through conferences, meetings, seminars and workshops.
The collaboration “reinforces the link between the representation of women on boards and national economic development”, Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, co-founder of Aurora50, said. “This is a positive step in the right direction, and we hope it encourages other organizations to accelerate their efforts towards more female representation at the board-level.”
Aurora50 launched its flagship initiative Pathway20 in March 2020 to increase board-level gender balance, according to its website. The initiative bolsters the pipeline of competent female board directors, while offering participants opportunities to network with boards who have upcoming independent board appointments.
Aurora50 has a series of partnerships with entities including Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority, Adnoc, Mubadala Investment Company, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Abu Dhabi Ports, Emirates Global Aluminum, Abu Dhabi Global Market, Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, Dubai Financial Market and Dubai International Financial Centre.
IMF research shows that having more women leaders in finance would not only reduce existing gender employment gaps in the corporate sector, but also strengthen bank stability. Its studies find that a higher share of women on banks’ board of directors and banking supervision boards are associated with greater financial sector resilience, lower probability of insolvency and greater profitability.