On March 15, 2022, the inaugural Women in Finance Virtual Summit – UAE Edition, (WIF UAE) will take place, marking the exciting next step in reaching out to, and supporting women in the finance sector.
In the UAE, it is not yet mandatory for listed firms to disclose equality and social governance metrics, but the regulator has recently encouraged companies to start reporting; and it’s into this environment of growing awareness around diverse gender representation that WIF UAE arrives.
The UAE ranks 18th globally and first in the region for female empowerment, according to the UN’s Gender Inequality Index, proving that the summit is likely to welcome a willing and proactive community that understand the financial gains of diverse gender representation in business, especially at senior levels.
While women are present on the boards of 28 out of 110 listed companies in the UAE, they make up only 3.5% of all board positions, according to data compiled by Aurora50, a social enterprise working with leading organisations in the Middle East to accelerate gender balance in the boardroom.
Aurora50’s findings suggest there is still more work to do to advance senior female representation in the region’s private businesses as well as its public firms.
The summit’s four key themes will be:
- Sustainable finance addressing the impact of ESG
- Open banking for modern financial services
- Women’s financial empowerment & inclusion
- Diverse representation should be prominent in boardrooms across the UAE
Delegates will hear from insightful speakers including Sam Jayasundera, HR/DEI Consultant & Founder at Humanasity Inc, a women-led consultancy that specialises in diversity and inclusion.
Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Jayasundera was with Emirates NBD, one of the largest Banks in the Middle East as VP HR & HR Transformation Lead for Group Technology. She will take part in the summit’s ‘Women’s financial empowerment & inclusion’ panel discussion alongside Asad Ahmed, Managing Director at Alvarez & Marsal, who has three decades of banking experience including at board positions, and other great speakers.
The summit is free to attend and will offer a platform to advocates, role models and allies who want diverse representation and female empowerment and inclusion in the finance sector.