Aurora50 Board Summit concludes leaving plenty of food for thought

By Backend Office, Desk Reporter
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The inaugural Aurora50 Board Meeting, held in honor of Emirati Women’s Day, concluded successfully.

Aurora50 was founded last year and is a social enterprise bringing together diverse partners to find solutions to global problems.

The two-day virtual event, held on 26th & 27th, sparked an impactful dialog among more than 500 ministers, seasoned board directors and aspiring female board talent on how to increase female representation on boards of the UAE.

The summit was held under the patronage of Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Co-founder of Aurora50, who strongly presented her opinions regarding the untapped potential in the region that women bring when they are entrusted with decision making roles.

New Initiatives

Sheik Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan announced the signing of a wide-ranging partnership between the ESCA (Emirates Securities & Commodities Authority) and Aurora50 at the event.

The partnership identifies areas for cooperation and aims to enhance women’s participation in the boards of directors of public and private sector companies.

It will include the organization of training programs in stock market and financial services, the sharing of statistics and the exchange of information, expertise and research, the organization of specialized conferences, workshops, seminars as well as cooperation on education, awareness and qualification.

The event also revealed several other collaborations, including the signing of Mubadala Investment Company as a ‘Founding Partner’ and First Abu Dhabi Bank, FAB as a ‘Corporate Partner’ to the 20 for 2020 initiative.

In March, Aurora50 launched the “20 for 2020 initiative,” offering 20 women a year-long placement on a corporate board to inspire them with potential opportunities to join the Board. The program also offers media and finance coaching, networking and executive training.

Sheik Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan also unveiled ‘Manarat- Women on Boards Network’ in line with this year’s Emirati Women’s Day theme. It will be the first structured women’s network who serve on boards of companies listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, ADX, and Dubai Financial Market, DFM.

Manarat, which is Arabic for ‘lighthouses,’ represents the group’s aim to serve as guiding lights for qualified women who strive to pursue productive careers in the board.

“What began as a conversation with a select group of female directors holding board seats on locally listed companies, has materialized into a tangible reality that provides female board members the opportunity to support each other and empower other competent women who aspire for board careers,” she said.

The network was built primarily to promote collaborative relationships between the current female board members and high-potential and qualified female board talent.

The event also offered unique networking opportunities to link seasoned board members to one another, as well as high-potential future board talent.