Women occupy around 20% of board directorships around the world, 7% of board chairpersonships and 5% of CEO roles.
These figures from Deloitte's 2022 Women in the Boardroom report show a rate of improvement that would mean women will achieve parity in 2089 in terms of boardroom seats, if not the key leadership roles.
So what is clear is that - despite some progress - female voices are, and will continue to be for some time, underrepresented at the most senior levels of business leadership.
The EICN's Women in Leadership event: business priorities through a female lens, sponsored by Saxo Bank, aims to redress that imbalance in some small way by providing the platform for some of the region's current and aspiring female CEOs to share their perspectives on some of the region's main business challenges.
This event will be for all EICN members - female or male - to attend, but only women will take the stage. Even I will recuse myself, and am delighted to announce that our host and moderator for the morning will be Brandy Scott, presenter of DubaiEye's flagship Business Breakfast radio show.
Brandy will explore with a female speakers whether a female lens perceives the world's challenges and opportunities differently from their male counterparts.
Do they agree, for example, with the top business risks as identified in the EICN's last Middle East Business Outlook Survey: inflation, slow payments, legal and regulatory environment, labour market, tax policy and cross-border trade? And how would they mitigate those risks?
Please join us, whether male or female, for what will be a fascinating and insightful session - which we hope will be the first of a series of such events from the EICN.
Please note that this event is limited to senior-level executives and per invitation only. If you are not an existing member of The Economist Intelligence Corporate Network, but would like to learn how you can attend our events, please contact us.
Presenter at DubaiEye Radio
New Zealander Brandy Scott has worked as a journalist for over two decades. Her career has seen her run the features desk of a national newspaper, help put together Radio New Zealand’s flagship breakfast show, appear as a regular television pundit and interview numerous politicians and newsmakers. Brandy has presented the Business Breakfast since 2006. In 2013, she left us for two years to return to higher education – and learnt how to write a book.
Sadia Khuram is the Chief Strategy Officer of the Pure Health Group. Sadia is responsible for the development and implementation of Pure Health’s corporate strategy, business development, and partnerships. As the Chief Strategy Officer, Sadia also drives Research & Innovation for the Group.
Before joining Pure Health, Sadia has worked extensively in senior management and board positions in the telecom, mobility and energy sectors. Sadia is passionate about helping businesses and organizations, especially in the healthcare sector, leverage the opportunities presented by technology to create, capture and deliver value for the patients & society in a digital economy. She actively engages with the academic and start up communities to get inspired and to support in building the next generation of disruptors, innovators and leaders.
Sadia Khuram is a Sloan Fellow and has an MBA in Innovation and Global Leadership from the MIT Sloan School of Management. She has won numerous awards and accolades in her academic and professional career.
Kate Ganley is a leader in Corporate Strategy, serving as Director of Corporate Planning for Dubai Airports since 2019, and previously, as Vice President, Program and Projects with Etihad Airways.
Driving strategy execution for over 20 years across key gateway markets, including 9 years in the US and UK with Booz & Co., Kate specializes in developing and delivering major change programs with a core focus on guest experience and business transformation.
Originally from Mauritius, Ambareen Musa started her first online business, an online property portal for international students in Australia, at the age of 21. Her professional resume includes diverse roles such as working at GE’s financial arm, GE Money in London, serving as a consultant at Bain & Company Middle East, and establishing the consulting arm of MasterCard Middle East and Africa. She also holds an MBA from INSEAD. In 2012, Musa launched Souqalmal.com, the most trusted financial comparison and insurance platform in the UAE, KSA, and Bahrain. The company was ranked second on Forbes’s list of the “Top 20 Most Disruptive FinTech Startups” in the Middle East. Most recently, Musa was featured on Forbes Middle East’s list of the top 'Women Behind Middle Eastern Brands'. Arabian Business also recognized her as one of the “50 Most Influential Women In The Arab World”. Now serving as CEO of Yabi Technologies, a financial education app, Ambareen continues to take the FinTech industry by storm.
Roshanak is an Italian Avvocato and a Solicitor of England & Wales with a Ph.D in criminal law. She has practiced corporate and banking law in Milan, London, Tehran and Dubai, in leading international law firms and investment grade companies.
She has been advising on a significant number of cross-border M&A transactions and group reorganizations such as mergers, spin-offs and transformations of regulated entities.
Roshanak is listed as Next Generation Partner and recommended lawyer in both corporate and corporate insurance categories by Legal 500 EMEA.
She is a strong advocate for D&I within Clyde & Co and the UAE legal community, engaging with clients on diversity initiatives and building a network for senior female lawyers to connect and collaborate and access learning opportunities.
She was shortlisted by Middle East Legal Award 2023 as finalist for “Championing Diversity – Private Practice” and as finalist for WIL Awards LexisNexis 2022 and 2023 for the categories Private Practice and Corporate Lawyer. She has developed an initiative called “Women In Business” aimed at supporting women career and mutual mentoring.
She believes that the best way to drive D&I is to help others to rise and influence positively the business environment by promoting integrity, authenticity and empathy.
Rawya has significant experience in fragrances. After having studied at ISIPCA in Versailles and a brief stint in LVMH working for Christian Dior, she joined Givaudan, where she worked for almost 10 years and ended up leading a team in the Consumer Goods category for the whole of the Middle East and North Africa, as a Creative Fragrance Manager. Most recently she started and led her own fragrance consultancy called Scent Creatives, based in Dubai.
Sara Khoja is the Chair of Clyde &Co’ MEA Regional Board and head of its MEA Employment Group. She splits her time between UAE and KSA. She is recognized as a leading individual in employment law by Chambers & Partners and Legal 500. Sara is bilingual in Arabic and English.
Tara Tyan is a seasoned marketing professional and the Regional Head of Marketing for Saxo Bank, based in Dubai. With over 15 years of marketing experience and a decade of expertise in the online trading industry, Tara is responsible for spearheading all marketing and brand reputation efforts for the MENA region, both online and offline.
Provost & Vice Principal at Heriot-Watt University Dubai
Professor Dame Heather McGregor is the Provost and Vice Principal of Heriot-Watt University Dubai. Professor McGregor was previously the Executive Dean of the Edinburgh Business School, having held the post since 2016. Her earlier career was in investment banking, and she has spent 17 years as an entrepreneur leading her own executive search firm prior to her move into higher education.
Professor McGregor has a PhD from the University of Hong Kong in Structured Finance and an MBA from London Business School. She is a qualified chartered management accountant (CGMA) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Her undergraduate degree was a BSc in Agricultural Economics & Marketing from Newcastle University. She is also a Visiting Professor at the University of Sunderland.
Professor McGregor is an experienced writer and broadcaster, including writing for the Financial Times for 17 years. She was the founder of the Taylor Bennett Foundation, www.taylorbennettfoundation.org which works to promote diversity in the communications industry, and a founding member of the steering committee of the 30% Club, which works to raise the representation of women at senior levels within publicly listed companies. Furthermore, Professor McGregor is a non-executive director of two public companies, one listed on the New York Stock Exchange and one listed on the London Stock Exchange. She is also a member of the UK Government’s Honours Committee for the Economy.
In 2021, she was one of the first two people at Heriot-Watt University to be named a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Professor McGregor was awarded a CBE in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours List in UK for her services to business, especially diversity in the workplace.