GCC BDI Online Workshop: Women on Boards: Empowering Women Directors
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Research shows gender diversity on boards and in senior leadership improves financial performance & shareholder value, reduced risk of fraud and corruption, increased customer & employee satisfaction, greater investor confidence, and enhanced market knowledge & reputation. Join us and The Financial Academy in this empowering workshop.
For Non-Members: US$ 1,250
For Associate: US$ 1,188
For Members: US$ 1,100
For Fellows: US$ 950
All prices are exclusive of VAT

10/17/2021 to 10/18/2021
When: 17-18 October 2021
9:00 am - 6:00 pm (KSA Time)
Where: Online Workshop
United Arab Emirates
Contact: Vandana Hrishikesh

Online registration is closed.
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Good corporate governance helps firms improve performance, drive growth, manage risks, attract and retain investors, and weather financial crises. To be truly effective, a board requires a diversity of skills, cultures, and views to make smart decisions with lasting impact. 

Gender diversity on boards and in senior leadership plays an integral role in the progression and growth of a business.  Improved financial performance and shareholder value, reduced risk, greater investor confidence, enhanced market knowledge and reputation are a few of the positive influence of gender-diverse management and boards supports the sustainability of an organisation.

Join GCC BDI and The Financial Academy in this empowering workshop where we will provide an overview, updates and insights into:   

  • The principles and concepts underpinning corporate governance best practices
  • The duties and responsibilities of directors

This programme is designed to provide female participants with the knowledge and understanding of the role of a board director, and help female business leaders understand how to position themselves as future board directors.

Topics of discussion include:

  • Board composition and the importance of diversity
  • Challenges and barriers to entry for women
  • Directors’ duties and liabilities
  • Overview of company law, codes and regulations, and the regulators
  • Corporate governance latest trends and best practices
  • Understanding the roles and responsibilities of the board
  • Board processes and protocols

Event details:

Date: 17-18 October  2021
Time: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm (KSA Time)            
           10:00 am - 7:00 pm (UAE Time)
Platform: Online Workshop via Zoom
Fees: Non-Members US$ 1,250                         
           Associate: US$ 1,188                    
           Members: US$ 1,100                           
           Fellows: US$ 950
Rates above are exclusive of VAT and any WHT and effective as at 17 May 2020 
Special rates are available for companies wishing to purchase multiple seats - please ask us for more information. 
  • Sharon Ditchburn, Senior External Associate, GCC BDI
  • Dr Lama Al Sulaiman, Board Member, Rolaco Holdings
  • Leen Zaza, Partner, Khoshaim & Associates
  • Dr. Basmah Omair, Founder/CEO, Behavioral Management Consulting
  • Alison Dillion,  Senior External Associate, GCC Board Directors Institute
  • Brenda Bowman, Facilitator for IFC’s Women on Boards and Business Leadership Program
  • Sabah Al Moayyed, Managing Partner, Intellectual Resources Management W.L.L.

    About the Facilitators:

    Sharon Ditchburn, Senior External Associate, GCC Board Directors Institute

    Sharon Ditchburn has over 20 years experience in the fields of accounting, law, corporate governance, and compliance. In 2004 she formed one of the first Compliance and Corporate Governance specialist firms in the Middle East.

    Qualified in accountancy and law, and as an Authorised Individual with several regulated financial services companies in the functions of Compliance and Anti Money Laundering, Sharon is a Fellow of the Chartered Secretaries Australia and Institute of Company Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA UK), Member of the Australian Institute of Directors, Member of the Australian Society of Certified Practicing Accountants, Member of the Australasian Compliance Institute, and Certified Member of the Association of Certified Anti Money Laundering Specialists (USA). She also holds an MBA specialising in Corporate Governance and Entrepreneurship, and is a co-founder and Steering Committee Member of the ICSA Gulf Forum.
    Sharon is certified to deliver Corporate Governance specialist courses, including the Director Development Program by the International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group), has delivered public seminars in the UAE on the topics of Corporate Governance and Expatriate Investment in UAE Stock Exchanges, in addition to professional seminars on Compliance, Anti Money Laundering, Ethics, Risk and Internal Controls. She presents regularly for Institutes of Corporate Governance and professional organisations across the GCC, Africa and Asia.

    As well as the Financial Services Industry, her experience covers the mining, information technology, engineering and professional services sectors, and includes related areas such as enterprise risk, technical due diligence, investor relations, and fast growth industry strategies and controls.

    Dr Lama Al Sulaiman, Board Member, Rolaco Holdings

    Lama Al Sulaiman is a shareholder and a board member of Rolaco Holdings, KSA and LUX, and a board member of the committee for the development of Jabal Al Laith. Currently she is a board member of Kingdom Holdings Investments in KSA, and a member of Coutts Bank advisory board, UK, and prior to that she was a board member of Club Med, France, and a former board member of Foras Investment, Saudi Arabia.

    This year, 2021, she joined the Saudi Tennis Federation as a board member, and she was a board member of Saudi General Entertainment Authority between 2016 and 2021. She is an advisory board member of Effat University, and was a member of the fundraising campaign board in King’s College London. Lama holds a PhD in health and nutrition from King’s College London.



    Leen Zaza, Partner, Khoshaim & Associates

    Leen is a New York-qualified partner in corporate practice, heading the private M&A and JVs team, who has experience of a wide range of corporate and commercial transactions in the Middle East and internationally, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, IPOs, private placements, and general corporate regulatory and advisory work.

    She has worked on transactions in the oil and gas, energy, shipping, chemical production, health, e-commerce, education, F&B, real estate, retail and heavy equipments and machinery industries.

    Leen has worked with a variety of international companies, local Saudi entities, and governmental bodies on corporate and foreign investment matters and is familiar with the regional and regulatory issues arising from such transactions.

    Leen has been ranked as a Band 1 – Next Generation Lawyer in Legal 500’s Commercial, Corporate and M&A rankings for 2018 and 2019, as a Rising Star in Legal 500’s ranking for the same category in 2020, and as a Highly Regarded Lawyer for M&A by IFLR 1000. She is currently the only female lawyer in private practice to be ranked across all practice areas in Saudi Arabia.

    Prior to joining Khoshaim & Associates in 2012, Leen trained at DLA Piper Saudi Arabia in Riyadh. Leen is fluent in Arabic, English, French, and Spanish.


    Dr. Basmah Omair, Chief Executive Officer, BMO Management Consulting

    Dr. Basmah Omair founded BMO Management Consulting, combining her 15+ years of experience working on national strategic initiatives with the government, private sector, and civil society. As CEO, Dr. Omair provides clients with citizen-centric solutions. She economically empowers citizens, by creating cultural strategy shifts through behavioral research and legislative policy reform.

    Engaging citizens and improving their quality of life and satisfaction, Dr. Omair applies her expertise in effective communications, process design, and journey mapping.

    Dr. Omair was previously CEO of Alsayedah Khadijah Bint Khawilid center (AKBKC), a lobbying center for women’s economic empowerment. During her 15-year leadership, Dr. Omair was at the forefront with decision makers creating the policies and culture shift initiatives towards gender labor inclusion. Dr. Omair lobbied with the government for the removal of regulatory obstacles facing women, and worked with decision makers to draft new legislations resulting in the significant increase of female participation in the labor market.

    Dr. Omair was elected as chair of the W20 Female Labor Market Inclusion Committee in Berlin, Germany in 2017. She is also a member of the B20 digitalization task force Saudi Arabia 2020. Both are arms of the G20. For several years Dr. Omair was part of the official employee delegation to the International Labor Organization Conference (ILO).

    Dr. Omair has hosted over 400 international delegations with high profile officials, in addition to participating as a speaker in over 320 global conferences and events. She has been named one of the top 100 most powerful Arab women by Arabian Business 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and one of the 30 most powerful and influential Saudi women in 2014. In 2019 Dr. Omair was named one of the top 10 most economically influential female leaders in Saudi. From 2004 to 2007, Dr. Omair was a corporate social responsibility consultant at the Savola Group, a multinational holding group for the food and retail sector.


    Alison Dillon Kibirige, Senior External Associate, GCC Board Directors Institute

    Alison Dillon Kibirige is a global expert and author on corporate governance, ethics, CSR/Sustainability and risk management, working in Africa, Asia, South America, Eastern Europe, the Caribbean and the Middle East. She has worked for the IFC/Global Corporate Governance Forum on projects in Indonesia, Mongolia, Zambia, Nigeria, Rwanda and Malawi and is an IFC Master Trainer.

    Alison has worked nearly 30 years as a company secretary, including as Secretary to the main boards of Unilever and Barclays in London. She has held senior executive positions in SmithKline Beecham PLC (now part of Glaxo), Barclays and Unilever as well as sitting on the boards of their respective subsidiary companies.

    Alison has also set up and worked as a director in several SMEs, one of which was her own consultancy and training business. She has been involved in numerous consultations with governments, regulators and industry and professional bodies in Africa, Europe and the US.

    Alison is the author of Corporate Governance Unlocked, the ICSA Corporate Governance Study Text, IFC Corporate Secretaries Handbook, IFC/CSIA Corporate Secretaries Toolkit, IFC Board Leadership Toolkit for Directors of Banks in Nigeria and a contributor to Corporate Governance In Uganda and African Solutions.

    Alison is a Fellow of The Chartered Governance Institute (formerly ICSA) and a UK solicitor. She was awarded the 2013 ICSA President’s Medal for Meritorious Service, the inaugural ICSA Company Secretary of the Year award in 2005 and has also won global awards for her work with shareholders.


    Brenda Bowman, Facilitator for IFC’s Women on Boards and Business Leadership Program

    Brenda Bowman is a specialist on gender diversity, inclusive leadership, governance and value creation on boards of directors.  She has worked with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) since 2007. She is currently the lead course designer and facilitator for the IFC’s Women on Boards and in Business Leadership program. 

    Brenda’s trademark areas of expertise include using Emotional and Social Intelligence to develop strategies for gender diversity that boost Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) performance and sustainability; experiential and transformational learning and program design in the corporate world; corporate governance in emerging and frontier markets; and the dynamics of unconscious bias in the board room and in C-suites.

    Brenda has lead conferences, corporate retreats and Training of Trainers workshops for bankers, entrepreneurs, leaders of Non-Government Organizations, government officials, corporate executives and boards of directors in Africa, Latin America, South-East Asia and the Middle East.

    She has directed capacity building programs in Africa for USAID, UNDP and the United States Peace Corps, specializing in organizational development and program management and evaluation.

    She is author of the IFC’s Board Leadership and Training Resource Kit for the Nigerian Banking Sector; the Board Leadership and Training Resource Kit for Board Directors in Malawi; and the Corporate Secretary’s Toolkit.

    She holds a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) degree from Makerere University in Uganda and a Master’s in Applied Linguistics (M.Sc.) from Edinburgh University, Scotland.

    Sabah Al Moayyed, Managing Partner Intellectual Resources Management W.L.L.

    Mrs. Sabah Al Moayyed is the Managing Partner of Intellectual Resources Management W.L.L., a management consultancy firm and Chairperson of Flat6Labs Bahrain (startup accelerator). She's an-ex-banker and was the chief executive officer of Eskan Bank. Currently she holds number of directorships in bank and companies in the Kingdom of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. She regularly speaks at various regional and international forums.

    Emirates Financial Towers, Office 2201 - South Tower,  PO Box 507007, Dubai, UAE
    Phone: +971 4 554 7967 | Email: getinvolved@gccbdi.org

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