Women on Boards Programme 2014 kicks off in CairoNov 8, 2014
Intensive Program on Women in Corporate Boards kicked off last Saturday 8 November 2014 for 6 Days (3 consecutive weekends) in collaboration with the American University in Cairo (AUC), School of Business and International Finance Corporation (IFC). This training has two Modules; Corporate Governance Module and Leadership Module.
This program is designed for women executives from the corporate sector, female entrepreneurs, academics, civil servants and senior-level women with professional service backgrounds. 13 exceptional women participated in the first training and were highly motivated and eager to learn. The participants were from the various sectors: banking, industry, health care, universities, service sector and the Industrial Modernization Center (IMC) and will be receiving a certificate at the end of the course. Women will be equipped with the required skills to compete to reach the board.
The boardroom is where strategic decisions are made, governance is applied and risk overseen. It is, therefore, imperative that boards are comprised of competent, high caliber individuals who collectively offer a mix of skills, experiences and backgrounds. Evidence suggests that boards make better decisions when a range of voices, drawing on different life experiences, can be heard. That mix of voices must include women.
The Women on Boards initiative is aiming at improving the gender balance of corporate boards in Egypt and the Middle East region by sensitizing male board members to gender issues, qualifying women from different corporate sectors and outside the corporate mainstream to be appointed to corporate boards, and advocating for policy and legislative changes that institutionalize gender diversity on corporate boards.
This program is part of a new initiative that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Industrial Modernization Center (IMC) are implementing under the umbrella of their project titled the “Egyptian Corporate Responsibility Center” (ECRC) in collaboration with AUC School of Business and IFC. The idea came as a follow up to the Women Empowerment Principles (WEP) which is part of the UN Global Compact.
- It is not just a gender numbers game. It is about the richness of the board as a whole.
- Inclusive and diverse boards are more likely to be effective boards, better able to understand their customers and stakeholders and to benefit from fresh perspectives, new ideas, vigorous challenge and broad experience. This in turn leads to better decision-making.