AIWF Activities 2013

What Others Say

“The development of the role of women in business and the economy is not simply a social or a community issue. It is first and foremost a business issue - a business necessity.”

-Willem Bröcker, Senior Global Adviser, PricewaterhouseCoopers

AIWF Gala Dinner at the Mansion House, City of London, UK, March 2007

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Signing of Memorandum of understanding between the Arab International Women’s Forum and the Pearl Initiative to promote women through the ranks to senior management and board roles

June 08, 2014

The Arab International Women’s Forum has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Pearl Initiative, the GCC-based, private sector-led, not-for-profit organisation developed in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Partnerships to promote best business practices in the Gulf Region; this MOU relates to activity in support of the Pearl Initiative’s research programme on Women in Senior Management in the GCC.

The agreement was signed on 8 June 2014 in Dubai by Rania Rizk, Board Member, Arab international Women’s Forum and Imelda Dunlop, Executive Director of the Pearl Initiative.

Initial findings from an online survey among women in senior roles in the region found that traditional role models are still prevalent in the region, with women still facing significant gender bias in both international and regional organisations. While many companies are actively trying to adapt their company culture to offer increased opportunities for women to move up through the ranks, companies need to begin with strong commitment from top-management in order to effectively promote an equal environment at all levels within the organisation.

Commenting on the signing of the agreement Imelda Dunlop, Executive Director, of the Pearl Initiative said: “The agreement with the Arab International Women’s Forum will enable the Pearl Initiative team to work closely with a well-established network of leading women in the Arab world. The research programme aims to address the current leadership barriers facing women within the GCC, promote success stories, and encourage businesses in the region to invest in the development of women within their organisations.”

Rania Rizk, Board Member, AIWF added: “The Arab International Women’s Forum is committed to promoting equal opportunities for women throughout the GCC. Gender equality is absolutely essential to sustainable development in the new Arab world and we look forward to supporting the Pearl initiative in such an influential research programme, as we together seek to empower business leaders to attract, retain, and develop women in to senior positions in the UAE and GCC.”

Since 2010, the Pearl Initiative has been driving extensive programmes that positively influence business thinking in all 6 countries of the GCC, and produces regionally-focused research-based insight reports and corporate good practice case studies. Programmes for 2014 include those on Women in Business, Corporate Governance in Family Firms and Anti-Corruption. The Pearl Initiative also convenes business, government and civil society leaders at the highest levels and at the operational levels, in dialogue forums and capability-building seminars.