December 16th, 2019, Dubai (UAE): The first-of-its-kind Women’s Committee set up by the Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies (EIBFS), a regional leader in banking and finance education and training, met recently at an event titled, “Her challenges – Her ideas” to discuss its agenda and objectives.
Ms. Rafia Al Abbar, Vice President, Head of Employee Services at Dubai Islamic Bank, and Chairperson of the Women’s Committee, and Ms. Fatima Abdulrahman Al Awadhi – Chief Human Resources Officer at Emirates NBD and Vice Chairperson of the Committee, were a part of the workshop along with other members of the committee and guests.
Held at the EIBFS campus in Dubai, the event was attended by over 60 women employees from the UAE banking sector, representing various banks including Central Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD, Noor Bank, Sharjah Islamic Bank, RAK Bank, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Bank of Baroda, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Cacib Bank, United Arab Bank, United Bank Limited, Standard Chartered and Al Khaliji France.
The keynote was delivered by Mrs. Hind Al Attar – Head of Human Resources- Senior Vice President- Noor Bank and Women’s Committee member. There was also a motivational speech delivered by Mrs. Salma Sakhnini- Entrepreneur, Thought Leader, Business Advisor.
EIBFS established the Women’s Committee earlier this year to focus on the growth and empowerment of women in the UAE banking and finance sector. The committee is mandated to build a support network for women to successfully navigate their career paths in the industry while also building a strong network of likeminded women.
Among other objectives, the committee has pledged to mentor young Emiratis aspiring to take up careers in the banking and finance sector, provide networking opportunities and support women entrepreneurship. It also aims to focus on leading new initiatives, highlighting changes in the sector, discussing future opportunities and challenges, addressing issues and challenges and creating a network that is solutions driven.
“Women form nearly 70 per cent of the banking and finance workforce in the UAE,” said Noura Abbas, Director – Program Administration & Delivery Division at EIBFS. “When we established the committee this year, we received an overwhelming response from various banks in the UAE. We are proud to host these women who are forging new paths in the industry. Establishing such a committee not only helps EIBFS to support a wider group of the women workforce but also provides assistance to them to excel in their banking and finance careers.”
She added: “As our first event with the Women’s Committee, we witnessed a lot of enthusiasm among the attendees in building a more secure and solutions-oriented group of women in the industry. It is a great opportunity for us to support each other and build relationships that helps advance our careers.”
Rafia Al Abbar said: “It is an honour to be the Chairperson of the Women’s Committee. We have met some exceptional talents from various banks who have shared amazing thoughts and ideas on making banking and finance an industry that women can continue to grow in. Through our agenda of creating a support network that discusses the challenges and solutions in the banking sector, we hope to empower more and more women in choosing banking as a career. Since the sector is one of the largest employers of Emirati women, I think a committee like this helps safeguard women’s interest and build a comprehensive network. We are committed to providing support to women in the sector.”
“Her challenges – Her ideas is just the start of initiatives that we have planned for the committee. At the event, we heard some great ideas, areas of concern and solutions to the challenges from our women colleagues in the banking and finance sector. This not only adds authenticity but also takes us to the root cause of any issues currently being faced by the sector, or it may encounter in the future,” Rafia added.
The Women’s Committee will continue to meet to take forward the framework put into place.
Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies (EIBFS) was founded in 1983. As a leading independent training center, it offers world-class education, training and allied services in the critical areas of banking and finance. Based in the UAE, EIBFS currently has three campuses for education and training services, located in Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The Institute has made substantial contributions to the careers of thousands of students and working professionals in the financial services sector. EIBFS is also a strong supporter of Emiratization and has launched various initiatives that have greatly helped promote the careers of Emiratis. All academic programs offered by the Institute are accredited by the Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA) at the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. Students who have successfully completed these programs have found productive employment at various levels in banks and financial institutions in the UAE and around the world.