Diversity On Board curates highly accomplished Arab and North African women in business, government, civil society, and the sciences, to help organizations in the MENA region identify and appoint them to executive and advisory board positions. In its second phase, the platform will also focus on increasing representation of Arab and North African youth, the differently-abled, and other exceptional and currently under-represented talents on MENA boards.

We believe that diversity is the right thing to do. Fortunately, we also know that doing good and doing well are not mutually exclusive. More inclusive societies, governments and corporations are the underpinnings of prosperous nations, socio-economic stability, and human flourishing.

Study after study calls our attention to the business case for greater diversity. Organizations that capitalize on the diversity dividend, outperform their peers in profit margins, returns on equity and overall financial performance and risk mitigation.

According to a McKinsey report, the global economy would grow by as much as $28 trillion by 2025 if women participated in the labor force to the same degree as men— representing a 26% increase in GDP, which is almost equivalent to the combined GDPs of the U.S. and China.

Can your company afford to lose millions in missed economic opportunity? GET ON BOARD.

Promoting and boosting board diversity in the Arab and North African countries to increase economic competitiveness, enhance corporate governance, and foster more inclusive societies, through:

  • Providing a curated talent marketplace that connects exceptional and under-represented Arab and North African talent to multi-sector board opportunities in corporations, government institutions, startups, nonprofits, and other organizations.
  • Educating organizations on how to leverage board diversity, beyond gender, for improved financial performance, growth, and effectiveness, to actualize their full growth potential.
  • Educating and grooming a pipeline of highly-qualified Arab and North African talent to become board-ready candidates, helping them realize their individual potential.

For every multi-sector organization across the Arab and North African countries to recognize and capitalize on the diversity dividend, and to create more inclusive, stable and prosperous economies and societies in the region.

Membership is by nomination only. Nominees must be Arab or North African women, based in any country, and have at least one of the following attributes:

  • C-Level experience at a large company with more than USD 10 million in revenues.
  • Founder of a company with more than USD 3 million in revenues.
  • Senior official at a government, multilateral or other large non-corporate institution.
  • Thought leader, influencer or pioneer in her respective field. Examples: recipient of prestigious industry awards and fellowships, has published works or research in recognized industry publications, sought-after speaker who is regionally or internationally recognized as an expert in her field of work.
  • Experience in critical areas related to our changing world e.g. Cyber Security, Big Data, Sustainable Development, Artificial Intelligence etc.
  • Currently serve/ previously served on a corporate, government, advisory or other Board of Directors.

There is no membership fee to join the platform, nor is there a fee to post board openings. However, to protect member privacy, organizations will not be able to contact members directly, nor view a candidate’s contact information or CV, unless a candidate has directly applied for a board opening that has been posted.

The Current Reality

While statistics on all-encompassing board diversity is sparse, a report by the Hawkamah Institute of Corporate Governance revealed that women in the GCC account for just 1.5 percent of corporate board seats. And according to a 2016 study by Shareholder Rights, out of 1,178 publicly listed companies in the Middle East and North Africa with full disclosures on the structure of their board of directors, only 21 percent had female directors represented at the board level. Out of the 248 companies with some female presence, only 16 companies had a board participation of women higher than 30 percent.

We call this a missed opportunity. GET ON BOARD.

According to the 2020 World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report, at the current rate of progress, it would take the MENA region 140 years to close the economic gender gap. Can our region afford to wait another century and a half to fulfill our economic potential? GET ON BOARD

Out of nature’s 8.7 million species, dragonflies are one of just two with 360-degree vision, and they have rare flying abilities whereby they can fly in any direction including sideways and backward providing them with unique agility. The Diversity On Board logo represents the boardroom, where a diversity of perspectives provides the panoramic insights that are pivotal to: increasing organizational success, profits, shareholder value, customer, employee, and citizen satisfaction; as well as risk mitigation, and navigating governance-related controversies.