Sunday 20, March 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: Hala Badri, the Executive Vice President of Brand and Communication at du, is the first Emirati woman to graduate from the INSEAD International Directors Programme with a certificate in Corporate Governance. Exceptional leadership examples such as Hala’s pave the way for women in the UAE to develop the confidence to take the reins of their careers and steer them towards greater business success, and are fully in line with the UAE leadership’s goals of recognising and championing women as vital and full contributors to the development of the nation.

So far, 562 participants have completed the International Directors Programme, 282 of whom have completed the requirements needed for the Certificate in Corporate Governance. Close to 32% of the holders, International Certified Directors (called INSEAD IDP-Cs) are women, and 5.9% of them originate from the Region (with Emirati, Omani and Qatari nationals). They represent women along with 23 other nationalities coming from all continents. They join a network of active directors (in 47 countries), who promote good governance across the globe.

“Women are rare at the corporate top, and not only in the UAE. INSEAD research shows that women in management do benefit from sufficient coaching and advice, but not necessarily from the active sponsorship required to break through the ‘glass ceiling’ and land leadership (and not just support or administrative) positions. Hence, it takes women at the top to sponsor a greater number of women in senior executive positions. Furthermore, the common wisdom is that women have less difficulty putting difficult topics on the table, and to do so in a way that supports the discussion, as opposed to closing it. Additionally, women represent at least half of the customer population, and in retail settings, much more than that. So the argument for women in the senior ranks is clear and has been made.” states Ludo Van der Heyden, INSEAD Chaired Professor of Corporate Governance, Director of the Corporate Governance Initiative and co-Director of the International Directors Programme. “It is our great pleasure and pride to underline the achievements of Mrs Badri, which can only be labeled as extra-ordinary and whose certification paper was of the highest quality. She thus paves the way for other women in similar positions, and that is a great point that cannot be underlined enough,” Prof. Ludo added.

The UAE leadership has highlighted the importance of female participation for the economy by championing women in government, and establishing the Gender Balance Council, amongst other initiatives. Osman Sultan, Chief Executive Officer at du commented on the need for other UAE entities to follow this lead, “At du, we will continue to echo our government’s initiatives by investing in our female employees so that they can forge a path for themselves that will have a positive impact on our business and society as a whole. We urge more business to invest in their employees at this level. We would like to congratulate one of our own, Hala Badri, for taking the first steps for all Emirati women in completing the Corporate Governance certification.”

Hala Badri’s sphere of influence extends far beyond her role as the Executive Vice President, Brand and Communications at du. She has been a persuasive force across a number of UAE industries. She is a member of the Dubai Media Incorporated, Dubai Women’s Establishment, Dubai Cares Foundation and INDEMAJ boards. She also is a non-executive board member of the Dubai Properties Group.

“To say that I am proud of my achievement is a genuine understatement. I have always worked hard for the betterment of, not only myself as a woman working in a male dominated environment, but for all women in the UAE who can make a positive difference to our societies,” said Hala Badri, Vice President Brand and Communications, du. “We already have so many support systems in place at every level in the UAE, which are underscored by government programmes such as the National Strategy for the Advancement of Women – so it’s really up to us, and the companies that we work with, to continue making headway for female participation in the UAE.”

TheINSEAD International Directors Programme is a unique educational experience that aims to develop more effective directors. Set within an international context, the programme is aimed at current directors who bring specific competences and credibility to the boards on which they serve and at senior executives and professionals preparing themselves for a board mandate and whose contributions will enhance the programme’s learning environment. Only participants who successfully complete the three International Directors Programme modules may apply for the INSEAD Certificate in Corporate Governance.