The Association of Banks in Jordan held a graduation ceremony on Sunday, May 12th, for 19 distinguished female graduates who completed the mini “Get on Board” program.

On behalf of the sponsor of the event, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Association of Banks, Basem Khalil Al-Salem, Dr. Maher Al-Mahrouq, the Director General, opened the ceremony expressing his pleasure at the successes achieved by the association in enhancing the role of women in the banking sector.

During his speech, Al-Mahrouq emphasized the great importance of this program and its role in qualifying women for advanced administrative positions and board memberships in banks.

He pointed out that this initiative came within the cooperation between the Association of Banks and its distinguished partners, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and Amam Ventures, with the support of member banks of the association and the directives of the Central Bank of Jordan aimed at increasing the representation of women on bank boards to 20% and in senior management to 25% by 2024.

The Director General of the Association also mentioned the launch of the “All on Board” platform under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, which represents a national electronic platform that includes a database of qualified women for board positions. He added that the platform aims to connect qualified and experienced women with available opportunities on boards of directors, stating that around 49 women have been accepted on the platform, with 17 registered banks and companies.

Al-Mahrouq stated that despite the extensive experience possessed by women, there is a great need to enhance knowledge of corporate governance principles and board functions, which was the main reason for launching a mini version of the “Get on Board” program to provide participants with basic knowledge related to boards of directors and institutional governance.

He thanked the graduates for their efforts, perseverance, and commitment to attending the program, and encouraged them to register on the “All on Board” platform to enhance their opportunities for board memberships. He also expressed his gratitude to all member banks and partners of the association for their continuous support and effective cooperation, thanking Bank al Etihad for supporting the program.

Mr. Nicolas Burniat, the UN Women representative, emphasized in his speech that increasing women’s economic participation rates is a priority for UN Women in Jordan and the Arab region as a whole. He elaborated that data indicates companies perform better and exhibit higher resilience against economic shocks when their workforce is diverse, especially in leadership positions, including boards of directors.

Mr. Nicolas Burniat also praised the strategic role played by the Association of Banks in Jordan, the Jordanian bank, and the banking sector as a whole in empowering women, particularly in supporting their access to leadership positions. He expressed his hope that these entities will inspire companies in other economic sectors to follow suit. He concluded by stating that these efforts are significant and necessary contributions towards achieving national priorities in the Economic Modernization Vision, particularly regarding doubling women’s economic participation rates to reach 28% by 2033.

Nadia Al-Saeed, the CEO of Bank al Etihad, expressed her congratulations to the female graduates of the “Get on Board” program in her remarks, praising the great skills possessed by women in various fields of work. She said, “At Bank al Etihad, we consider supporting and empowering women for economic participation as fundamental aspects of our work, and we are proud to be part of this important initiative.”

She added that women hold 30% of the Bank al Etihad’s board of directors, emphasizing the importance of women’s participation in decision-making within the bank and the banking sector in general.

Al-Saeed noted that banks, by their nature, are supportive institutions for women, and at Bank al Etihad, they believe in the importance of developing policies and laws to ensure effective participation of women in all roles, not only in the workplace but also at senior leadership levels. She concluded by reaffirming Bank al Etihad’s commitment to continue supporting these initiatives, expressing appreciation for the efforts of all partners working together to enhance women’s status in society and the economy.

Haethum Buttikhi, the CEO of Jordan Kuwait Bank, praised the significant role played by women in the economy, especially in the banking sector, stating that the representation of women on the bank’s board of directors has reached 26%, emphasizing the importance of this representation in enhancing performance and innovation.

He added, “We believe that competition among banks greatly supports initiatives that empower women. This competition creates a stimulating environment that allows for the development and implementation of innovative initiatives that enhance the value and status of women in this vital sector.”

Buttikhi concluded his remarks by congratulating the honored women at the ceremony, expressing his admiration for the high level they have reached and the great success they have achieved, and reaffirmed Jordan Kuwait Bank’s commitment to continue supporting these initiatives that empower women in the economy and society.

During the ceremony, the graduates’ speeches about their experiences and the benefits they gained from the program were heard, and at the end of the ceremony, certificates were distributed to the graduates by the association and its partners from UN Women and Amam Ventures.

 

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