The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) partnered with the Supreme Council for Women (SCW) Wednesday to host a round-table discussion about women in finance, titled “Challenges Facing Women in Reaching Positions of Authority in the Financial Sector."
The session, held at the Bahrain Brouse Auditorium, gave leading female figures from the finance industry an opportunity to mentor women who are actively seeking ways to climb the corporate ladder. This was the first session in a series that has been designed to promote and celebrate “Women in the Financial and Banking Sector.”
“The constitution of the Kingdom of Bahrain has given women the right to work,” Al Salam Bank Chairman HH Sheikha Hessa bint Khalifa Al Khalifa said. “We are living in an open society and stable economy that provides woman with the opportunity to achieve their ambitions on the work front while maintaining balance in their family life. While this is challenging, I believe we can find solutions through dedicated mentoring programs for women as well as education and work experience to help them achieve success on both fronts”
The Nov. 30 main conference will feature SCW President and HRH Princess Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, the Wife of His Majesty the King. Featured speakers will include Sabah Al Moayyed (managing partner of Intellect Resources Management), Najla Al Shirawi (CEO of SICO), and Huda H. Al Maskati (executive director of corporate services at the CBB). BTV host Ahdeya Ahmed will chair the sessions.
“There is an opportunity for women to reach executive positions in cooperation with CEOs and through their own hard work, persistence and leadership,” Al Moayyed said. “Financial institutions should also provide a flexible working environment for women taking into account the demands on women’s time both in the work place and from family life. The same should also be applied for men."
Al Maskati said that while women have played an important role in making Bahrain a leading financial center over the past 50 years, their ascension to top positions still remains an anomaly.
"This session explored the challenges that continue to face women in reaching executive roles," Al Maskati said. "It also showcased the experience of industry-leading women who shared their stories and provided valuable insight into how the next generation can overcome obstacles in order to better advance to the executive roles.”