ACCA's women in finance expands mission across the region


Women in Finance celebrates its launch in Oman, with further events in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain planned alongside an event in the UAE on March 18

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Published: Fri 10 Feb 2023, 12:01 PM

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants’ (ACCA) Women in Finance programme has recently reached a new milestone with its successful launch in Oman. The initiative seeks to support women at every stage of their careers through providing a framework of guidance, education and enabling access to higher finance positions within the corporate world.

ACCA believes that culture change requires sustained engagement to keep conversations alive, a cornerstone necessary for any cultural shift towards progressiveness and advancement. The recently-concluded launch in Oman saw Fatma Al Balushi, deputy director general at the Oman Authority for Academic Accreditation and Quality Assurance of Education, giving a keynote address on 'Lessons from Business Legends.' A panel including representatives from the Ministry of Finance, Grant Thornton, OQ Oman Petroleum Development, and Majan University College, discussed 'Breaking Barriers & Excelling at Work' during an interactive Q&A session with 55 attendees present. The occasion provided an important opportunity for members of ACCA Middle East to meet with the Oman Member Advisory Committee, as well as key local employers and newly ACCA-approved firms.

Fazeela Gopalani, head of ACCA — Middle East
Fazeela Gopalani, head of ACCA — Middle East

Fazeela Gopalani, head of ACCA — Middle East, said: "With Women in Finance, ACCA is leveraging the momentum of the UAE’s gender balance agenda to expand women’s participation in leadership roles to 30 per cent by 2025. We aim to increase the representation of women in the workforce, which stands at 25 per cent compared to the 50 per cent global average across the Middle East. While the number of women in finance is growing in the region, it is still far below an even representation. More must be done to ensure that the number of women entering the finance profession continues to grow. This underlines ACCA's commitment towards socio-economic development by empowering talented female professionals within the financial sector, thus leading as an example for more countries worldwide."

Following this latest milestone, ACCA is extending its mandate to increase the number of women in the accounting and finance professions in other parts of the region, with Women in Finance launching in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain in the coming months. Meanwhile, Women in Finance will return to Dubai on March 18, in partnership with the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), to build on the success of the programme of panels, networking opportunities, and seminars held throughout the past year.

Since its launch in Dubai last year, the year-long programme has teamed up with leaders from across the region to deliver information, knowledge, and learning opportunities through talks, webinars, online resources, and networking events. As part of its WIF mandate, ACCA collaborates with UAE government entities including Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority Smart Government, ADNOC and Abu Dhabi Global Market Academy on programmes that empower more women into senior leadership positions. This collaboration mirrors ACCA's mandate and the UAE’s goals for gender equity.

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