UAE: Four male CEOs awarded for supporting female colleagues

These men actively championed and empowered women leaders while supporting them to get board roles


Lamya Tawfik

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Published: Wed 14 Dec 2022, 12:31 AM

Four male CEOs were awarded during Khaleej Times’ Middle East Women Board of Directors 2022 for their role in actively championing and empowering women leaders, while supporting women to get board roles.

The award was presented by Shamsa Saleh, CEO of Dubai Women Establishment and Secretary-General of the UAE Gender Balance Council.

The first recipient was Nader Haffar, Chairman & CEO of KPMG Middle East. For the past 25 years, Haffar has been on the forefront of management consultancy. As chairman and CEO of KPMG in the Lower Gulf (UAE and Oman) since 2018, Nader became the driving force of change within the firm.

In March 2022, KPMG Lower Gulf signed the UAE’s Gender Balance Council's “the Pledge” to achieve 30 per cent women representation in management by 2025. The firm has since focused on woman’s participation in decision-making roles from middle management to the highest levels of leadership.

Per Johansson, general manager, Middle East and North Africa, Mars, was also honoured. Johansson, with over 25 years of experience, drives the team’s efforts to achieve regional growth, synergy utilization and comprehensive stakeholder management. Prior to joining the team in Dubai, Johansson worked with Bosch’s security systems division in Sweden and Singapore.

Alexis Lecanuet, senior managing director, Middle East Market, Accenture, was the third recipient. He is responsible for defining and executing Accenture’s strategy in the region, and managing the local operations.

During his 24 years with Accenture, he has commanded large complex transformation projects across Europe and Mena mostly for the consumer and retail industries. He is a recognised regional leader, a seasoned speaker, and ranked one amongst the Forbes regional “Global meets local” top 50 leaders.

The fourth recipient was Duncan McCulloch, general manager - Middle East and Africa, Mars. He is responsible for leading the entire business across the GCC markets, Sub Sahara Africa, North Africa, and Levant and he has worked for Mars for over 20 years across the Mars Chocolate, Gum, Mint, Fruity Confections and Pet Care business categories holding many senior positions, spanning across many geographies including UK, Europe, Asia, and Middle East.


He holds additional responsibilities as an Inclusion & Diversity Council Member for Mars Inc. globally as well as being the Project Sponsor for Mars Purpose Driven Business Innovation projects.

The forum, sponsored by MOTF, BEE Concierge & Travel & Events Services and Marriott International Luxury Brands, included keynote addresses, career-focused case studies, panel discussions and interactive workshops.

Topics of the discussions are related to women’s empowerment, reducing the gender gap and building strong leadership skills amongst women. Participants talked about increasing women’s representation on boards of directors and the role of executive headhunters in increasing the number of women in boardrooms.

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