The Yemeni Institute of Directors (YIoD), one of the Yemeni Business Club (YBC) entities, in cooperation with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), held its first Ring the Bell event in Yemen on March 14, 2019. The event aims to draw world attention to the prominent role of women in supporting the national economy and business leadership and to the pivotal role that the private sector can play in enhancing the role of women in boards of directors and leading businesses to achieve sustainable development goals and raise awareness of WEPs. The event focused on highlighting women’s role in improving the business environment in order to sustain the economy and grow communities.
The event and the panel discussion about the gender equality focused on the most important points. For instance, the challenges that women are facing to access senior positions or boards of directors from all perspectives, opportunities for women to access boards of directors, the role of organizations and investors, and the law to facilitate and support women’s access to leadership positions. Recommendations for women and related parties for better involving women in business leadership, the role of media to raise awareness of the importance of women’s participation, in addition to the ways of getting rid of the unconscious bias towards the participation of women in the boards of directors.
45 people attended the event. 17 of them were businesswomen, 15 businessmen at executive and board of directors’ level, 13 were entrepreneurs. Representatives from the General Union of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, representatives of local and international organizations whom they are working with women, financing institutions and the Central Bank of Yemen were attended the event. Implementing the first Ring the Bell in Yemen, the enthusiasm was very clear among the audience and this can be easily seen through their keenness to attend and participate actively in the sessions of the event.
The event contained success stories for two ladies. First, Ms. Noura Al-Aadi which talked about her success story, challenges and opportunities as she arrived to be the first director of the supervision and inspection of banks in the Central Bank of Yemen and currently she is working as an consultant for the Governor of the Central Bank of Yemen. Prof. Najat Juman was the second success story. She focused on academic success and the good impact of it on her professional progress. She managed the Faculty of Commerce and Economics at Sana’a University. She is also a board member and an expert in the field of governance and strategic planning.