Hawkamah’s 10th annual conference reveals the secret ingredient: corporate culture
HE Hamad Buamim calls on boards and top management to have a closer look at their companies’ culture
HE Mona Al Marri urges companies to incorporate more gender diversity in their leadership
Government of Dubai Media Office – 8 November 2016: Over 200 corporate governance experts and practitioners gathered Tuesday at Hawkamah’s conference, organized at Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa. The conference marked the 10th anniversary for Hawkamah that was established in 2006.
The conference confirmed that as corporate governance evolves, the discussions are no longer on the meaning of corporate governance, nor is it focusing only on regulation, but rather on development and implementation. And in a belief that corporate culture is the next frontier in governance, the 10th annual conference theme was ‘Corporate Culture: The Secret Ingredient’.
HE Hamad Buamim, Chairman of Hawkamah, delivered the opening address of the conference and stressed the importance of good corporate culture to organizations. “Culture is not something that is easy to define, but we all recognize good corporate culture when we experience it,” he further explained that “It is that secret ingredient that ties people together within organizations, creates cohesiveness among employees, and fosters joint ownership of the company’s purpose and vision.”
Throughout his speech, His Excellency emphasized the need for good corporate culture by showcasing some examples of companies whose weak culture resulted in corporate scandals. He also invited all boards, CEOs and senior management to explore, through the conference, the ways in defining, creating, and monitoring corporate culture in their companies.
Delivering the keynote address at the Conference, Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council HE Mona Ghanem Al Marri said that the UAE has developed a unique model for governance over the last four decades. This period has witnessed major achievements driven by the leadership’s commitment to fundamental values of governance. These values are rooted in traditional councils, which used to be forums for sharing ideas and encouraging the participation of various stakeholders in the decision making process.
Her Excellency also said that Dubai is an ideal setting for this conference since the city has witnessed major cultural transformations. “The participation of youth in decision making and their empowerment that enables them to share their creativity and innovation is an important feature of Dubai’s development,” she said.
HE Mona Al Marri also spoke about gender diversity as an important factor in successful corporate governance. She said that promoting gender balance is a key priority of the UAE’s leadership. The establishment of the UAE Gender Balance Council is a testimony to this, she added.
Al Marri urged the corporate world to change their cultures to support the rise of a new generation of women who are ready to take on the challenges of leadership. “It’s time for the corporate world in our region to rewrite their gender playbooks so that we can tap fresh perspectives and ideas from women.”
Her Excellency further said that the UAE is a role model in empowering women. “The UAE is ranked number one globally in female enrollment in education. Women occupy 66% of public sector jobs – one of the highest proportions worldwide and 30% of them are in decision-making roles,” she told the audience.
Dr. Ashraf Gamal El Din, CEO of Hawkamah, the Institute for Corporate Governance said: “Dubai has significant achievements to its credit in the field of governance. A positive corporate culture is a key factor that determines the success of companies in achieving their objectives and serving society. Focusing on regulations is not enough, we have to work together to change our corporate culture so that decision making is always guided by the values of good governance and sustainability and employees are motivated to abide by the corporate and moral values that are rooted in our traditions.”
Dr. Gamal El Din also praised the role played by Dubai regionally and internationally in enhancing governance and encouraging its implementation, adding that the Conference discusses global and regional best practices for embedding a governance culture in the workplace.
Later in the full day conference, Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance and Dubai South signed an MOU with an aim to improve corporate governance practices in Dubai South and free zone companies.
About Hawkamah, The Institute for Corporate Governance:
Hawkamah is a world-class corporate governance institute working to improve corporate governance practices of governments and companies across the MENA region. We help build sound organisations, reform corporate sector, assist banking and financial sector, and promote good governance. We assist companies to develop sound and globally recognized corporate governance frameworks. Hawkamah helps also in building qualified directors and top executives who are able to apply corporate governance in their organisations. www.hawkamah.org