Souad Benkredda

At Standard Chartered Bank, Souad has focused her activities in several areas to reach maximum impact. Since Souad joined SCB in 2017, 80% of graduates hired into Financial Markets (FM) UAE have been female. She has pushed for the promotion of existing female talent, running confidential 1:1 career sessions for all front office female staff in FM MENA, leading to 54% of FM MENA front office promotions being female. She gave a presentation at the launch of the SCB ‘GOAL’ programme in Dubai to inspire young girls to positively shape their own futures. Souad is a member of the MENAP D&I Council, influencing SCB MENA’s hiring procedure by suggesting more diverse slates for senior roles, which has also been implemented by the global FM D&I Working Group. Souad has ensured exit interviews are carried out with all outgoing senior front office women, and has implemented a reverse mentoring programme with senior male colleagues, among many other internal initiatives. Externally, Souad spoke at the Dubai Bloomberg D&I lunch in April and was interviewed on the power of diversity by the Arabian Business Magazine. She was also selected as one of the 50 most influential women in ME Finance by FN London.

Chris Allington

Chris is an active sponsor for both the UK and US Women’s Networks and provides support, mentorship and direction to the committees. He is also a passionate champion for gender equality and was instrumental in rolling out improved Parental and Maternity Leave Policies across the bank to ensure employees could access the same benefits across the globe. His active engagement has encouraged a number of men to get involved in the Women’s Network and pushing the gender equality agenda further. He regularly speaks at both internal and external events on the importance of a strong gender mix to an organisation and is part of the Corporate and Institutional Banking management team, actively pushing to ensure they have higher numbers of women in senior positions in Financial Markets. Externally, Chris also speaks at events and to special interest groups on the importance of gender equality, as well as regularly taking part in mentoring.