Archives

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.

Farah Foustok

As CEO of LAM’s business in the Middle East, Farah internally connected Lazard asset management (LAM) to the 30% Club in the UK, US, Australia & Singapore to launch diversity initiatives. Subsequently, LAM hosted the 30% Club US mentoring program in 2016, and Farah has actively mentored women at LAM in US, UK, Australia, China and Middle East. She recommended an amendment to the LAM HR handbook in Middle East to enhance maternity leave, in line with global standards, and has enrolled all female staff and senior male directors in a regional mentoring program (Reach). Externally, Farah co-founded Reach, which has mentored over 300 professional women in the UAE, Lebanon, Bahrain & Saudi Arabia since launch in 2013. She also co-founded the 30% Club GCC in 2015 and currently chairs steering committee, with over 150 member firms.

Souad Benkredda

Souad is currently with Standard Chartered Bank in the UAE and manages a team of approx. 120 people. She is very passionate about identifying, nurturing and promoting female talent especially in the Financial Markets business which historically had a low female front office representation. Souad is a member of the Standard Chartered MENAP Diversity & Inclusion Council and has been instrumental in introducing new processes aiming to attract more females into the Bank. Under her leadership, 75% of the 2017 and 2018 Financial Markets UAE graduate hires were female. Throughout her career, Souad has mentored many women from different divisions and countries. She also takes time to provide guidance to male colleagues who ask for advice on various aspects of diversity. She is a regular speaker at universities and conferences. She was also a panellist at the first ever Arab-German Women Leaders Forum in Berlin. Souad holds a Master from the University Paris Dauphine and a Master from the Frankfurt University with specialisation in Financial Engineering. Souad is originally from Algeria and speaks five languages (Arabic, German, English, French, Italian). She is married with two young children. 

Rana Ghandour Salhab

Rana is a former member of the Board of Directors, and sits on the regional Executive Committee of Deloitte in the Middle East. She leads a women advancement program (DRAW- Deloitte Retention and Advancement of Women), frequently profiled by global diversity leaders as a best practice in building an inclusive culture and accelerating gender diversity. Externally, Rana is active in championing economic and political participation of women in Arab countries. Rana serves on the advisory boards of organizations such as Reach (Mentoring NGO for women in finance registered in the Dubai International Financial Centre) and the 30% Club – GCC. She is also on the Executive Board of the National Commission for Lebanese Women, and the Middle East Advisory Board of the American University of Beirut’s OSB Business School. Rana has spoken at a wide number of international events, and was invited by UN Women to participate in the Consultation Workshop the Union for the Mediterranean Headquarters in Spain for a “flagship” project in the MENA region. She was then invited to participate as a speaker in the UfM-UNIDO Women Entrepreneurs’ Forum: ‘Promoting Women Business Partnership in the Mediterranean’ as part of the “Women for Mediterranean” Conference in Portugal in October 2018. 

Rana Ghandour Salhab

Rana was elected to the board of directors of Deloitte in the Middle East region in 2015, and is a member of the regional Executive Committee. She is one of the first two women admitted as partner in the history of the firm of over 90 years in 2006, and the first to be elected to its board. She led the creation of a Deloitte women advancement program DRAW in 2007, which is still frequently profiled by global diversity leaders as best practice. It resulted in an increased ratio of women in the firm across Arabian Gulf and other Middle East countries. Rana is an active champion and frequent speaker on women advancement and gender parity in the Middle East and has presented in many other global summits and roundtables. She was appointed by a presidential decree to the National Commission for Lebanese Women, which advises ministries in Lebanon on gender equality laws and practices, and she was elected to its Executive Board. She sits on many advisory boards of leading universities and NGO’s in the region, and is a member of the steering committee for the 30% Club – GCC which aims at increasing the number of women on leadership boards, and on the advisory board of Reach, a non-profit organization in Dubai for mentoring and supporting professional women in the Middle East region.