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Increasing the number of female senior executives and promoting diversity are among BNP Paribas' key priorities globally and regionally. With attracting qualified females in senior positions often cited as a key industry challenge in the GCC, BNP Paribas saw the need and opportunity to be the first company to organise a high profile conference in this field.
The Women and Leadership conference is a human resources and social responsibility initiative aimed to: recognize the crucial role that leading women play in the region; reflect the importance of diversity within the workplace, and discuss challenges and recommended solutions of women empowerment in the GCC. It gathered some of the bank's employees and representatives from all sectors of society including government, non-government, private, and media sectors.
A series of presentations, case studies, and testimonials marked the day. ‘The Empowerment of Women as a Development Tool'; ‘Businesswomen's Achievements in the GCC'; ‘Unleashing Entrepreneurship'; ‘Plural Identities', and ‘Arab Women's Educational Achievements' were among the topics presented and discussed. A recommendations session facilitated by Nima Abu Wardeh founder of Mzone and presenter of BBC's Middle East Business Report, concluded with a series of suggestions made by the audience to be implemented by a working committee representing all sectors.
On the occasion, Regional Director – BNP Paribas GCC Countries, commented: ‘Diversity is one of BNP Paribas' strategic priorities in the GCC region, and we make every effort to develop it further, and to be even better at being the bank for a changing world – a bank that partners with its stakeholders and employees to meet today's challenges. The Women and Leadership conference is a live example of our efforts to make a positive contribution both internally and externally to the region.'
As an international Group, BNP Paribas defines itself not only by its varied business lines but also the diverse cultural and national make up of its community of employees. With operations in more than 85 countries and 163,000 employees worldwide, and 620 regionally, BNP Paribas brings together people from different backgrounds, cultures and nationalities to deliver innovation, creativity, and superior results for the business and its stakeholders.
The GCC is one of BNP Paribas' key markets, due to its financial power, fast accelerating openness and its increased sophistication. As a result, the companies headcount in the GCC has more than doubled over the last few years, and will increase by 25% by 2010.
About BNP Paribas in the Gulf
BNP Paribas has been operating in the Gulf for over 35 years with a presence in five Gulf countries (Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia). The teams also cover Oman and Yemen. BNP Paribas in the region accounts for approximately 600 employees. The Regional Management is based in Bahrain which is the regional hub for BNP Paribas in the Gulf.
About BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas is a European leader in global banking and financial services and is one of the 5 strongest banks in the world according to Standard & Poor's. The group is present in over 85 countries, with almost 163,000 employees, including near 127,000 in Europe. The group holds key positions in three major segments: Corporate and Investment Banking, Asset Management & Services and Retail Banking. Present throughout Europe in all of its business lines, the bank's two domestic markets in retail banking are France and Italy. BNP Paribas also has a significant presence in the United States and strong positions in Asia and the emerging markets.
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