Bahraini trio on Forbes’ most powerful businesswomen’s list

Mona Almoayyed, the managing director of YK Almoayyed and Sons, leads a trio of Bahrainis that have made it to Forbes Middle East’s list of the Middle East’s 50 Most Powerful Businesswomen of 2022.

In 13th place, Ms Almoayyed is the top-ranked representative of the kingdom in the compilation of business leaders that are holding some of the most challenging and important positions in Mena, as well as playing fundamental roles in making the Middle East a globally competitive marketplace, says the publication.

She is followed by SICO chief executive Najla Al Shirawi in 42nd place with Narjes Jamal, the chief operating officer of Bahrain Bourse, rounding off Bahrain’s presence in 50th place.

The Forbes website says Ms Almoayyed joined her family business, YK Almoayyed and Sons, 20 years ago.

It is a diversified group in Bahrain focused on automobiles, electronics and luxury goods.

The group represents over 300 international brands including Infiniti, Nissan, Renault, Ford, Sony, Nikon, Westpoint and Toshiba.

In December 2018, Ms Almoayyed was appointed as a member of the Shura Council and is also a member of the Parliament Public Utilities and Environment Affairs Committee, which works towards a greener Bahrain.

Forbes notes that Ms Al Shirawi was appointed chief executive of investment bank and brokerage firm SICO in 2014.

She is also board member of the Economic Development Board, Bahrain’s national investment promotion agency, and chairs the board of directors for two SICO subsidiaries: the SICO Funds Services Company in Bahrain and the SICO Financial Brokerage in Abu Dhabi. She is also a vice-chairwoman for SICO Capital.

Talking about Ms Jamal, the publication says she heads digital transformation at the Bahrain Bourse and is responsible for embedding ESG practices and building partnerships with GCC exchanges.

In November 2021, the Bahrain Bourse signed a partnership with the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange to facilitate and enhance investments between the two countries.

Its market capitalisation reached $28.8 billion in January 2022. As head of the company’s Gender Equality Committee, Ms Jamal endorsed the Working From Home initiative in 2020.

The list is topped by Raja Al Gurg, group managing director and vice chairwoman of UAE-based Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group, a family-owned conglomerate consisting of 27 diverse companies that has been operating for more than 60 years.

This year’s chart of Mena’s most influential and successful businesswomen features representatives of 19 different nationalities and 17 sectors.

The UAE and Egypt scored the most entries with seven each, followed by Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Kuwait, and Oman, with four entries each.

The banking and financial services sector is the most dominant with 16 entries, followed by diversified conglomerates and the retail sector with six entries each, and the technology sector with five.

Over 25pc of the women on this year’s list are leaders of regional offices and divisions for multinational companies, such as Saeeda Jaffar of Visa, Derya Matras of Meta, Sophie Doireau of Cartier, and Rima Assi of McKinsey and Company.

And there are 12 newcomers, eight of whom are based in the UAE, two in Qatar, and two in Saudi Arabia.




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