Gatehouse Bank keeps momentum for 'Generation F' with Kuwait Oil Company & Dar Al-Hekma
This week sees Gatehouse Bank host yet another educational workshop to support “Generation F” hosted by the Kuwait Oil Company (KOC), Kuwait, as part of their Professional Women Networking event for women within the company. As women are becoming more educated and financially independent, their role as an influential class of investor is rapidly rising. For Gatehouse Bank, a leading Shariah compliant bank based in the City of London, this shift in demographics represents the start of a marked trend in which female investors will increasingly be driving investment decisions at a global level.
The event on Tuesday 16 April at KOC saw a collection of 70 Kuwaiti female oil and gas professionals congregate to develop their financial skills necessary for smart wealth preservation. Ms. Hosnia Hashim of Kuwait Oil Company and founder of KOC PWN, stated, “It’s very refreshing to have workshops like this one to elevate the level of awareness of our female workforce in KOC on topics related to finances. We appreciate the expert participation of Gatehouse Bank, obviously keen in investing time into educating women.”
Gatehouse Bank has a history of supporting Arab women through education. Most recently, this saw Ms Zaheer speaking about Financial Literacy for Women, in the Arab Women in the Global Economy Forum, ‘Building the Future Together’, organised in partnership with the Arab British Chamber of Commerce. The event was hosted by Her Excellency Sheikha Dr Hind Al Qassimi of the UAE and was designed to highlight the contributions and achievements of Arab businesswomen in professional life and represent their affairs at an international level.
February saw the beginning of a fruitful collaboration between Gatehouse Bank and Dar Al-Hekma University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in the form of sessions hosted by Gatehouse Bank’s Ms. Azeemeh Zaheer and Mr. Mohammed Razzouqi for the MBA course on Real Estate Management at Dar Al-Hekma. The three day graduate seminar, entitled ‘Real Estate from an Investment Perspective’ was a huge success, and the first of its kind. From this successful beginning, Dar Al-Hekma and Gatehouse Bank have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a commitment to promote financial literacy amongst women as part of their corporate social responsibility programme. Dr Suhair Hassan Al Qurashi, President of Dar Al-Hekma, spoke of the collaboration, “It is with pleasure that we formalise our mutual commitment to ensure the women of Saudi, and across the GCC region, are exposed to the same educational platforms as men. The recent sessions Gatehouse Bank hosted at Dar Al-Hekma were exceptionally well received by the graduate students, and I’m delighted that we can continue this relationship.”
In the GCC countries, female participation in the labour market currently stands at 26.9%. Although this is just half that of the world average of 51.7%, in many GCC countries women actually represent a better educated talent pool than the overall population. In Kuwait, for example, women comprise nearly 67% of all graduates in the country. Education is recognised as one of the most powerful tools for empowering women and, as numbers steadily rise there will be a corresponding rise in the number of women in the workforce and the number of women looking to invest.
Against this backdrop, encouraging female financial literacy and supporting the development of the financial skills necessary for long term wealth preservation is a core objective for the Bank. Led by Vice President Ms Azeemeh Zaheer, Gatehouse Bank is working with female investors, not just in the GCC but also worldwide, to encourage women’s participation and ensure that women are equipped with the right knowledge, tools and skills to play a more active role in business and investment decisions.
As Ms Zaheer points out: “The rise of 'Generation F' - a new generation of female investor, is an international phenomenon and it’s hugely exciting to see Arab women playing such a prominent role. However, while these women are becoming more financially independent, financial literacy is a must... 9 out of 10 women are solely responsible for their finances at some point in their life. This is why it’s so important for Gatehouse Bank that we work with these women on education programmes to demystify the financial markets, enabling women to make their own decisions about how to build and diversify their investment portfolios in the best possible way.”
Ms Zaheer continues, “When it comes to investing, both men and women must do the same due diligence. The reason for promoting financial literacy for women is quintessentially threefold; men and women are different psychologically when it comes to making the final investment decision; women live longer than men; and because, with more women in the workforce the ability to participate in investing will increase.”