Emerging Board Leaders Fellowship, board accelerator, powered by HSBC!
  • Are you a socially and environmentally conscious leader with the skills and potential for effective directorship?

  • Are you looking to hone your skills and build your self-confidence to prepare for a board position, with the support of a mentor?

  • Are you looking to understand how corporate and organization board directors address the continual challenge of aligning the interests of the board, management, shareholders, and stakeholders with ESG?

  • Do you seek to add value to your organization through integrating emerging and exponential technologies critical to our changing world?

Program at a Glance

Diversity On Board is proud to launch the third Emerging Board Leaders Fellowship (EBLF) board accelerator, powered by HSBC. The Fellowship is designed to accelerate high-potential, exceptional, Arab and North African women and men, on their path to the boardroom.

Fellows will gain the necessary fiduciary, risk and governance skills, support, and mentorship to qualify as competitive and effective board directors, as well as the exposure and access to networks for board placement. With the current global humanitarian and economic crisis, additional dimensions to the responsiveness of leadership and upper management will be integrated into the program.

Consequently, the fellowship will heavily emphasize climate risks, and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. Fellows are expected to make a commitment to ESG in their current work and future directorship roles. The program will also incorporate emerging and exponential technologies critical to our changing world.

Fellowship Overview

The Emerging Board Leaders Fellowship is designed to amplify the skills and accelerate the progress of candidates who are almost board-ready and need one final catalyst. We believe that by supporting these socially and environmentally conscious leaders with the skills for effective directorship, they will be in positions to advance the diversity, equity and inclusion agenda within the organizations and communities they serve. We also believe in gender equity and align with the 30% Club in designing a fellowship that is gender-inclusive rather than focused on one gender only.

For candidates who don’t fit the Eligibility Criteria, we provide resources in our freely accessible ‘Pathway to the Boardroom’ self-guided learning platform on our website designed to assist you in navigating the various aspects of the board leadership journey. This platform covers a range of topics, including crafting effective board biographies, strategies for applying to board roles, and best practices for serving on boards effectively. Click here to sign up.

  • Of Arab or North African origin, both women and men (holding any nationality, including that of non-Arab countries).

  • Arab or North African women between the ages of 28-50 years during 2024.

  • Arab or North African men between the ages of 28-45 years during 2024.

  • Able to commit for the duration of the program.

  • C-Level experience, or a founder of a small/medium organization, or senior official at a small/medium non-corporate institution e.g. government and nonprofit.

  • At least 10 years of recognized achievements, leadership, and outstanding professional work experience.

  • Experience and skills in Financial Literacy, Corporate Law, Human Resources, Audit/Risk; or in critical areas related to our changing world e.g. Cyber Security, Big Data, AI, ESG, etc.

  • Highly strategic, critical thinker demonstrating future foresight.

  • Proven ability to lead and influence.

  • Excellent interpersonal, and communication skills. High levels of emotional intelligence.

  • Demonstrates a personal commitment to serve/impact society and the environment. Participates in the advancement of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  • Desire for personal and career growth throughout and beyond the duration of the program.

* Applicants with board experience in a listed company are NOT eligible to apply. However, those with or without experience serving on non-listed companies, government, nonprofit, social enterprise, scientific, and other boards are encouraged to apply.

The board accelerator will consist of 4 virtual program modules, which will be delivered over 12 non consecutive days, over the course of 3 months. Fellows will also be matched with a mentor, and we will actively support fellows in board placement for up to 12-months post-fellowship.

Testimonials from Past Emerging Board Leader Fellows

"One of the best executive training programs I have attended. Not only was the content quality top-notch, and the speaker invitations world-class. I believe the program moderators managed to do an excellent job facilitating the module that I know feel like I have a deep personal relationship with almost all program participants despite never having met in person !"

"The fellowship has exceeded my expectations. The quality of the modules and information shared were valuable and highly relevant to anyone who seeks to be a board member. I believe the discussions and experience-sharing sessions with the peers were very interesting and beneficial, given that each comes from different backgrounds."

"This was an amazing eye opening experience, I loved the interactive, peer learning experience through which my understanding of ESG best practices is extended and this will not only be reflected on my chance to get on board but also on enriching my current role"

"EBLF has been transformational to my boardroom career development. The course was not only valuable in developing corporate governance skill-set with focus on ESG and cybersecurity, but also in forming strong peer network of support."

"The Emerging Board Leaders Fellowship was a tremendous program, enabling mastery in both theoretical and practical knowledge of board directorship. I was quite pleasantly surprised by the level of the fellows as well. Highly recommend it to anyone looking to be certified in board leadership."

  • How do I apply to the Emerging Board Leaders Fellowship?

Apply here.

  • How do I nominate someone for the Emerging Board Leaders Fellowship?

Nominate here.

  • Will nominating a peer negatively affect my chances of being selected?

Encouraging your peers to apply will be viewed favorably by our evaluators. We are seeking candidates who lift others up with them and adopt a collaborative “expanding the pie” mentality versus one of limited opportunities and scarcity.

  • What happens after I nominate a peer?

Once you nominate a peer, we will contact them via email and inform them that they have been nominated, and ask them to apply to the program if they are interested. Nominating a peer does not guarantee their enrollment in the program, as they will be assessed based on our screening and evaluation criteria, and go through the selection process as an applicant.

  • When is the deadline for submitting the application for the Emerging Board Leaders Fellowship?

February 16, 2024 at 11:59PM Bahrain time (GMT+3).

  • When does the actual Program start and what is the time commitment? 

The program is expected to kick-off on April 16, 2024 and will consist of 12 full-day sessions over the course of 8 weeks. You are expected to uphold a minimum 80% attendance rate. 

  • What are the language requirements of the fellowship?

All candidates must be fluent in spoken and written English. In the future French and Arabic may be included.

  • I have served on a Board. Can I submit for the fellowship?

Applicants with experience serving on the board of a listed company are NOT eligible to apply. However, those with and without experience serving on non-listed company, government, nonprofit, social enterprise, scientific and other boards are encouraged to apply.

  • Which nationalities can apply?

While gender inequity is a global phenomenon, women of Arab and North African origin are disproportionately under-represented compared with their non-Arab counterparts—both in the Arab world and internationally. Therefore, only Arab and North African candidates (holding nationality from any country) are eligible to apply. For example, a U.S. citizen of Arab origin is eligible to apply.

  • Which age groups are eligible to apply for the program?

Individuals between the ages of 28-45 years during 2023.

  • Are there any costs that I’ll have to cover to apply or join the fellowship?

Applicants and fellows of the second cohort in the EBLF 2024 will not have to endure any costs related to the fellowship or the training modules.

  • What do I need to have ready prior to filling my application?

Your CV, a 300-word statement of interest, a 250-word board bio and the contact details of 3 references. We recommend preparing your answers and supporting documents offline before submitting as you will not be able to save your progress.

  • What is a board bio?

An professional profile that describes how your experience and skill sets can add value to a board. This is not the same as a traditional executive profile. We highly encourage you to refer to the following articles for further guidance:

  • Do I need recommendation letters?

While filling the application, you will be asked to provide 3 professional references. These can be employers, business partners, mentors, peers or a board member. We will contact them directly via email and they will be asked to fill out a short assessment form. Please ensure adding a verified working email, as the references assessment are crucial for applicants to move to the evaluation phase.

We highly recommend you start reaching out to prospective references early in your application process.

  • What is the evaluation criteria?

You will be evaluated and assessed based on the following:

  • Experience and skills in Financial Literacy, Corporate Law, Human Resources, Audit/Risk; or in critical areas related to our changing world e.g. Cyber Security, Big Data, AI, ESG, etc.

  • Strategic thinking, foresight and understanding of the bigger picture.

  • Ability to lead and influence.

  • Interpersonal and communication skills, emotional intelligence.

  • Willingness to share knowledge and support others’ growth.

  • Personal commitment to serve and impact society and the environment. 

  • Commitment towards diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  • Desire for personal and professional growth throughout and beyond the duration of the program.

  • Where will the Fellowship be based?

The Emerging Board Leaders Fellowship will be held virtually.

  • How will I find out about the status of my application?

You will receive an automated email from our system confirming your application submission. Candidates will be notified of their advancement to the next phase of the screening process as soon as relevant information is available.

  • What is the selection process?

Upon submission, your application will go through a screening process to ensure that the submitted documents address all the relevant items mentioned in the application. Your references will be contacted and asked to fill a competency-based assessment form. Shortlisted applicants will go through interviews, and the final selected applicants will be informed of their selection.

  • To whom should I address any inquiry related to the fellowship?

You can reach out to our team by emailing us on: eblf@diversityonboard.org

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