EY admits first local female partners in the UAE, Egypt and KSA

01 August 2019 Consultancy-me.com 3 min. read

Among 20 promotions across MENA, professional services firm Ernst & Young has admitted its first ever female partners from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE.

Global professional services firm Ernst & Young has added 20 new members to its partnership ranks in the Middle East & North Africa amid 733 mid-year global promotions – including the firm’s first ever female partners from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE; Heba Wardie, Esraa Al-Buti and Wardah Ebrahim. Altogether, the number of newly appointed female partners has tripled from last year.

The fresh promotions bring the total number of EY partners in the MENA region to 218, with new members added across the firm’s advisory, assurance, tax, and transaction services functions at its branches in KSA, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Egypt, and the Emirates. At the global level, one third of the firm’s new partners serve in emerging markets, while 30 percent are women.

“I am delighted to welcome such a diverse and talented group to our leadership team in the MENA region,” said EY MENA chairman and CEO Abdulaziz Al-Sowailim, who has seen the region’s partnership more than double from around 100 at the time of his appointment in 2010. “Their range of experience across various sectors and services reflects the depth of EY offerings, while also highlighting our expertise in the different economies of the region.”

Esraa Al-Buti and Wardah Ebrahim - EY

In a first for their respective country operations, Egyptian and Saudi nationals Heba Wardie and Esraa Al-Buti have been admitted as partners in the EY’s respective local tax practices, while Emirati Wardah Ebrahim has been made a partner within the firm’s UAE Assurance practice. With the firm’s MENA operations sitting within its EMEIA division, the trio will be ultimately led by Julie Teigland, who this month took over as regional leader in another gender first.

Having served as EY MENA’s Assurance Talent Leader since 2016, Ebrahim joined the firm as an audit associate in the UAE in 2006, steadily working her way up the ranks over the years. Al-Buti, meanwhile, has been with EY in Saudi Arabia since 2011, becoming a director in its Business Tax Advisory services practice last year after a one-year stint as a senior manager with the firm in London.

“I am truly proud to see the number of female partners at EY grow each year, it is a testament to our commitment to advance gender equality and create more inclusive boardrooms,” stated Abdulaziz. “To now have several female MENA nationals among the ranks of the leadership team, driving our vision and values, is an honor. I look forward to seeing how their contributions change our industry for the better.”

Entrepreneurial Winning Women

Among other females in EY’s local partnership ranks, Ebrahim, Al-Buti and Wardie join Sheikha Al-Fulaij, partner in the firm’s Kuwait assurance practice and sponsor of the firm’s local Entrepreneurial Winning Women programme – a female leadership empowerment platform which last week entered into its second edition after a successful inaugural MENA launch last year with participants from Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait and the UAE.

“We are witnessing a remarkable shift in the MENA region in terms of the role of women in the workforce – they are not only leading their own businesses but also claiming their place in the corporate boardroom,” said Al-Fulaij. “In addition, regional governments are recognising the direct benefits of supporting women entrepreneurs, such as the boost to their local economies, and are implementing various measures to foster their growth.”