McKinsey’s edad program welcomes 100 young Arab females

13 November 2020 3 min. read

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of its edad program in the Middle East, McKinsey & Company recently hosted a special edition exclusively for young female professionals.

The world’s most acclaimed consulting firm McKinsey & Company has been active in the Middle East since the early 60’s, and today the firm serves the region from offices in eight cities: in Abu Dhabi, Cairo, Doha, Dubai, Karachi, Kuwait, Manama, and Riyadh. host

Attracting and grooming home-grown talent has always been central to the firm’s talent strategy, and demonstrating its commitment to the topic in 2010 McKinsey launched its edad – which means preparation in Arabic – program. The program aims at bringing together a diverse pool of talented students and young professionals from across the Middle East and from a wide variety of universities and academic backgrounds.

Students that participate in the program are provided exposure to on-the-job consulting experience and access to different critical skill-building programmes that prepare them for the workforce, including interview preparation, effective communications, and problem-solving essentials.

McKinsey’s women-only edad edition

Since inception, more than 1,000 Arab students and young professionals have participated in edad, coming from top universities in the Middle East including the American University of Beirut, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and New York University Abu Dhabi, as well as Ivy League institutions in the US including Yale, MIT and Harvard, and in Europe including IE University and the University of Oxford. 

A women-only edition

To commemorate the programme’s ten-year anniversary, McKinsey recently hosted a women-only edition. The two-day virtual event brought together 100 university female students and young female professionals who are just beginning their careers. According to one participant, “edad is one of the best things that happened to me in 2020! Being surrounded by inspirational women from different backgrounds has been extremely motivating and energising!” 

Most completed the event finding out what it means to work in strategy consulting. As one attendee put it, “I got to finally understand what consultants actually do – and the reality is, at its most basic level, they help solve problems – and learning how to think about solving these major, country-shaping problems, was extremely inspiring.” 

Reflecting on the special edition, Eefke Post, a Partner at McKinsey in the Middle East, said: “We were excited to mark this special occasion with a programme dedicated to this group of female young professionals. The region is filled with amazing youth, full of talent and promise. Programmes like edad help unlock opportunities for this potential to be realised and we’re grateful to play a small part.”

What’s next?

According to Post, approximately 50% of edad participants end up applying to McKinsey & Company in due course – in fact, getting accepted to edad guarantees an interview spot for a full-time role at the consultancy. The rest of the participants opt for roles in other enterprises, with 5% starting their own businesses. 

Tarek Elmasry, a Senior Partner at McKinsey in Dubai, said: “The Middle East has a tremendous need for leadership and for people who can help improve public and private organisations. Through edad, we meet incredible individuals who want to be part of this region’s future… some join McKinsey, others join different organisations, and some start their own businesses, but all of them contribute and inspire.”