Muna Al Gurg: elder sister was my role model
She is one of the country's most prominent businesswomen. Besides being the director of retail at Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group, a large family-owned company, she recently acted as a judge on the UAE reality television show The Entrepreneur and sits on five boards. Here, Ms Al Gurg talks about her career.
When did you take up your first seat on a board and what was the organisation?
In 2004. It was [on] the Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre board. I served there for six years.
When did you join the board of the family business?
I would say a year or two later after that. It's a natural progression to be part of the board when you have been involved for many years and you know your business quite well, so you kind of look at it from a strategic point of view. My eldest sister, Raja, was the first on our group of companies and she has been there for a very long time. She was my role model.
Did you always hope to join the board?
I did and I remember at one point ... I wasn't very much into finance and I felt that I needed to improve from that perspective. That's when I got my MBA and that helped me a lot in terms of being on a board level, analysing all the companies and the financial side of things. You need to know your numbers, obviously. I always wanted to be part of it. But it was only a matter of coming in at the right time.
The Al Gurg Group has three female board members in total. Does it have any other initiatives to aid women's progress?
We recently started something called the Al Gurg Women's Empowerment Forum. That comes under our training because we have a whole training centre and that centre looks into different programmes for the group. And this is one we recently started where women have a platform to voice their opinions to people on board level. It's been very beneficial.