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AD Ports Group – GLOW (Gain Leadership Opportunities for Women)

Emirati woman on AD Ports Group's GLOW accelerator
Editor 3 November 2022

At AD Ports Group, a major company listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is a key pillar of the people development and sustainability agenda.

In 2021, AD Ports Group wanted to proactively establish a talent development strategy to enable its high-potential Emirati women employees to lead change, amid rapid company expansion and international development spurred by changes the Covid-19 global pandemic was bringing worldwide.

AD Ports Group asked Aurora50 to address key points, such as:

  • Challenges women face in taking their careers to a leadership level
  • Accelerating the careers of high-potential Emirati women to decision-making levels
  • Encouraging women to drive their own career forward in line with an evolving business landscape.

[Download case study as PDF | Related: AD Ports Group runs Aurora50’s GLOW leadership accelerator for second year]

Taking action as a thought leader

DEI being a strategic pillar for AD Ports Group, they kickstarted an initiative to accelerate high potential Emirati women in the organisation. Through this initiative, AD Ports Group aimed to nurture leadership competencies, cultivate positive behavioural changes and enable them to tackle root causes and barriers to growth, that may be present at work or in their personal lives.

How Aurora50 helped

  • Researched and developed the structure, content, tools and delivery format for GLOW, an in-house leadership accelerator programme designed for AD Ports Group.
  • Equipped the workshops with design thinking tools and augmented them with inspirational speakers.
  • Provided participants with support to enhance their growth mindset to align with their career plans within AD Ports Group.

The GLOW accelerator

  • Fosters accountability, vision and action, based on core principles of design thinking, so participants can drive change at an organisational and/ or regional level.
  • Cultivates continuous learning and behavioural change. Examples and activities were taken from participants’ own work context; all tools can be reused in different contexts.
  • Identifies specific challenges that women face. These include stakeholder mapping, profile-building, leadership communications and plotting a personalised career growth strategy for each participant.

At the end, participants said:

  • 88% felt more capable of navigating their way to leadership positions
  • 94% were more confident of arriving at their value proposition
  • 84% were more confident in communicating their value to internal stakeholders

Insights actioned by participants


  • More adaptable
  • Boost in confidence, addressing imposter syndrome
  • Effective stress management

Self-awareness and empathy:

  • Views issues from different perspectives
  • Takes accountability for own career growth
  • Improved professional and personal relationships


  • Manages different styles in the team through agile leadership
  • Enhanced communication and strategic thinking
  • Uses mentorship and coaching to lead

What did their teams and leaders notice?

  • Positive behavioural changes
  • New approaches to work responsibilities
  • Handles conflict with greater harmony and confidence
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Enhanced communication

Looking to the future

  • GLOW continues to encourage AD Ports Group’s women to pursue leadership opportunities.
  • Participants’ potential has been showcased within AD Ports Group, as well as externally.
  • A second cohort was mobilised with GLOW’s concepts embedded into AD Ports Group‘s talent development agenda.