Human Resources at Gulf Bank: Performance Summary for 2023

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Kuwait City, Jan 16: International collaborations, prestigious awards, and a prominent position in recruitment, training, and development

Salma Al-Hajjaj:

• Gulf Bank received the prestigious “Best Training and Development” and “Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion” awards at the 2023 MENA HR Management Summit

  • Gulf Bank was acknowledged with the Excellence in Data Innovation Award at the eighteenth Finnovex Conference summit in Qatar.
  • We established strategic partnerships with global platforms Coursera and Coach Hub, focusing on the development of employees and leaders.
  • We participated in the Kuwait University, GUST, “KTech,” and “Watheefti Career Fairs.
  • We successfully graduated the eighth batch of the Ajyal program, inaugurating the ninth batch, and engaged in various international training programs
  • We launched the second edition of the Datathon competition
  • We introduced a digital library and actively participated in the Innovation Challenge Program
  • We organized the “Lead the Way” conference and conducted a “WOW Diwaniya, showcasing our unwavering commitment to women’s empowerment.
  • The annual “Employee Engagement Survey” showcased consistent positive progression in recent years.

Being a highly appealing hub for talent, Gulf Bank consistently invests in the training and development of its workforce through collaborations with esteemed international and local institutions. This approach ensures that employees are equipped with the latest expertise and skills essential to navigate the significant transformations occurring in the banking industry both locally and globally.
In its commitment to attracting exceptional young talents, Gulf Bank has actively sponsored various career fairs organized by Kuwaiti universities. The goal is to position itself as the preferred employment destination for emerging professionals entering the workforce.
Aligned with the bank’s 2025 strategy and in harmony with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Gulf Bank remains dedicated to fostering inclusivity and empowerment for women, youth, and people of determination.
Furthermore, as part of its dedication to align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the yearly “Employee Engagement Survey” has demonstrated consistent positive progression in recent years.

Ms. Salma Al-Hajjaj, the General Manager of Human Resources at Gulf Bank, highlighted key achievements, programs, and courses organized by the bank in 2023 within this overarching framework. These initiatives include:

Gulf Bank’s Double Win at 2023 MENA HR Summit

Gulf Bank won two awards at the 2023 Middle East and North Africa HR Management Summit in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The summit included the participation of esteemed officials and specialists in the human resources field, representing prominent companies and banks in the region. Ms. Salma Al-Hajjaj was honored with the awards for “Best Training and Development” and “Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion” at the ceremony that recognized outstanding achievements in human resources within various companies.
Data Innovation Excellence Award at Finnovex Qatar 2023
At the 18th Finnovex Qatar 2023 summit, Gulf Bank received the Data Innovation Excellence Award for its exceptional contributions to advancing data-driven innovations within the Kuwaiti financial sector. This recognition is attributed to various impactful initiatives such as the Data Ambassadors Program, data literacy training courses, and the Fekrety Innovation Competition.
Global Partnerships
Collaboration with Coursera

In its ongoing commitment to employee development, Gulf Bank has partnered with Coursera, a leading global online learning platform. This collaboration aims to offer employees advanced training opportunities and access to courses and certificates from renowned educational institutions and universities.
Partnership with Coach Hub

Gulf Bank has joined forces with Coach Hub, a worldwide platform specializing in talent and leadership development. This collaboration empowers employees of major organizations globally, to establish distinctive, measurable, and scalable training programs.
Employment Opportunities for Youth

As part of its support for the youth and its continuous efforts to attract the best talents from the national workforce, Gulf Bank concluded its sponsorship and participation in the second edition of the ‘Watheefti’ Career Fair. Representatives from Gulf Bank highlighted the nature of banking work during their participation in the exhibition, offering comprehensive explanations to job seekers about the banking industry and the career development opportunities offered by the bank to its employees.
Career Fair at Kuwait University

Gulf Bank, the favored choice for employment in the Kuwaiti financial sector, successfully wrapped up its sponsorship of the three-day career fair hosted by Kuwait University.

Gust Career Fair’s Diamond Sponsor

In its ongoing commitment to empower youth and as the preferred choice for employment in the Kuwaiti financial sector, Gulf Bank served as the diamond sponsor for the twenty-fourth career fair at Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST).

Career Fair at Kuwait Technical College
As part of its continuous commitment to empower youth and its position as a favored choice for employment in the Kuwaiti financial sector, Gulf Bank took part in the Kuwait Technical College (KTech) Career Fair last March.

The Australian University Alumni Exhibition
Gulf Bank wrapped-up its Platinum sponsorship of the Alumni Exhibition for the College of Engineering students at the Australian University. This reflects the bank’s unwavering support for young individuals, its ongoing efforts to empower them, and its encouragement for innovation while reinforcing the principles of sustainability in society.
Hiring People of Determination
Gulf Bank participated in the Employment Forum for People of Determination, showcasing graduates from the fourth batch of the “Partners to Employ Them” campaign. The campaign was organized by the Public Authority for Disability Affairs in collaboration with the Human Construction Society for Social Development. At the forum, Gulf Bank announced the recruitment of a group of these graduates.
Training and Development
Ajyal Program

In its ongoing commitment to foster the development and skills of its employees, Gulf Bank initiated the ninth edition of the “Ajyal” program. This edition welcomes a new group of recently appointed trainees with less than 5 years of experience at Gulf Bank. The program aims to refine their skills and contribute to their professional and personal development.

Qualifying Fresh Kuwaiti Graduates

In its continuous dedication to human resource development, Gulf Bank announced the successful conclusion of the “Qualifying Fresh Kuwaiti Graduates for Employment in the Banking Sector” program for a group of its employees. This initiative was carried out in partnership with the Institute of Banking Studies and the Central Bank of Kuwait from March 2022 to May 2023. (KGDP – Kuwait Graduates Development Program)
Part of their training includes a trip to Oman to visit the National Bank of Oman Apprenticeship (6 weeks)

Corporate Directors Training Program
Gulf Bank has declared its involvement in the Corporate Directors training program for the second consecutive year. This program is organized by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, in collaboration with the Tammayaz Foundation and Soroptimist International. The bank’s participation reflects its commitment to promoting sustainability principles in society and supporting programs and initiatives for women’s empowerment.

Harvard Business School Program
Several leaders from Gulf Bank successfully completed the Harvard Business School program, specifically crafted to foster the growth of leaders in the banking and financial sector. The program, titled “Strategic Leadership in a Changing World,” is a part of the “Kafaa” initiative, a collaborative effort between the Central Bank of Kuwait and Kuwaiti banks aimed at supporting and cultivating leadership in the industry.

FranklinCovey Leadership Program
Built upon enduring principles of human effectiveness, this program is crafted to facilitate transformative change for individuals. The Institute of Banking Studies has established a strong partnership with FranklinCovey, collaborating to cultivate essential skills for personal and interpersonal effectiveness among leaders and their teams. Sustainable shifts in behavior originate from within — shaping one’s identity and perspective. This internal transformation reflects in how individuals engage with and lead others.
The primary goal of the program is to empower leaders to recognize their capacity to engage with others, amplify their influence, foster collective action, and achieve groundbreaking results for their banks.
“Sustainability in Finance” Masterclass and Workshop by IE Business School for GB50 and Board Members
An interactive session held for executive leaders and board members as part of the ESG 2024/2030 sustainability initiative.

Data and Innovation
Introducing a Digital Library

In its ongoing commitment to digital leadership within the banking sector and delivering top-notch services to its customers, Gulf Bank revealed the introduction of a digital library. This library is positioned to serve as the primary resource for the bank’s products and services, representing a key component of the extensive digital transformation the bank aims to accomplish across various sectors and business operations.

The Second Edition of the Datathon Competition
With the involvement of over 400 young Kuwaiti participants, Gulf Bank revealed the winning teams at the end of the second edition of the Datathon competition. As the first platform of its kind in Kuwait, the Datathon aims to empower data professionals, as well as school and university students, and new employees keen on entering the realms of data and analytics. Notably, the second edition marked the inaugural participation of the 14-18 age group in the competition, alongside contestants aged 18 and above.

The Innovation Challenge Program
Gulf Bank participated, alongside five selected Kuwaiti banks and companies, in the seventh edition of the Innovation Challenge Program for the year 2022-2023. This program is annually organized by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences in collaboration with the London Business School. The program aims to stimulate innovation and enhance creative skills within private sector companies, supporting economic growth and contributing to the transformation of Kuwait’s economy into a knowledge-based economy.

Data Ambassadors Program
As a testament to its prosperous digital transformation and ongoing commitment to foster the skills of its workforce, Gulf Bank successfully completed the second edition of the Data Ambassadors Program. This data and analytics program is the first of its kind in Kuwait, with the total number graduates reaching 210.

A Training Program for Youth
Gulf Bank completed a training program in Data Science and Innovation for high school graduates and university students who reached the final stage of the second edition of the annual Datathon competition. The competition featured the participation of over 400 young and talented Kuwaiti contestants, including, for the first time, individuals aged 14 to 18 years.

Women Empowerment
Lead the Way Conference
In celebration of International Women’s Day 2023, Gulf Bank orchestrated the “Lead the Way” conference. The event attracted a diverse audience, including notable figures and officials from banks, the private sector, diplomats, government representatives, and public welfare associations.

The conference delved into key challenges hindering endeavors to bolster and empower women. Through engaging workshops, motivational speeches, and stimulating panel discussions, participants explored the impactful ripple effects of supporting and empowering women on the economy. The event served as a platform for interactive dialogue on these crucial issues.
“WOW” Monthly Discussion Circles

Gulf Bank organized the monthly “WOW” Diwaniya for women, providing a platform for networking, sharing experiences and ideas, and engaging in discussions about suggestions and solutions to the challenges that women encounter.

American Business Council AmCham Seminar
Gulf Bank participated in a seminar organized by the American Business Council AmCham Kuwait at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. The seminar, titled “Diversity, Inclusion and Sustainable Practices”, saw active participation from numerous representatives from both the public and private sectors. During the event, Gulf Bank’s notable journey in solidifying sustainability principles, particularly in the realm of women’s empowerment, was extensively reviewed.

Kuwaiti Women’s Economic Empowerment Platform (KWEEP)
A collaborative digital platform, in alignment with the UN Call-to-Action WEPs, emphasizing Gulf Bank’s commitment to shaping a better future for working women and fostering sustainability.

Health Awareness
Annual Women’s Health Awareness Campaign

On the occasion of Breast Cancer and Mental Health Awareness Month, Gulf Bank initiated its yearly campaign dedicated to promoting women’s health and safety throughout October. The campaign includes offering complimentary screenings for female employees and conducting a workshop focused on women’s empowerment.

Three-day Women’s Empowerment Workshops in Collaboration with Safira CSR
These workshops included engaging sessions featuring various guest speakers addressing topics such as well-being, achieving work-life balance, goals setting, seizing opportunities, as well as fostering critical thinking.

Mental Health Awareness Podcast Session with Dr. Mohammad T. Alsuwaidan
The interactive podcast session featured Dr. Mohammad Alsuwaidan, Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Director at Mindwell Center Kuwait, as well as Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, Canada. The session delved into the connection between mental and physical health and was accessible to all Gulf Bank employees.

The First Movember Campaign
Continuing its steadfast dedication to fostering the well-being of its employees, Gulf Bank introduced its inaugural Movember campaign, emphasizing men’s health and safety, following the successful Breast Cancer Awareness Month initiative last October.

Blood Donation Campaign
In collaboration with the Kuwait Blood Bank, Gulf Bank organized a blood donation campaign for its employees. The objective was to bolster the strategic reserves of the blood bank and its humanitarian endeavors in saving the lives of patients during critical emergencies.

Numeric Overview of 2023

  • 55 internships
  • 275 training courses
  • 1480 employees enrolled in training courses
  • 72% of national employment
  • 365 new employees recruited
  • 57% of youth in the overall workforce (aged 19-35)
  • 31% of youth in overall workforce (aged 19-30)
  • 42% of women in the overall workforce
  • 27% of women in leadership positions

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