Press release

4 May 2021 Dubai, AE

Emirati Shama Abdulla Al Hosani places in top three at the global EY Corporate Finance Woman of the Year competition

Dubai – 4 May 2021: Emirati Shama Abdulla Al Hosani has been announced as one of the top three winners of the fourth annual EY Corporate Finance Woman of the Year (CFWY) global competition.

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Lamice Murshid

EY MENA Brand, Marketing and Communications Leader

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  • Shama Abdulla Al Hosani from the UAE is the first MENA participant to place in the top three winners
  • Annual competition aims to improve diversity and attract more women to a career in EY Strategy and Transactions
  • Record number of participants from across the globe competed in this year’s competition, including representatives from Bahrain and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Emirati Shama Abdulla Al Hosani has been announced as one of the top three winners of the fourth annual EY Corporate Finance Woman of the Year (CFWY) global competition. Shama, who was named as the third-place winner, represented the United Arab Emirates (UAE) against participants from 22 other countries.

An accounting student at Zayed University, Shama competed against seven other UAE finalists earlier this year for the chance to represent the UAE at the global competition. As one of the top three winners, she will have the opportunity to embark on a 12-month mentorship program with experienced female leaders in the UAE and also receive an EY prize pack. Shama is the first MENA country finalist to reach the top three in the global competition. In addition to her global award, she will intern with the EY Strategy and Transactions team in Abu Dhabi.

Matthew Benson, EY MENA Strategy and Transactions Leader, said:

“The development of female talent is a top priority for the EY Strategy and Transactions team in the UAE and wider MENA region. The CFWY competition allows us to reach students who are in search of fulfilling career opportunities within transaction services, corporate finance, and strategy across both the public and private sectors in their respective countries.”

“We are incredibly proud of Shama for not only showcasing the talent and creativity that young Emirati women have to offer the strategy and transactions world, but for her empathetic and inclusive leadership skills throughout the local and global competition. We look forward to welcoming her to the EY team and benefitting from her high energy, curiosity, and poise.”

This year’s competition saw a record number of applicants and participants reaching 3,426 and 289 respectively from a total of 23 EY offices from around the world. Throughout the virtual program, finalists focused not only on gaining technical insights, but also on developing broader skills, such as business acumen, inclusive leadership and teaming, communication and influence, problem solving and entrepreneurship. Global finalists also had the opportunity to participate in a simulation of a client case study.

Shama Abdulla Al Hosani, UAE EY Corporate Finance Woman of the Year 2021 and third-place global winner, said:

“It was an honor to represent the UAE at the EY Corporate Finance Woman of the Year global competition this year and work with such a diverse and talented group of women. My CFWY journey has shown me that the best way to make a difference and be innovative is to explore any intimidating ideas or tasks without shying away from the potential outcomes. I learned that this is especially important in the field of Strategy and Transactions, which requires plenty of creative problem-solving and teamwork. I look forward to furthering my finance and innovation skills through my mentorship with EY.”

The global CFWY competition, held virtually this year, focused on the EY purpose of building a better working world. MENA participants also included the country finalists from Bahrain and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Rachel Ellyard, EY MENA Talent Leader, said:

“The EY CFWY competition serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of different perspectives, backgrounds, and skills in the working world. It also allows us to reach the next generation of female talent who are interested in finance and provide them with background knowledge on what a role with the EY Strategy and Transactions team might entail, as well as empower their future career decisions. Each year we are impressed by the caliber of the student applicants from the MENA region and the value that they bring not only to the program, but to EY as an entity. The CFWY initiative is a testament to our commitment to diversity and inclusiveness at EY, and in line with our effort to inspire people to contribute their personal best in every encounter.”

Kate Gatfield-Jeffries from New Zealand was announced as the overall winner of the Corporate Finance Woman of the Year 2021 global competition with second place awarded to Clarisse Gan from Singapore. Past winners of the CFWY competition have included candidates from Germany, Norway, and Singapore.


Notes to Editors

About EY Strategy and Transactions

EY Strategy and Transactions teams work with clients to navigate complexity by helping them to reimagine their ecosystems, reshape their portfolios and reinvent themselves for a better future. With global connectivity and scale, EY Strategy and Transactions teams help clients drive corporate, capital, transaction and turnaround strategies through to execution, supporting fast-track value creation in all types of market environments. EY Strategy and Transactions teams help support the flow of capital across borders and help bring new products and innovation to market. In doing so, EY Strategy and Transactions teams help clients to build a better working world by fostering long-term value. For more information, please visit

Participating countries
(1) Australia           (13) Mexico
(2) Bahrain            (14) Netherlands
(3) China               (15) New Zealand
(4) Colombia        (16) Norway
(5) Finland            (17) Portugal
(6) France             (18) Singapore
(7) Germany         (19) Spain
(8) India                (20) Switzerland
(9) Ireland            (21) United Arab Emirates
(10) Italy               (22) United Kingdom
(11) Japan             (23) United States
(12) Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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