SICO’s success as a bank is not truly meaningful unless it contributes to the development and prosperity of the communities and countries in which we operate. Additionally, the health and stability of the region directly affects our ability to achieve sustainable growth. With these relationships in mind, SICO has integrated a commitment to corporate sustainability into our operations that is realized in our robust corporate social responsibility (CSR) agenda. To maximize the positive impact we have on our communities, we have chosen to focus our CSR initiatives on four key areas:
At SICO, our youth CSR initiatives focus on providing Bahrain’s new university graduates with opportunities to obtain training and professional experience that will allow them to further their careers and positively impact their country. To maximize the impact of our efforts, we frequently partner with government institutions and initiatives to provide opportunities to Bahraini youth seeking employment in the financial sector.
SICO has been a long-term lead sponsor of the Bahrain’s Bourse’s Trade Quest – The Trading Challenge, a electronic stock market simulation that gives high school and university students virtual fund portfolios to invest in the Bahrain Bourse and New York Stock Exchange. The experience helps students to gain a deeper understanding of the rules and regulations of trading and learn to make smart investment decisions. In addition to sponsoring the event, SICO employees also serve as team mentors during the competition.
SICO has also partnered with the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF) to sponsor trading simulation courses in the BIBF’s Dealing Room for students from the University of Bahrain and Bahrain Polytechnic.
SICO has an established relationship with Al Mabarrah Al Khalifia Foundation, a non-profit organization providing educational support for Bahraini youth in the form of university scholarships, youth leadership programs, and training and mentoring opportunities. In 2017, SICO was as a gold sponsor for the Foundation’s inaugural forum entitled “The Effect of Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Volunteerism on Youth Development” which brought together public and private sectors actors to discuss ways to empower youth through leadership, entrepreneurship, and volunteerism opportunities.
At SICO, we have long been vocal advocates for the empowerment of women in society and proud contributors to the Kingdom of Bahrain’s efforts to promote gender equality. Because we believe that organizational efforts to promote women’s empowerment must begin from within, we established an Equal Opportunity Committee in 2017 under SICO’s Charter for Gender Diversity. Relying on the guidance and principles established by Bahrain’s Supreme Council of Women and the National Model for mainstreaming women’s needs as well as the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, the committee is working to promote equal employment opportunities for male and female staff members and to identify improvements that can be made to SICO’s policies, procedures, and practices that will ultimately improve the standing of women within the bank. Currently, women account for 32% of total Group employees, hold 21% of managerial and supervisory positions, and make up 25% of the senior management team. Four of the six board seats of our wholly owned subsidiary SFS are also occupied by women.
SICO’s senior female executives serve as role models and mentors in various programs that seek to inspire young women and encourage and support them in pursuing careers in the financial sector.
At SICO, we are committed to improving Bahrain’s financial sector, as its health and stability is crucial to not only our own success but also the prosperity of the country. We actively sponsor and participate in a variety of conferences, forums, and high-level events that facilitate discussions between key regional and global actors about how to improve the financial sector.