The Arab Women in Leadership and Business Summit raises the bar for women professionals in the GCC
More than 230 women professionals, executives and leaders from across the region attended two day event
The 2nd Edition of the Arab Women in Leadership and Business Summit organized by MICE Quotient from 9-10thof September has concluded with an inspiring message for women in the UAE. The event, held in Dubai, was organised with the support of Dubai SME as the official Government Partner and sponsored by ADIB – Dana Women’s Banking, Wasl Properties and MWH.
The two day Summit was packed with a powerful suite of sessions, panel discussions and highly interactive Q&A concourses with a specific focus on financial, legal, political and entrepreneurial empowerment of women professionals in the region. It was inaugurated by Her Excellency Ameera BinKaram, the Chairperson of the Sharjah Business Women Council (SBWC) by an Opening Keynote Address. In the spirit of expressing solidarity for the Summit a delegation from the Sharjah Business Women Council attended the event.
The opening keynote began with the delegates standing up, united in holding hands to pay their respects to the 45 soldiers martyred the previous week at Her Excellency’s request. Her Excellency also requested the attendees to pray for the mothers, wives, sisters, aunts, daughters and fathers of the brave soldiers at the outset.
Through her Opening Address titled, “21st Century Women-New Dawn New Mindset” Her Excellency presented unique examples and perspectives on the mindset needed for the modern Arab women to embrace the potential for professional success that they possess. Her Excellency Ameera BinKaram also commended MICE Quotient on cherry picking and bringing together UAE’s top 26 Arab Women Leaders as Speakers and Panelists under one roof.
She said, “The empowerment of women in the UAE started as early as 1975 with the inception of the General Women’s Union (GWU) under the leadership of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, wife of the founder of the UAE, late President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan. In 1982, Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of the Ruler of Sharjah initiated the first Ladies Club cultivating generations of young girls and women, providing them with an educational, cultural, artistic and recreational haven in the northern emirates. In the year 2000, Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher launched the Supreme Council for Family Affairs mandated to ensure a safe support mechanism for the women and their respective families in Sharjah. Similar organizations were adopted across the UAE. In 2002, the UAE Businesswomen Council, a nationwide network of business, professional and academic women, was set up and supported by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry. In 2006, we witnessed the formation of the Dubai Women Establishment under the presidency of Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and mandated to create opportunities for UAE women in the country’s development process.”
Binkaram added that the recent formation of the UAE Gender Balance Council also chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Manal to ensure positive and quantitative participation of women in the UAE workforce has furthered the empowerment of UAE women even more.“This vision of UAE women’s rights, originates from the very establishment of the federation and the promulgation of the UAE Constitution, a legacy of our founder father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who believed that women should work and contribute to society, and stated ‘Like men, women deserve the right to occupy high positions according to their capabilities and qualifications’,” she said.
The Summit brought together a distinguished line up of speakers and panellists including some of the 50 Most Powerful Arab Women as rated by Forbes Magazine. Some of the other esteemed speakers include Her Excellency Dr. Mariam Matar Founder & Chairperson, UAE Genetic Disease Association, Her Excellency Maryam Al Suwaidi, Deputy CEO for Licensing Supervision and Enforcement, Securities and Commodities Authority, Nisreen Shocair, President, Virgin Megastore Middle East, Umran Beba, Chief Human Resource Officer, Asia, Middle East and Africa, PEPSICO, Gabi Zedlmayer, Vice President & Chief Progress Officer Corporate Affairs, Hewlett-Packard Company, Shaima Ghafoor, Tumblr Specialist, Yahoo Middle East, Ibtihal Al Naji, Director Enterprise Development, Dubai SME.
Edwin Paul, CEO, MICE Quotient commented, “The Summit and it content was in line with the Sharjah Business Women’s commitment to uphold the UAE’s overall economic and social development by supporting women’s full economic integration and assisting them in becoming recognised for their talents. Mr. Paul further stated, “The Summit in its second year was successful in delivering relevant knowledge to women on how to arm themselves with the right aid and resources in order to succeed in their professional endeavours and shall continue to do so in an even better manner in its 3rd edition in 2016.”