Particpants at a workshop during the International Womens Day event at INSEAD Abu Dhabi Campus
INSEAD, the leading international business school, celebrated International Women’s Day 2013 with a seminar at its Abu Dhabi campus entitled ‘Inspire, Impact, Empower’. The event sponsored by A.T. Kearney featured influential women leaders in the Middle East who have left a significant footprint in areas from media and entrepreneurship to the arts.
The UAE, a pioneer for the empowerment of women in the region, has led the way in placing women in leadership roles in fields in both the government and private sector with more than two thirds of the country’s government universities populated by women.
Inspirational speakers at the event representing the UAE, Middle East and beyond, included Sadaffe Abid ,Social Entrepreneur, Azza Al Qubaisi, jewellery artist, sculptor and social entrepreneur, Camilla Hall, entrepreneur, Sara Ismail Mohammed, board member, CEO, Al Bashayer Investment Company and Soraya Salti, President and CEO, MENA for Junior Achievement Worldwide, Injaz Al-Arab as well as principal, Rebecca Hall from A.T. Kearney
Miguel Lobo, Associate Professor of Decision Sciences, Director of Abu Dhabi campus, praised the contribution the UAE has made to the promotion of women in society. He said: “The UAE government has shown great foresight in promoting the educational and professional development of women. Countries succeed when everyone is encouraged to reach their potential and contribute to the fullest. INSEAD is proud to contribute to these goals, supporting the educational and leadership development of women to enable them to reach positions of the highest responsibility.”
Hal Gregersen, Senior Affiliate Professor of Innovation and Leadership, The Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank Chaired Professor of Innovation and Leadership stressed the impact made around the world by women in a number of fields. He said: “For 102 years we have celebrated International Women’s Day around the globe. This day not only reminds us of the powerful contributions women have made in the past to build a better world, but it also inspires us to do much more going forward. No doubt, women, young and old, will continue to make critical creative contributions to their communities and countries wherever they live. These ongoing efforts will help tackle the serious educational, nutritional, and spiritual challenges that we all face on this earth."
Haif Zamzam, an Emirati INSEAD MBA student spoke of her own empowerment since joining the INSEAD program. She said: “One of the UAE's greatest achievements is seen in the growing importance of Emirati women in society. The UAE has seen the roles of women evolve in a tremendous fashion over a short period. We have been blessed with inspiring encouragement from our leadership who have carried on the legacy of our founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who emphasized the importance of women and our right to an education. His vision coupled with my family's support and encouragement pushed me to pursue my MBA at a top school, such as INSEAD. The INSEAD MBA program has helped me realize just how empowered Emirati woman, starting with myself, are, through education and perseverance.”
Rebecca Hall, Principal, A.T. Kearney commented, “With an increasingly highly valuable female talent pool in an increasing competitive and diverse world, only those organisations and their leadership who find ways to attract, develop and retain this talent will differentiate themselves and be able to leverage this diversity to become more innovative. The INSEAD Women’s Day seminar has showcased that there clearly is a valuable female talent pool available here in the region.”