Dubai Internet City Hosts Session on Women Empowerment and Gender Equality
In support of International Women’s Day and to promote the cause for gender parity across the board, Dubai Internet City (DIC) hosted a special session of DIC Tech Talks on 8 March (Thursday), which facilitated important discussions about how women can overcome challenges faced at the workplace, particularly in male-dominated industries.
The event gathered inspiring female professionals at the top of their respective fields to share their thoughts on breaking barriers at the workplace. Held at in5 Tech, the event featured Dubai’s first Emirati Parkour instructor Amal Murad, Naomi Dsouza, Strategy Consultant at IBM and influencer, Genny Ghanimeh, Founder and CEO of microfinance platform Pi Slice, Federica Rossi, Digital Acceleration Centre Director at Accenture, Asma Shabab, Portfolio Marketing Leader at Watson Internet of Things IBM Middle East, Africa & Turkey, and Dr Kavita Shukla, Assistant Vice President of Student Recruitment and Corporate Resource Centre at Amity University Dubai.
A highlight of the event was a lively panel discussion, moderated by Tamara Pupic, Managing Editor of Entrepreneur Middle East, where the panelists were given four scenarios of common predicaments that women often find themselves in at the workplace. Using a combination of instincts, innovation and insights, the panelists shared various methods to address these challenges.
“As a woman, you are either labelled bossy or too soft, but it really depends on what you feel more comfortable with – you need to accept your natural inclination, whether you are shy or assertive, and see how you can work this to your advantage,” observed Asma Shabab from IBM, Middle East Africa and Turkey.
Dr Kavita Shukla from Amity University agreed and added: “At the end of the day, we are in control of our own destiny and as women, we are fortunate that we have the ability to shape the future through new generations: the best thing we can do is to raise strong girls, to advance the journey towards gender parity.”
In a fireside chat with fellow influencer, Naomi Dsouza, Amal Murad shared how to combine passions with other responsibilities, while maintaining a fine balancing act. She said: “I have stereotypes to fight as I am a girl and I am Emirati. We are hard on ourselves and our daughters because we are scared and hold ourselves back because of fear. We must find ways to overcome these fears. My personal way is to pursue parkour as it teaches you to directly face what you are afraid of.”
Ammar Al Malik, Executive Director of Dubai Internet City, said: “The UAE is a leader in the region for gender equality, with women holding key roles in the private sector, military and government. For instance, female ministers make up nearly 30 percent of the UAE’s cabinet, a higher figure compared to most countries.
“Aligned with the nation’s stance, Dubai Internet City is also playing its part in supporting women in the Middle East. Starting with our community, we aim to foster an environment where everyone, regardless of gender, can thrive. We hope that this event offers a platform for women to openly share the challenges they face, and discuss ways in which we can all take progressive steps towards workplace inclusion.”