PepsiCo elevates Women’s Empowerment discussion in the Middle East

Press release
Published May 23rd, 2013 - 04:46 GMT
During the event
During the event

Today PepsiCo brought together notable female leaders for a roundtable discussion titled ‘Women as Agents of Social Change: Inspirational Stories of Women in Social Responsibility” at the 10th annual CSR Summit in Dubai. By capturing stories of struggle and success and fostering dialogue about how women can drive sustainable social change in the Middle East, PepsiCo illustrated the humanity behind CSR initiatives.    

PepsiCo hosted the following female change agents at the roundtable.  Speakers included:

Sahar Madani, Founder of Women Empowerment Group (WE Group), President of the Diplomatic Ladies Group in U.A.E. and popular abaya fashion designer.

Sara Dajani, Fulbright grant scholar working on building a socially-conscious business model in the agro-food sector.

Rana Chmaitelly, Founder of the Little Engineer, an edutainment center geared toward engaging youth in pre-engineering skills.  The Little Engineer was recognized as one of the fastest growing companies to watch in the Arabia 500.   

Maya Karanouh, CEO of TAGbrands and co-founder of MENA Design Research Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to design research and social change in Middle East & North Africa.

Rawan Barakat, Founder of Raneen, a non-profit organization aimed at creating audio drama stories for blind children between the ages of 5 and 16 years. Barakat dedicates her time to ensuring that special needs children are able to get the education they need to be included in cultural life.

Sahar Nasr, lead economist in the World Bank’s Finance and Private Sector Development for Middle East and North Africa (MENA).  Nasr is an advocate for social entrepreneurship and microfinance in Egypt.   

“People are at the core of any CSR initiative, and PepsiCo recognizes that women play a critical role in driving social change and development,” said PepsiCo’s Asia, Middle East and Africa CEO Saad Abdul-Latif. “Our commitment to fostering positive social change is a top sustainability priority and is embedded in our culture. We hope that through our unique approach to the CSR Summit, we inspire others to join us in creating a better future for the Middle East region.” 

As part of the 10th CSR Summit, focused on the evolution of impactful and sustainable corporate social responsibility, PepsiCo initiated a unique and interactive session spanning Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE that illustrates the impact female influencers make to drive continuous change. 

PepsiCo has made a series of commitments with a focus on human, talent and environmental sustainability, all of which are underpinned by the company’s Performance with Purpose strategy. 

In PepsiCo’s Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) sector, the company is scaling sustainability efforts to impact key markets across the region.  PepsiCo is the proud Benefactor Partner of the Arab International Women’s Forum (AIWF), which has been a positive agent of change for women in the Arab region for more than 10 years.  The company also partners with PlanetFinance in the Middle East to support emerging business owners by providing loans, a majority of which go to female business owners.  In addition, PepsiCo’s partnership with Sharjah Women’s College and Habitat for Humanity provides female students with opportunities to create a positive impact in underdeveloped countries. 

Background Information

Pepsi Cola International

In 1965, Donald Kendall, the CEO of Pepsi-Cola, and Herman Lay, the CEO of Frito-Lay, recognized what they called “a marriage made in heaven,” a single company delivering perfectly-salty snacks served alongside the best cola on earth. Their vision led to what quickly became one of the world's leading food and beverage companies: PepsiCo. 

For more than 50 years, as tastes, trends and lifestyles have changed, PepsiCo has evolved with them. Our willingness to adapt and grow has transformed our snack and soda company into a collection of global brands including Pepsi and Quaker, Gatorade and Tropicana, Frito-Lay and beyond. Today, PepsiCo is one of the world’s most-respected companies with products sold in more than 200 countries and territories and 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

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