Under the Patronage of HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, Wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, naseba today launched the first edition of the Women In Leadership Forum that is set to take place on October 25th-27th 2009 in Dubai.
The UAE has taken on a successful initiative to encourage and ensure women’s involvement in the business world. With women now playing significant roles in the development of the society and economy, there is a strong focus on reinforcing their contribution to the public and private sectors.
Raja Easa Al-Gurg, President, Dubai Business Women Council, commented: “Under the leadership of the President of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the instructions of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, women across the UAE have taken on pivotal roles in the economic progress and sustainable development of the country, as has been witnessed in other sectors across various levels. Emirati women have emerged in high positions in the economy, politics and in various specializations and in the process, they have enhanced their own capacities, highlighted their own capabilities, refined their skills and have worked hard to achieve their dreams of serving their homeland.”
Another example of a country which is committed to promoting the role of women in the process of building its nation is Malaysia.
“Women are an important issue in Malaysia. Women constitute 49.1% of the Malaysian population of 27 million (at 13.9 million) and are an important asset for the country. Thus, investment of women makes perfect economic sense. In this regard, the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development was created in 2001 to continue the emphasis given by the Government of Malaysia since independence. H.E. Rosmah Mansor, wife of the Prime Minister of Malaysia, is also not alien to efforts in promoting the role of women in the society including in leadership. The Women In Leadership Forum would enable H.E. Rosmah Mansor to share Malaysia’s experience in the promotion of the role of women especially on leadership,” explained Syed Mohd Hasrin Aidid, Consul General of Malaysia in Dubai.
The Women In Leadership Forum will gather 300 women leaders from the political and business arena across various industries from all over the world.
“By gathering regional and international leaders from the political, academic and business sectors, our objective is to inspire women to exercise their leadership skills and supporting women entrepreneurship. We aim at setting an annual rendez-vous for business women to network, share experiences and facilitate deal opportunities among peers. All attendees will have the opportunity to discuss ideas, and initiatives worldwide and gain stimulation from the success stories of other women leaders,” explained Sophie Le Ray, CEO, naseba.
The Forum will be opened on October 25th at the Burj Al Arab. The opening ceremony will be followed by the WIL Achievements Awards ceremony, which aims to recognize women who have broken new ground in the business world and reward the leading personalities for their outstanding achievements in social and business arena. Finally, the evening will feature a Traditional Arts Auction with luxury watch and jewellery firm Chopard. Chopard has been commissioned to produce several pieces from its Arabesque Jewellery Collection to the auction. The auction is supported by Mrs Heba Al Kharafi, the Ambassador to HRH The Prince of Wales for the Middle East and the proceeds will be donated to Dar Al Ber Society and The Prince’s Charities Foundation in UK.
Conference sessions and interactive workshops will take place on October 26th-27th, 2009 at Atlantis, The Palm. Influential women leaders will be sharing their experiences and expertise in various sectors. Among those are: First Lady Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Wife of the Prime Minister of Malaysia; Dr. Kiran Bedi, India's first and highest ranking woman in Indian Police Service; Sharifah Aminah Al Khared, Women's Advisory Panel, Islamic Development Bank; Dr. Suaad F Alharthi, Academic Consultant, Ministry of Higher Education, Saudi Arabia; Eduardo Martinez, Chief of Section, UNESCO; Sarita Gupta, Vice President, Women's World Bank; Kim Al-Sahhaf, Head of Education sector in the Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority (SAGIA).
The speakers will touch upon a wide range of topics, from women in science and technology, micro-credit financing, corporate philanthropy to the power of media in promoting or affecting the achievements of women in business.
The panel discussion entitled ‘Where would the world be with more women in leadership?’ will address how women decision making can impact differently on key issues. The root of the global crisis will be highlighted while discussing the path followed by women leaders: is it cost cutting or is it investment?
Women leaders from the East and West will also share their experiences in leadership and strategies to deal with challenges during the session called ‘Bridging the gap’. They will address the misconception that the world has about Middle Eastern women and discuss how cultural differences affect the daily business tasks.
GEMS Education will exclusively host a debate focusing on raising and educating more women to be leaders. Panel members will provide their personal testimonies on how they climbed the career ladder, the support they had, the setbacks as well as the lessons learned. They will put forward ideas to improve education particularly in schools and will discuss women contribution to leadership and education.
“Education is a critical factor in the development of women as leaders. But ‘Why’ is it that women have to almost be given permission to become ‘leaders’? We need to continue breaking down these barriers. School need to identify the barriers for success and aim to overcome them. Schools need to create opportunities for girls to become actively involved in women’s groups whilst still at school in order to prepare them for the future and to understand the challenges they will face,” explained Margaret Corcoran, Senior Director School Improvement Partnership and Partner Schools, GEMS Education
To conclude, Raja Easa Al-Gurg said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who have worked on bringing this Forum together and for providing an ideal platform for women to communicate and network with some of the most influential leading figures around the world. Not only will the Forum offer insight into various experiences but it will also be a good opportunity to encourage women to adopt some of these experiences and apply them in the Arab world.”
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