This forum is held under the patronage of His Excellency Sultan bin Saeed al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, United Arab Emirates.

The 18th Global Women In Leadership (WIL) Economic Forum is bringing together up to 500 global male and female business leaders, policy makers, as well as young female professionals and entrepreneurs. They’re gathering to dissect the challenge of diversity, share experiences and produce actionable strategies to strive for women’s economic empowerment.

Endorsed by the UAE Ministry of Economy for the past three years, the forum has championed the recognition of women as key economic drivers for over a decade. It aims to highlight inspiring stories of successful women and best practices from organisations that are leading the way in this domain.

The forum also hosts the WIL Achievement Awards, presented by the Minister of Economy, His Excellency Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, to honour such exemplary individuals and organisations.

This year’s conversation revolves around three pillars: story-telling, future-building, and game changers. The agenda is designed to facilitate discussion, promote innovative thinking and have an impact on the global discourse around the role of women in the global economy.

Participants will also receive a CPD-certificate at the end of the forum.

As the pipeline of female talent continues to expand, it is up to corporate stakeholders to make the ‘business case’ for investing in women and act as catalysts for change.

Dr Leila Hoteit -Partner and Managing Director, Boston Consulting Group

forum format


Listen to and learn from the most successuful and renowned thought leaders on diversity and inclusion principles.

Get your questions answered by expert panelists as they share their viewpoints on some of the most pressing diversity and inclusions challenges.

A highlight of the forum, the awards ceremony acknowledges individuals and organisations for their impactful support of women’s empowerment.

Gain insight into some of the best diversity and inclusion practices through real-life examples.

Choose from a variety of specialised workshops, each delivering practical knowledge through simulations, group exercises and case studies.

Cement and build relationships with crosssector peers and industry leaders in an environment built to harness the principles of diversity and inclusion.

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Ketevan Bochorishvili

Ketevan Bochorishvili

Vice Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia Ketevan Bochorishvili View Profile
Barbara J. Krumsiek

Barbara J. Krumsiek

CEO and Chair, Calvert Investments, Inc. Barbara J. Krumsiek View Profile
H.E. Noura Al Kaabi

H.E. Noura Al Kaabi

UAE Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs H.E. Noura Al Kaabi View Profile
Chetna Sinha

Chetna Sinha

Founder and Chairwoman, Mann Deshi Foundation Chetna Sinha View Profile
Dr. Shurooq Amin

Dr. Shurooq Amin

Professor, Kuwait University Dr. Shurooq Amin View Profile
HE Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori

His Excellency Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori has been appointed as Minister of Economy in the UAE, effective 17th of February, 2008. His Excellency holds a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering & Management Systems from Arizona State University, USA. He also has a Diploma in Computer System Analysis from the Institute of Computer Technology, Los Angeles, California, USA.

In addition to his position as Minister of Economy, His Excellency holds positions including but not limited to In addition to his position as Minister of Economy.

Ketevan Bochorishvili
Ms. Ketevan Bochorishvili occupies the position of the Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia since 2012. Since then her main focus has been development of the investment policies and to facilitate investments into the country, provide research and analysis on Georgian markets and introduce investors to Georgian business and authorities. She also supervises tourism and the enterprise development related activities and export promotion where her focus is to increase the share of export in GDP. Ms. Bochorishvili served as Head at Georgian National Investment Agency during 2010-2012. Previously, she worked at Millennium Challenge Georgia and at Management Consulting firm “Vision and Value” in Rome Italy.

Ms. Bochorishvili holds MA degree in International Public Management from SDA Bocconi School of Management (Milan, Italy) and BA/MA degrees in International Conflict Resolution from Georgian Technical University. She has accumulated several intercultural experiences and developed entrepreneurial skills through participating in programs at Georgetown University (USA), the Iacocca Institute (USA) and Charles University (Czech Republic).
Barbara J. Krumsiek
Ms. Krumsiek’s professional background spans four decades in the asset management field, including most recently as the CEO and Chair of Calvert Investments, Inc. During her tenure at Calvert, she developed the Calvert Women’s Principles, a global code of conduct adopted by the U.N. Global Compact and U.N. Women as the basis for the U.N. Women’s Empowerment Principles.

She serves on the Investment Committee of the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, and Chairs the Investment Committee for the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C. Her prior Board service includes an eight-year tenure on the Board of Pepco Holdings, Inc. and 17 years on the Board of Calvert Mutual Funds and the Calvert Foundation.

Among her honors, Ms. Krumsiek was awarded the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Mutual Fund Industry Awards. She received Columbia University Business School’s Botwinick Prize in Business Ethics in 2012 and is a Washington Business Hall of Fame Laureate. She was named in Ethisphere’s 2015 list of the 100 Most Influential in Business Ethics.

Graduating Phi Beta Kappa with University Honors and Honors in Mathematics from Rutgers University, Ms. Krumsiek holds a Master of Science in Mathematics from New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences.
H.E. Noura Al Kaabi
Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs

Her Excellency Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi was appointed as the UAE Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs in February 2016. In this role, H.E. Noura Al Kaabi acts as the key link and facilitator between the Cabinet and the Federal National Council

Noura is Chairwoman of the Media Zone Authority - Abu Dhabi (MZA) and twofour54, the home of media and entertainment in Abu Dhabi; and Chairwoman of Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC Group). She is also a board member of the UAE’s National Media Council, Abu Dhabi Media, Image Nation, the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and the United Arab Emirates University.

Noura is the first UAE National to be ranked on Foreign Policy magazine’s ‘Top 100 Global Thinkers List’. In 2014, she was named as one of Forbes Middle East’s 30 Most Influential Women in Government; and was awarded ‘Business Woman of the Year’ at the Gulf Business Industry Awards. Her role in growing the UAE’s media industry was recognised by America Abroad Media in 2015.

H.E. Noura Al Kaabi holds B.A. in MIS from UAE University and has also completed the Executive Leadership Programme from London Business School.
Chetna Sinha
Ms. Sinha is an economist, farmer, and activist who works for social change in some of the poorest and most drought-stricken areas of rural India. She was part of the Gandhian movement, and is the Head of the Mann Deshi Foundation and the Founder and President of the Mann Deshi Mahila Bank, a micro-enterprise development bank. She has been nominated as a Member of the Governing Board (GB) of Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK) and a Member of the National Committee for the Promotion of Social and Economic Welfare.

Since 2006, she has partnered with global organisations such as HSBC, British Asia Trust, Accenture, EdelGive Foundation, Hindustan Unilever Limited, UNICEF, the Clinton Global Initiative and Deutsche Bank to develop corporate community partnership programs for the corporate sector in Europe and the US.

She was named Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2013 for India by the Schwab Foundation and has been honored with the 2005 Jankidevi Bajaj Puraskar award for rural entrepreneurship. She has also been awarded lifetime membership with Ashoka Innovators for the Public, and was selected for the first class of Yale University’s World Fellows program in 2002-3. She aims to support one million women entrepreneurs by 2025.
Dr. Shurooq Amin

Mixed-media interdisciplinary artist and Anglophone poet

H.E. Dr. Aisha bin Bishr
Prior to assuming her current role, Dr. Bin Bishr worked as Assistant Director General of the Executive Office of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai. Part of her role was leading the Smart Dubai task force team from the time of the announcement of the Smart Dubai initiative in March 2014, to the formation of the Smart Dubai Office.

Dr. Bin Bishr also worked in the Ministry of Labor as an Assistant Undersecretary and has over 20 years of experience in information, communication and technology (ICT) development in public and government sectors.

She holds a PhD in Management, Science, Technology and Innovation and Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Policy and Research on Engineering, Science and Technology from Manchester Business School. She also holds a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Applied Science (Business Information Technology) from Higher Colleges of Technology, and a degree in Public Finance Management from Dubai School of Government and an Orchestrating Winning Performance Diploma from IMD.

Dr. Bin Bishr has received many awards; most recently, she was named Leading Woman in the Public Sector 2015 at the Global WIL Economic Forum.
Rebecca Barry
Rebecca Barry directs and produces across a variety of genres. In 2012 she founded Sydney based production company Media Stockade with fellow producer/director Madeleine Hetherton. Rebecca has won many awards, is passionate about storytelling and has a strong background in producing and the creative realisation of successful programs. Recent productions include the feature documentary film I Am A Girl (nominated for 4 AACTA awards and winner of best documentary film at the 2014 SPA Awards, ABC & NatGeo); producing the critical and ratings success The Surgery Ship (SBS) which is now in production as a series with NatGeo; producing the ground breaking documentary Call Me Dad (ABC) and soon to be released feature film The Opposition. Through her experience in hybrid self-distribution of her own films she has become a sort after expert in alternative pathways to audience and activating measurable impact. Twitter: @becbarry
Monique J. Morrow
Monique Morrow is the CTO of New Frontiers Engineering at Cisco. Focused on the intersection between economics, technology, and research, she is defining mechanisms and marketplace scenarios for cloud federation constructs to include security. She was previously Cisco’s Chief Technology Officer of Services, where she is responsible for aligning the Cisco Services Technology vision and architectures with the business strategy. Monique has a track record of co-innovating with customers, developing solutions that have transcended the globe from North America, Europe and Asia. Under Cisco’s Office of the CTO, both as an individual contributor and manager, Monique built a strong leadership team in Asia-Pacific. Her specific geo-area targets were China and India. Monique’s role in these regions drove Cisco’s globalization and country strategies and met all of her targeted goals. Monique has consistently demonstrated the willingness and courage to take risks and explore new market opportunities. These innate qualities are part of her DNA and are of great value to Cisco and all the global organizations with which she is involved. Monique was also listed as Top Ten Influential IT Women in Europe in 2014. She was one of 6 Global Achievers recognized for the ITU and UN Women GEM-TECH Award in 2014. In 2014 she was further recognized by IEEE Region 8 with the Clementina Saduwa award. In 2015, Monique was selected to be part of the elite group of women for Connected World magazine’s 2015 Women of M2M/Internet of Things feature—or “WoM2M.” Monique additionally listed as one of the top 50 most inspiring women in Europe for 2016.
Sara Hamdan
Sara Hamdan has been the main writer for The International New York Times based in Dubai since 2010. She also currently contributes to a content marketing project at Google and blogs about travel at, a site that reviews hotels and has a 'what to pack' section with style tips and beach reads. She speaks four languages and is a Berkeley and Columbia graduate.
Maysoun Ramadan
Lisa Calhoun
Ms. Calhoun is a founding partner at Atlanta-based venture capital partnership Valor Ventures, and a fourth generation entrepreneur. She is the first woman to start a venture capital firm in Georgia. She also publishes Female Entrepreneurs magazine, a niche site with thousands of weekly interactions with female founders across the US.

Before founding Valor Ventures, Ms. Calhoun helped tech startups achieve over $1B dollars in exits through the digital marketing agency she founded, Write2Market. Honors include recognition as a “Top 10 Agencies for Tech Startups,” winning the American Business Association Entrepreneur of the Year, and being elected president of Atlanta’s Entrepreneur’s Organisation.

Before Write2Market, she consulted in enterprise IT departments including UPS, UBS, and Georgia Department of Transportation on user adoption, user testing and requirements gathering. She writes a column on innovation for Inc. Magazine and is a frequent speaker, including recent speaking opportunities at Venture Summit West, Stanford, the Southeastern Venture Conference, LaunchTN, and the Florida Venture Forum. Her books including How You Rule the World: A Female Founder’s Survival Guide and The Content Marketing Field Guide.

She holds an MBA from University of Texas and a BA in Russian Language and Professional Writing from Baylor University.
Rapelang Rabana
Ms. Rabana founded Rekindle Learning, a learning technology company. Rekindle Learning was profiled in the McKinsey report Lions go Digital as a ‘striking innovation’ in mobile learning and serves academic learning institutions and corporate training environments. Previously, she was the founding CEO of Yeigo, an innovative startup that developed some of the world’s earliest mobile VoIP applications.

She was featured on the cover of Forbes Africa before the age of 30, and named Entrepreneur for the World 2014 by the World Entrepreneurship Forum. She serves on the boards of Standard Chartered Botswana Education Trust, Moro Group and Generation Ubuntu. She has been listed on the Forbes 30 under 30 – Africa’s Best Young Entrepreneurs and on CNBC Africa’s “Next List”.

Ms. Rabana holds a BBS in Computer Science (Honours) from the University of Cape Town.
Hermoine Macura
Ms. Macura is the CEO of Straight Street Media, author of the book “Faces of the Middle East” and the first Australian female English speaking TV news anchor in the Middle East.

Prior to establishing Straight Street Media in 2012, Ms. Macura was one of the main anchors on Dubai One TV's Emirates News. Her portfolio includes the delivery of live-to-air news bulletins, frequently whilst being in the midst of breaking stories both locally and across the Middle East.

She has also hosted hundreds of other shows, including the three-hour live launch of the Burj Khalifa and “Maak Ya Lebanon”, which featured exclusive interviews with several key players in aid programs in Lebanon which raised 55 million dirhams to help people caught in the conflict. She has also interviewed a variety of decision makers, from the Duchess of York to Hollywood actor Michael Douglas and government officials in the country.

In 2014, Ms. Macura’s love for the Arab people led her into war-torn Iraq, where she has set up the House of Rest – a privately funded, non-political and non-governmental resource centre run by women for women survivors of sex slavery, war, violence and oppression.
Alexander Kjerulf
Mr. Kjerulf is the founder and Chief Happiness Officer of Woohoo Inc. and one of the world’s leading experts on happiness at work. He is an author and speaker, presenting and conducting workshops on happiness at work at businesses and conferences in over 30 countries. His clients include companies like Hilton, Microsoft, LEGO, IKEA, Shell, HP and IBM.

He holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Southern Denmark, and was a co-founder of the Danish IT company Enterprise Systems. Mr. Kjerulf is the author of 4 books, including the international bestseller “Happy Hour is 9 to 5 – How to Love Your Job, Love Your Life and Kick Butt at Work”. The book has been well-received globally and is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, Vietnamese, Farsi, Indonesian and Chinese.

His work has been featured in CNN, The New York Times, Times of India, The Times, BBC, Financial Times and many others.
Amna Al Haddad
Ms. Al Haddad is a former journalist and an Olympic weightlifter. She is the first hijabi athlete to compete in Crossfit and Olympic weightlifting in the Middle East.

After being introduced to Crossfit in 2011, she made history as the first Emirati, GCC national and Arab female to compete in the Reebok Crossfit Games Open in 2012. In 2015, she competed at the IWF Asian Interclub Championship, where she won six gold medals and three silver medals. In 2016, she represented the UAE at the Asian Championships.

She has been featured in three global Nike campaigns: “Better for It”, the launch of the Arabic NTC app, and “Inner Strength – Raising the bar”, a documentary film with a reach of 10 million viewers.

Ms. Al Haddad’s first public speaking engagement was at a TedX event. She has been represented in over 100 interview and media outlets over the past five years, including two documentary films showing in the UK and the US. In 2016, she won the Femina Middle East “Unstoppable” Award.

Ms. Al Haddad studied Mass Communication and Journalism, with a minor in Psychology, at the American University of Sharjah. She is currently writing a book.
Elham Hassanzadeh
Shelli Brunswick
Brunswick joined the Space Foundation in 2015 after a distinguished career as an acquisition and program management professional for the United States Air Force, and most recently, as a key leader within the Air Force Congressional Liaison office working both within the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill.

As Chief Operating Officer, Brunswick serves as a corporate officer, and is responsible for Space Foundation operations, facilities, processes and personnel. Functions reporting to her include education, philanthropy, marketing and communication, operations, human resources and administration, customer service, information technology, facilities, maintenance, security and assurance. She has primary responsibility for Space Foundation headquarters, the Space Foundation Discovery Center and operational management of the annual Space Symposium, Space Technology and Investment Forum and the Faga Forum on Space Intelligence.

Brunswick is 2016 Chair of Women in Aerospace (WIA), and she serves on the board of directors of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) Rocky Mountain Chapter.

Brunswick graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southern Colorado in 1994 with a bachelor's degree in business administration, and earned a master's degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix in 1998. She is a Certified Project Management Professional, and was a Professor of Acquisition Management at Defense Acquisition University.
Liliane Kanaan
With over 20 years of professional experience across multinational organizations in the Middle East and North Africa, Ms. Kanaan’s responsibilities include leading and managing the first sales affiliate for Roche Diagnostics in the region as Country Manager Egypt.

Starting her career with the Ministry of Health in Abu Dhabi, UAE in 1989, Ms. Kanaan joined Roche in 2001 as Head of the Promotional Office for Roche Diagnostics in Syria. With increasing responsibilities that led her to her current role, Ms. Kanaan is currently based in Cairo, Egypt.

Ms. Kanaan holds a Master’s degree in Molecular Biology from Paul Sabatier University.
Javier Barrientos
Mr. Barrientos brings diversity and inclusion to life by fostering an integrated approach to diversity and inclusion aimed at positively leveraging differences in patients, providers, suppliers and employees.

Previously, he managed diversity and inclusion for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. He also held a variety of Human Resources positions with Bank of America, the TJX Companies and Business for Social Responsibility. He engages his myriad of ideas and passion as an advisor to the Harvard Medical School Biomedical Science Careers Program and a Board member of the Partnership Inc.

He was awarded the 2014 Leaders in Innovation Award from the Boston Business Journal and has been selected to the Harvard Medical School Biomedical Career Sciences Program 2015 Honor Roll. Earlier this year, he was named among the top 100 most influential leaders in Greater Boston by GK100 and the National Center for Race Amity.

Mr. Barrientos earned an MBA from Boston University, a graduate certificate in Diversity Management from Cornell University and a Bachelor degree in Law from Universidad de Costa Rica. He also is a coaching graduate of the Augere Foundation and Coaches Training Institute in Barcelona, Spain.
Noor Sweid
Noor Sweid is a Managing Partner at Leap Ventures, a growth-stage venture capital firm based out of Dubai and Beirut, investing in entrepreneurs focused on technology and innovation. With experience as a biotechnology and pharmaceutical strategy consultant in the US, and then moving back to the region in 2005, Noor joined her family business, Depa. Implementing the highest corporate governance standards, hence enabling the scaling of the business tenfold in three years, Noor then led the IPO for the company, which became the first private company to list its shares on the NASDAQ Dubai in 2008, as well as the London Stock Exchange. In her eight year tenure at Depa, Noor’s involvement ranged from the strategic and growth planning and implementation, to application of corporate governance, the execution of a private placement and an IPO, cross-border acquisitions, regulatory compliance, and investor relations.

During this time, Noor also founded the first yoga studio with internationally-trained teachers in MENA, ZenYoga, which grew to become the largest chain of yoga studios in the Middle East, and which she exited in 2014 through sale to a private equity firm.

Prior to returning to the MENA region in 2005, Noor worked in the US for several years as a Biotech and Pharmaceutical consultant out of Boston with Accenture's Strategy consulting group.

The combined experiences have led Noor to be a leader in the spaces of corporate governance and entrepreneurship. As such, she is a Director-in-Residence for the Corporate Governance department at INSEAD, and teaches a course on Value Creation for Owners and Directors, emphasizing the value creation of corporate governance in high-growth companies. She also serves as an Independent Director for the Collegiate American School in Dubai, Sisters Lounges, Ellevate, and the MIT Enterprise Forum (the MENA region’s longest-standing and largest business plan competition). Noor is also on the Board of Directors of Endeavor and Nabbesh, and on the Advisory Boards of Urbanbuzz and Cedarbridge Capital.

Noor is also an official mentor through the non-profit organization, REACH, which mentors women, and an active angel investor in the region; she also serves as an Educational Counselor for MIT. Noor holds bachelors’ degrees in Finance and Economics from Boston College as well as an MBA from MIT Sloan.
Anna Roberts
Hala Sleiman
Since 2014, Hala Sleiman has been the General Manager of Merck, Near East region.

She joined Merck Serono in 2008 as Head of Regulatory Affairs and Pricing, Near East. Most recently, she has led both the Intercontinental Business Development and Intercontinental Global Regulatory Affairs teams. She played a major role in the Africa project by delivering a solid plan and continuous progress on new product introduction and cross-functional alignment.

Hala has 20 years of experience in international pharma companies in different roles across the MEA region. Prior to joining Merck Serono, she was at Novartis, as Brand Manager for the cardiovascular line for MEA. Previously, she was the RA Head and Member of the Executive Board of MEA at Novartis, based in Beirut. Before this, she worked at Eli Lilly, in various roles in sales, marketing and regulatory, where she drove significant sales growth for Prozac, and participated in the launch of Evista.

Hala holds a Pharm. D. from the Saint Joseph University of Beirut, Lebanon.
Omar Al Busaidy
With an unbridled passion for youth development and a desire to showcase his country’s culture to an international audience, UAE National Omar Al Busaidy is always happy to open a dialogue for positive change. The author of the critically acclaimed self-help book and e-book “Just Read It”, and currently the acting Manager of Tourism Investment Promotion at the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority; Omar is regularly invited to mentor students on entrepreneurial and leadership skills at several universities across the region. He has also spoken to industry professionals at seminars and events such as TedX and the 37th World Diamond Congress, to name a few. With more than 13 years’ experience working in some of the UAE’s most prestigious private and public sector companies, Omar is keen to embrace his newest role as a Global Shaper at the World Economic Forum.
Lara El-Amine
Fida Chaaban
Balvinder Powar
Director, BOOSTER Space Industries & AERDRON

His core skills are in leadership, communications, business development and sales, mediation, marketing, negotiation, research and set-up of new projects, especially in media and business and social development (strong experience in broadcasting, NGOs and luxury goods), and finding strategic partners.
Melody Hossaini
Melody is a world-leading expert on people development and social enterprise. She is the multi-award winning Founder & CEO of InspirEngage International – based in England with a portfolio in 100 countries, having reached 1million people. As a professional speaker, Melody is often invited to prestigious stages around the world, speaking on the ‘social era’, impact in the work place, supporting women to prosper and personal mindset growth.

Melody has designed the infamous ‘InspirEngage Bootcamps’ delivered worldwide with astounding results in training individuals to maximise their potential. Melody and her team deliver the ‘InspirEngage Masterclass’ focused on business development with impact. Having worked with companies such as Philips, GE, Facebook and HSBC, Melody has shaped the social impact of businesses (CSR strategies) and their workforce, including having shaped programmes to successfully retain talented female staff members.

Melody is a professional speaker, regularly invited to speak on business, skills and impact. She also coaches a number of professionals and executives on a 1-2-1 basis.

Melody has worked and been trained by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former vice-president Al Gore on peace implementation.

Melody’s work has been recognised with several prestigious awards including Woman of the Future Awards presented by princess Zara Aga Khan, Asian Woman of Achievement presented by Prince Charles, and Volunteer of the year by the Home Office and most recently in 2015, New European’s ‘Most Influential Woman’ by the European Parliament.

Melody’s been featured on BBC, CNBC, SKY, MTV and various print press. Melody holds a 2:1 LLB Honours Law degree from Oxford Brookes University, has lived in 4 countries and speaks 5 different languages. See Melody’s latest blog and more information on her online courses here. See Melody’s TEDx talk here. She tweets at @Melody_Hossaini.
Lina Khalifeh
SheFighter is newly established firm by a young entrepreneur Lina Khalifeh. SheFighter was born in the mind of Lina in January 2010, however the legal registration and formal birth of SheFighter was in April 2010, in Amman, Jordan.

After starting training women at the basement of her parent’s house, Lina managed to start her own and first SheFighter studio in 2012.

SheFighter Studio is the 1st Self-Defense Studio designed to empower women both mentally and physiologically through Self-Defense Techniques. By learning SheFighter’s Techniques women will feel more confident, secure and strong to defend themselves from different violent situations.

The Idea of SheFighter about women’s Self-Defense has come from its founder about violence against women by which Lina describes it as “I didn’t find one real solution for violence against women”.

Lina has more than 17 years of experience in practicing Martial Arts like Taekwondo, Kick-Boxing, Kung Fu and Boxing. As well, the founder holds the black belt in Taekwondo 3DAN, and has represented Jordan in many competitions and championships (National and International). Lina got also certified as a trainer in Canada and North America.

SheFighter has become really well known among women and girls for its successful activities.
Hoda Abou Jamra
Ms. Abou-Jamra has forged a successful investment career in the MENA region, driven by her experience in US and European pharma and life science business development, as well as fundraising for US and European life science investment firms. She was the driving force behind the establishment of TVM Capital in the MENA region from 2007 onwards and co-founded TVM Capital Healthcare Partners in 2009.

She is a regular speaker and commentator in the regional private equity and healthcare arena. Additionally, as an advocate of social impact investing and promoting diversity, she is engaged on the U.S. as well as the UAE as a member of the Dubai Business Women’s Council (DBWC), the Women Business Leaders of the U.S. Health Care Industry Foundation (WBL), and the Private Equity Women Investor Network (PE WIN). She is also the Founding Chair of the GCC Chapter of the 30% Club.

Ms. Abou-Jamra is the founder and CEO of the non-profit think tank organisation The BioExec Institute Inc., as well as the recently founded HealthExec Institute. Before co-founding TVM Capital Healthcare Partners, she was the CEO of Boston BioCapital.

She holds a degree in Pharmacy from the Bouve College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University.
Sonya Richardson
Ms. Richardson has extensive experience in change and transformation. She is a partner at Spark Company, a niche consultancy dedicated to facilitating change by sparking energy and excitement for growth. She works with global clients across industries - from banking to technology to fashion - in changing or reinforcing organisational cultures, strengthening top team effectiveness and increasing personal fulfilment. As a McKinsey & Company alumni, Ms. Richardson is dedicated to facilitating change for growth and passionately contributes personal time as a PWN Global board member to expand the Professional Women’s Network and transform leadership to include more female talent. As a former financial reporter, she aims to continuously spread the news on the relevance of diversity in decision making bodies, from institutions to corporate organisations to politics. She lives with her partner and two children in Utrecht.
Hayla Ghazal
Paolo Carli
Paolo Carli is the Head of Middle Near East, Saudi Arabia and Egypt since 1st February, 2013, based in Dubai. Paolo leads the commercial operations of these markets, which are part of the Intercontinental region of Merck Serono.

Paolo joined Merck in 2008, as member of the Mergers & Acquisitions team in Darmstadt, Germany. In this role, he actively participated in the execution of key transactions for the Merck Group, including, among others, the acquisition of the US-listed Millipore and the disposal of Theramex, the former Women’s Health Franchise of Merck Serono.

Prior to joining Merck, Paolo worked with Deutsche Bank, both in Italy and in Germany, where he successfully contributed to the regional expansion of the retail franchise in Europe and in several Emerging Markets like India, China, Turkey, and Vietnam.

Paolo is Italian. He holds a degree in Economics from the University of Turin and an Executive MBA from Ashridge Business School in the UK.

Paolo is married and has two children.
Nathalie Amiel-Ferrault
Nathalie Amiel-Ferrault is the Vice President of Customer Experience and Marketing at FedEx Express Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Africa (MEISA) since July 2015. Based in Dubai, she leads the Marketing and Communication strategy and the enterprise-wide Customer Experience across all touch points in MEISA. She also heads the customer service operations with 12 contact centers in the region. Her longstanding experience in Marketing is essential to the promotion of the brand and development of initiatives meeting the customers’ ever-changing needs in the region. Her journey with FedEx Express started in 1991 in France, with a Marketing Analyst role. Within three years, Nathalie moved into her first management role where she was responsible for regional marketing for Southern Europe. Nathalie first moved to Dubai in 1998 as Manager Marketing for Middle East and India. In 2000, Nathalie returned to Paris, France and was promoted to the position of Managing Director Marketing for Southern Europe and Middle East, India & Africa. Four years later, she took the role of Managing Director Brand Marketing and Communications for EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) based in Brussels. In 2009, Nathalie was promoted to Vice-President Customer Experience and Customer Service, EMEA. In June 2011, Nathalie moved back to Dubai, adding to her previous role the responsibilities of Marketing & Communications for the Middle East and India. Nathalie has been awarded the company’s highest accolade, the FedEx Five Star Award, three times. This prestigious award is presented to FedEx team members for their outstanding performances and achievements. Beyond the commitments of her roles, Nathalie is a staunch supporter of workplace diversity and inclusion, and women’s empowerment and has addressed several international forums on these topics. Nathalie holds a master degree in Management, Business and International Marketing from the Montpellier Business School (France).
Ms. Qasim joined NBF in 2013 as the Head of Business Management for the bank’s Corporate and Institutional Banking Group. In this capacity, she is responsible for increasing efficiencies in the business, developing and implementing strategic initiatives for the group, managing its financial planning process, and overseeing its corporate governance framework.

With over 20 years of experience in the banking industry, she has gained a wealth of expertise in corporate finance and business development. Prior to joining NBF, she was Senior Business Manager for the Corporate Banking division at Barclays Bank UAE.
Eithne Treanor runs a specialist media consultancy company based in Dubai. She is a professional conference moderator and facilitator and an expert media and communications trainer as well as a seasoned energy industry commentator.

Eithne acts as OPEC’s official on-air conference and webcast moderator. She has moderated at a large number of other conferences including the International Energy Forum, ADIPEC, World Energy Forum, the Africa Global Business Forum and the Excellence in Energy Awards. She is CNBC Arabia’s Special Consultant and she has worked as an international television journalist for ABC News, Sky News, BBC World, Bloomberg Television and CNBC Europe. She has interviewed thousands of leading politicians, dignitaries, energy ministers and high-ranking business people around the world. She is a guest presenter on Dubai Eye radio on the award winning Business Breakfast show and she regularly comments on energy matters.

She studied Politics and Sociology at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland and has a degree in Broadcast Communications from Columbia College in Chicago and a post-graduate diploma in International Relations from the London School of Economics.
Dr. Ashraf Gamal El Din
Dr. Ashraf Gamal El Din is the Chief Executive Officer of Hawkamah, the Institute for Corporate Governance, the DIFC. He is also a jury member of the Arabia CSR Award. Prior to joining Hawkamah, Dr. Ashraf was the Executive Chairman of Egypt Post. Before that, he was the Deputy Executive Director of the Egyptian Banking Institute, the training arm of the Central Bank of Egypt. He was also the founder and Project Manager of the Egyptian Corporate Responsibility Center working on promoting the concepts and application of CSR in Egypt. Furthermore, he was the Executive Director of the Egyptian Institute of Directors (EIoD), the Institute of Corporate Governance in Egypt and the Arab Region Dr. Ashraf served as a board member and head of the Audit Committee in a number of listed, non-listed, State Owned and family owned companies. He also served a member of the General Assembly of the Holding Company for Transportation.   Furthermore, Dr. Ashraf holds a PhD degree from Manchester University, UK, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Carleton University, Canada. He further holds a Bachelor degree in Business Administration from Cairo University with highest honor.
As Managing Partner for CCM Consultancy, Edward Matti’s responsibilities put him in front of clients from all industries and with wide-spanning challenges. From effective talent management strategies to the design of complex progression models set to instil behavioural change, his team consults on end-to-end solutions for their clients. Edward is an experienced leader with over 17 years of leadership experience in Human Resource Development and Financial Services, where he has proven his ability to manage, motivate and influence others through strong and effective communication skills and a commitment to realising individual and team success. Prior to moving to Dubai to head up CCM Consultancy, Edward lived in Toronto and was Regional Director for Canada’s largest financial planning firm. An accomplished public speaker and TV commentator in Canada, Edward still meets with clients to consult on their issues, develop solutions and deliver riveting interventions. Edward and his team have helped clients in sales, management and leadership needs as well as branded culture and customer centric experiences.
Coach and author of 'Managing the Matrix: How to Survive and Thrive in Your Organisation' Dawn Metcalfe, Managing Director of Performance Development Services (PDS) is an experienced coach, trainer and facilitator. Her first book, Managing the Matrix: How to Survive and Thrive in Your Organization was published in 2014 and will soon come out in Arabic. She regularly writes for various publications across the Middle East Training Magazine Middle East, Gulf Business, Explorer UAE and LinkedIn (with one article generating over 80,000 hits). Dawn also contributes to the Business Breakfast on Dubai Eye 103.8, speaking on various topics, and appeared at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature to discuss business writing. Dawn regularly advises C-Suite executives and high potential employees to develop and deliver their events, ranging from simply delivering 30 minutes on a specific topic or moderating a panel to developing and facilitating a week-long corporate event.
Leila Hoteit
In her role as Partner and Managing Director at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Dr. Leila Hoteit provides strategic leadership advice to an extensive portfolio of high profile clients across the Middle East’s government sector. Her primary responsibility is to strengthen capabilities across the Human Capital Development space covering Education, Education for Employment and Women’s Economic Empowerment.

Dr. Hoteit’s career spans over 13 years in the management consulting industry. Her projects have centered on several key areas of specialization from policy planning to strategic planning, organizational development and business model design.

As part of her assignments, Dr. Hoteit has covered a slew of in-depth societal issues that punctuate the MENA region; these include women’s empowerment, human capital development, education, employment and culture.

Dr. Hoteit was named ‘Young Global Leader’ for the World Economic Forum in 2014 – a multi-stakeholder community of exceptional young leaders who share a commitment to shaping the global future.

Dr. Hoteit has recently given a TED talk on women economic empowerment in the Arab world. She has served as a key speaker at various conferences including the World Energy Forum 2012; the 2013 Women Entrepreneurs in MENA; and, the 2012 MENA Business Network Women Forum. In addition, she has co-authored and contributed to numerous research articles for renowned publications such as The Economist, The Financial Times,, Arabian Gazette and The New York Times.

Dr. Hoteit holds a Bachelor’s degree and PhD in Electrical Engineering from Imperial College London, as well as an MBA from France’s INSEAD.
Rana Nawas

Senior Vice President, Structured Finance & Capital Markets, GE Capital Aviation Services

Rachida Justo
Dr. Justo joined IE Business School in 2003 as the Associate Director for the Dean’s Research Office, and is currently Professor of Entrepreneurial Management and Social Entrepreneurship. Through her extended professional experience, she has produced state-of-the art academic knowledge and teaching tools that are needed to train entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs and help them create value for their companies. Her research has been focused on social entrepreneurship and the drivers of performance of female entrepreneurs. It has been published in top-level academic journals such as The Journal of Business Venturing, and received several awards including the “Best Women’s Entrepreneurship Paper Award”, from the Academy of Management Conference. She is a member of GECES, an Expert Group of the European Commission on Social Entrepreneurship, an advisory board member of Vivergi (the biggest social impact fund in Europe) and has also produced several policy reports for the OECD, the EC and the Spanish Ministry of Diversity and Equal Opportunities. She has also published a social entrepreneurship special report within the world’s largest research consortium on entrepreneurship. Dr. Justo holds a Ph.D. from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, for which she received the “Outstanding Award for Best Doctoral Dissertation” in 2008.
Jos Dirkx
Jos is an award-winning media and communications expert, a two-time TEDx speaker, and a Women Deliver Young Leader. She has traveled and spoken at events around the world. She’s spent time in South Sudan and Eritrea with the United Nations and founded an award-winning NGO, Girls & Football South Africa, receiving a letter from First Lady Michelle Obama in recognition of work done for youth. Most recently, she was Brand Manager at IBM Middle East and Africa, bringing IBM’s largest regional advertising partnership – with storytelling platform TED – to life. She launched a mobile health app, mGirls, which delivers free, daily health care information to over 65,000 girls in South Africa via text. Her work has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, Marie Claire, Al Jazeera, CNBC, Mail & Guardian, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, MTV Networks, United Nations Girls Education Initiative, Ashoka Changemakers, and Women in STEM, amongst others. She’s lived in 12 countries and has been to over 90, with interesting stories to tell about (almost) all of them.
Dr. Shannon May

(The world's largest education innovation company serving 700 million children whose families live on less than US$2 per person per day.)

Rana Nejem
Ms. Nejem is an author and social and cultural intelligence coach. She started her career as a broadcast journalist at Jordan Television. After working with CNN during the First Gulf War, she moved to the Royal Hashemite Court where she was responsible for His Majesty the late King Hussein’s International Media Department for 2 years. She then moved into the field of communications and public relations leading the public diplomacy and communications work of the British Embassy in Amman for 18 years.

She founded her own company, Yarnu, in 2013. She has since been coaching, training and advising business executives, diplomats and officials, helping them refine their professional profile, increase the impact of their presence and raise their intercultural intelligence.

Her first book “When in the Arab World: An Insider’s Guide to Living and Working with Arab Culture” was published in 2016. She is regularly invited to speak on the subject of cross-cultural communications.

Ms. Nejem holds a Master’s degree in International Communications and Negotiations from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and is certified as an international etiquette consultant by the International Etiquette and Protocol Academy in London. She was also trained by The Protocol School of Washington
Gaelle Sundelin
Ms. Sundelin is a reporter at Caravelle Productions and the France 24 correspondent in Jordan. Caravelle Productions is a news agency based in Dubai and reporting across the region for France’s major TV channels.

A former print journalist, she worked for three years as a reporter for The Jordan Times. Although she initially focused on culture, she soon moved on to report on gender, politics and refugees.

She has spent the past year producing documentaries and news pieces on topics ranging from Syrian refugees to the war in Syria. She has also highlighted issues facing women in the region such as early marriages, sexual harassment or rape laws.

A social entrepreneur at heart, Ms. Sundelin also founded a volunteer-led organisations to provide relief to thousands of Syrian refugees living in urban areas. The NGO had four programs focusing on women empowerment and education while also providing basic needs to underprivileged Jordanians and Syrians. The organisation won international recognition and appeared on numerous European media channels.

Ms. Sundelin graduated from EHSAL, a business school based in Brussels, Belgium and also studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. She recently moved to Ankara, Turkey.
Daniel Godsall
Mr. Godsall is a former Managing Director at Barclays Bank Plc, with almost 30 years of experience in leading and coaching diverse teams of talented men and women. In 2014, he decided to quit his corporate career to become a stay at home dad to his six-month-old son, Jesse. It was during this time that he became aware of the significant and often unspoken challenges new parents face when transitioning back into the workplace after maternity or paternity.

In 2015, he founded WOMBA, a training and coaching consultancy that works with companies to support employees and increase manager capability, to reduce the loss of current and potential talent from the workplace during this critical life stage.
David Jones
David B. Jones is the co-founder and chief executive officer of The Talent Enterprise, the region’s premier human capital ‘think’ and ‘do’ tank. With a background in labour market economics, David has over twenty-five years of experience in consulting and HR across Europe and the Middle East. He is a senior adviser to the policymakers and business leaders on strategic human capital issues and challenges, and has lived and worked in Dubai for over eighteen years.
Cordelia Henry
With over 32 years’ experience in retail finance for blue chip financial institutions in London, Asia and the Middle East, Cordelia provided solutions for an array of clients. She learned that many business owners lacked the skills of how to acquire new clients. Cordelia realised that filling this gap was where her true calling lay. Cordelia is now the owner of the Referral Institute’s UAE franchise. She shows business owners how to find their ideal clients, dramatically increase their profits by building business relationships with the RIGHT people! Cordelia leads a community of like-minded female entrepreneurs who believe in the power of building their business through referrals & business networking. She uses her skills as an Imago Facilitator to empower her clients to replace self-defeating traits with effective skills and create amazing business relationships. Combining these skills, Cordelia has a gift of connecting with people at an emotional and rational level. She is a confident speaker, facilitator and advocator of women in business and how to network effectively.
Emma Carbery
Emma Carbery, BA, MA, MSC, CIPD, LVCY, RYT

Prior to establishing The Workplace Yogi Emma worked in the corporate world for many years and for the last 12 years of her corporate career as a Human Resources Director and HR Consultant working with businesses to align people and business strategy to maximize people and business performance. Whilst working in the corporate world, through her own experience, Emma realised that Yoga & Mindfulness practices provided an effective method for increasing physical wellbeing, reducing stress and enabling people to reach their full potential. With over 12 years of experience as a Yoga and Mindful Meditation teacher, Emma has travelled the world to further her practice and teaching experience and with her business, The Workplace Yogi, she and her team have taught hundreds of employees at workplaces all over the UAE. She has completed Mindfulness Meditation teacher training with expert teacher Shamash Alidina, is a Registered Yoga Alliance teacher and a Certified Chair Yoga teacher through the Lakshmi Voelker Chair Yoga Institute. She continues to learn and practice daily and her passion for these practices is rooted in her belief of their transformative powers for every individual.
Lucy d’Abo
As Managing Director of Edelman DABO Experiential, Ms. d’Abo leads all concept creation and strategy for the Live Events and Experiential Marketing division.

She has 15 years of experience in the marketing and communications field, and has lived in the Middle East for 12 years. Prior to setting up DABO & CO in 2004, she worked with advertising clients including Pirelli, BenQ, DSF, Dubai Gold & Jewellery Group, and Unilever. She then joined Streamline Marketing to head up their events division within which she managed the IMF and World Bank Meetings in Dubai.

Ms. d’Arbo prides herself on working with some of the region’s most prestigious brands and high profile events. Highlights include organising the Ferrari Mondiali World Finals at Yas Marina Circuit and working with UNHCR for their first conference in the Middle East in 2014, the grand opening of the JW Marriott Marquis in 2012, the annual Cartier International Dubai Polo Challenge with HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein since 2005, the launch of TV channels MBC Action and MBC Max, celebrity management for events and conferences like GM Style, OK! Magazine, Atlantis and GGICO, and the opening of offices for international finance players such as Julius Baer.
Marnie Evans
Marnie is currently a Contract Superintendent on the Al Taweelah Alumina Project, a greenfield 2.0Mtp alumina refinery under construction in the United Arab Emirates in a Joint Venture between Bechtel and Petrofac Emirates LLC. She is responsible for the construction of the non-process buildings for the project including the electrical substations, and the refinery’s operational management centre. She previously held the role of Business Manager for the project and managed the project organisations of Project Controls, Finance & Accounting, Risk Management and Communications, as well as overseeing the key commercial agreements for the project.

Marnie joined Bechtel in 1996 as a mechanical engineering graduate. Her experience spans multiple functions: Home and Field Engineering; Project Controls, and Six Sigma, and includes work on various major projects in Australia and Indonesia, including Century Zinc, PWCS Stage 3 Expansion and Yarwun Alumina Refinery. Marnie also served as the Management Information & Planning Manager for M&M and is a certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt.
Reem Al Ghanim
Reem is currently heading the Women Development & Diversity Division at Saudi Aramco. In line with the Kingdom’s 2030 vision and Saudi Aramco’s strategic intent of becoming the world’s leading integrated energy and chemicals company, Saudi Aramco encourages, empowers and increases the competencies of women in the workforce, supports inclusive leadership, offers outreach for women at University, to help bridge the gap between academia and the workplace, and supports STEM education for young girls in elementary and middle school in Saudi Arabia.  In her organization, she oversees this by offering the below focused programs/initiatives:
  • Women in Business Program
  • Women in Leadership Program
  • Women @ Work
  • Mentorship Programs
  • Diversity Awareness and Leading with Inclusion Programs
  • Using Diversity Scorecards to Measurement Impact
  • STEM for Young Girls
  • University Outreach
  • Establishing new Technical Degree Programs for Women in KSA
Other positions that she has held include: 
  • Division Head of Internal Mobility (2014)
  • Division Head of Career Planning/Competencies Development (2012-2013)
  • Division Head of Expat Employment (2011)
  • Supervisor of the Academic Programs in Dhahran and in Houston, where she partnered with over 40 different Universities in the US, Canada and the UK. (2007-2010)
She has also served as:
  • Vice Chair: Women Development and Diversity Advisory Board (2015 – present)
  • Founding member: Council for Advancing Women in Leadership (2015 - present)
  • Committee Leader: Leadership Excellence for Women Awards - LEWA (2015)
  • Advisory Board member and panel speaker for Women’s Global Leadership Organization (2009-2010)
Reem has participated and presented in a number of global conferences and workshops that include SHRM, MEOS, NAFSA, MEPEC and ATD. She attended the Executive Education program at Emory University, has a M.Ed. in HR Development from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. in English-Education from the University of Bahrain. 

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AstraZeneca is one of only a handful of pure-play biopharmaceutical companies to span the entire value chain of a medicine from discovery, early- and late-stage development to manufacturing and distribution. We drive the global commercialisation of primary care, specialty care-led and specialty care medicines that transform lives.

Our primary focus is on three important areas of healthcare: cardiovascular and metabolic disease (CVMD); oncology; and respiratory, inflammation and autoimmunity (RIA). We are also active in the infection, neuroscience and gastrointestinal (ING) disease areas.

We operate in more than 100 countries and our innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. We want to be valued as a source of great medicines and trusted as a company that delivers business success responsibly. We are committed to operating with integrity and high ethical standards across all our activities.
We push the boundaries of science to deliver life-changing medicines.

2nd Floor , Block D, # 27
Ibn Sina Building
Dubai Healthcare City
P.O. Box 505070
Dubai, UAE

T + 971 4 362 4888
F + 971 4 362 4899

Roche have taken the unprecedented move of being the first IVD company to have a Management Centre and a logistics hub in the Middle East. Roche has extended its ownership of the entire supply chain, quality control and customer support all the way into the centre of the region. This base of operations reinforces the commitment to global Roche standards and is driven by a full team of vastly experienced specialists offering a complete portfolio of services.

With this regional empowerment, Roche has moved its leadership and decision-making closer to its customers and distributors. These investments allow Roche Diagnostics Middle East to develop from being a supplier into becoming the preferred IVD partner for its customers.

Roche Diagnostics Middle East offers a complete portfolio of services in 16 countries: UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Yemen, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya and Maldives.

Roche Diagnostics Middle East FZCO
Jebel Ali Free Zone - JAFZA One
Tower A, Floor 24
P.O. Box 261001
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

T + 971 4 8169000
F + 971 4 8169 001

IE is one of the leading European higher education institutions. Our learning model puts students at the centre, is eminently practical and ensures that they acquire not only the technical know-how but also the mindset and interpersonal skills that are essential for a successful future leader.

IE Business School is regularly ranked among the top business school by Bloomberg Businessweek, Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal. IE Business School has a beautiful campus in Madrid and a faculty of more than 500 professors, 150 of them full-time, who teach students from more than 100 countries in its master, PhD and executive education programs. We have more than 28 international representative offices for IE and our IE office in the Middle East is based out of the Dubai Financial Centre in the United Arab Emirates and we have been present in the Gulf region for more than a decade.

IE offers various programs for individuals along their career paths. IE University offers undergraduate and graduate programs and specializations. The programs are designed and implemented in compliance with the European Higher Education Area. We offer full time, part time MBA programs, short Executive Education courses and DBA / PhD at IE.

Emirates Financial Towers, North Tower, 
Office 313. P.O. Box 507100
T +971 4 359 8400 

FedEx Corporation provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of 49 billion USD, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand.

Consistently ranked among the world's most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its 340,000 team members to remain "absolutely, positively" focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities.

FedEx Express is the world’s largest express transportation company, providing fast and reliable delivery to more than 220 countries and territories. FedEx Express uses a global air-and-ground network to speed delivery of time-sensitive shipments, by a definite time and date with a money-back guarantee.
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team up to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities. The MENA practice of EY has been operating in the region since 1923. For over 90 years, we have grown to over 5,000 people united across 20 offices and 15 countries, sharing the same values and an unwavering commitment to quality. As an organization, we continue to develop outstanding leaders who deliver exceptional services to our clients and who contribute to our communities. We are proud of our accomplishments over the years, reaffirming our position as the largest and most established professional services organization in the region.

Johnson Controls Building Efficiency offers an unmatched portfolio of HVACR products and solutions to increase energy efficiency, lower operating costs and create more comfortable, safe and efficient buildings.

Operating in more than 150 countries through a strong network of offices and distribution channels, Building Efficiency’s breadth of offerings helps building owners, operators, engineers and consultants impact the full lifecycle of a building. Its market leadership is established through trusted brands such as YORK, Sabroe and Metasys, as well as its smart building integration capabilities and energy financing solutions.

Johnson Controls is a top corporate citizen and continues to align environmental, social and governance responsibilities with economic priorities, resulting in positive results for businesses, our communities, and our planet. Since 2007, Johnson Controls has featured on Ethisphere Magazine’s list of World’s Most Ethical Companies, is a member of the Billion Dollar roundtable and features on the Fortune 500 and the Global 2000 indexes.

Johnson Controls
P.O. Box 31065,
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

T +971 4  309 9999
F +971 4  309 9792

PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than 63 billion USD in net revenue in 2015, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo's product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 22 brands that generate more than 1 billion USD each in estimated annual retail sales.

At the heart of PepsiCo is Performance with Purpose – our goal to deliver top-tier financial performance while creating sustainable growth and shareholder value. In practice, Performance with Purpose means providing a wide range of foods and beverages from treats to healthy eats; finding innovative ways to minimize our impact on the environment and reduce our operating costs; providing a safe and inclusive workplace for our employees globally; and respecting, supporting and investing in the local communities where we operate.

PepsiCo Middle East and North Africa

Building 2, Emaar Square,
Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard,
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

T +971 4 425 3700
F +971 4 425 2291

The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, OrlandiValuta, Pago Facil and Western Union Business Solutions branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to purchase money orders.

As of March 31, 2016, the Western Union, Vigo and OrlandiValuta branded services were offered through a combined network of over 500,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories and over 100,000 ATMs and kiosks, and included the capability to send money to over a billion accounts. In 2015, The Western Union Company completed 262 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $82 billion of principal between consumers, and 508 million business payments.

Western Union Financial Services Inc.

Building #12, Dubai Internet City
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

T +971 4 437 3600
F + 971 4 437 3686

Bechtel is one of the most respected global engineering, project management and construction companies, and a cornerstone of innovation in the industry. Together with our customers, we deliver landmark projects that foster sustainable progress and grow economies.

Since 1898, we’ve completed more than 25,000 extraordinary projects in 160 countries on all seven continents serving the energy delivery, defense, environmental cleanup, mining and metals, oil, gas and chemicals, infrastructure and transportation, and telecommunication industries. We are a family company grounded in hard work, integrity and trust – values integral to all we do.

Bechtel has been working in the Emirates since 1962, ten years before the UAE came into being. For 53 years we have been helping the Emirates in developing natural resources, building infrastructure, and growing the export economy.

Bechtel once again was named the top U.S. contractor in 2016 by Engineering News-Record (ENR), a leading publication for the engineering and construction industry. This marked the 18th consecutive year that Bechtel has ranked first on ENR’s top 400 Contractors list. In addition, Bechtel ranked number one on the following specialised lists: Top 20 Petroleum, Top 20 Transportation, Top 20 Power, Top 20 Industrial, Top 50 Contractors Working Abroad.

Suite 3504-3506, Marina Plaza, Dubai Marina, Dubai, UAE.

T + 971 4 404 3000
F + 971 4 404 3001

Sanofi is a global life sciences company committed to improving access to healthcare and supporting the people we serve throughout the continuum of care. From prevention to treatment, Sanofi transforms scientific innovation into healthcare solutions, in human vaccines, rare diseases, multiple sclerosis, oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, diabetes and cardiovascular solutions and consumer healthcare. More than 110,000 people at Sanofi are dedicated to make a difference in patients’ daily life, wherever they live, and enable them to enjoy a healthier lifestyle.

At Sanofi, we have a clear and resolute plan of action: to contribute to the continuous advancement of health. As a company, and as individuals, Sanofi and its talented employees have always striven to advance the cause of health by developing treatments that prevent and treat diseases, while enhancing access to healthcare for the people around the world.

Sanofi Aventis Groupe

Mazaya Business Avenue
Building BB1, 37th & 38th Floor
Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT)
P.O.Box 53899
Dubai, United Arab Emirates   

T +971 4 550 3600
F +971 4 552 1050

Cummins Inc., a Fortune 200 Company, takes pride in designing, manufacturing, distributing and servicing engines and related technologies, including fuel systems, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation systems.

Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana (USA), Cummins serves customers in more than 190 countries, through a network of more than 600 distributors and 7,200 dealer locations. The energy and commitment of its 54,600 employees worldwide makes it possible for the company to maintain a leadership position in the global power market. In 2015 Cummins Inc. earned 1.4 billion USD from sales of 19.1 billion USD.

Cummins’ presence in the Middle East began in 1956 and the territory now spans 14 countries.
In 2016 Cummins Inc. and the Olayan Group announced the formation of Cummins Arabia, a 50:50 distribution joint venture across Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Kuwait. The vision of the JV is to consistently deliver seamless world class service and support to customers across the three countries.

The company lives by the Cummins values of integrity, innovation, delivering superior results, diversity, global involvement and corporate responsibility. Cummins recognises that every corporation has a responsibility to help improve the communities in which employees work and live.

Cummins Middle East

Jebel Ali Free Zone South
P.O. Box 17636
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

T +971 4 880 9911
F +971 4 886 0518

As a global leader in medical technology, services and solutions, Medtronic improves the health and lives of millions of people each year. We believe our deep clinical, therapeutic and economic expertise can help address the complex challenges — such as rising costs, aging populations and the burden of chronic disease — faced by families and healthcare systems today. But we can’t do it alone. That’s why we’re committed to partnering in new ways and developing powerful solutions that deliver better patient outcomes.

Founded in 1949 as a medical repair company, we're now among the world's largest medical technology, services and solutions companies, employing more than 85,000 people worldwide, serving physicians, hospitals and patients in more than 160 countries. Join us in our commitment to take healthcare further, together.


Dubai Internet City, Office Park Building
Block D, 2nd floor
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

T +971 4 818 2666
F +971 4 818 2600

Mundipharma and its independent associated companies, Purdue, NAPP and Mundipharma, are privately owned companies. Having started in 1957, they now cover the world’s pharmaceutical markets. Today, Mundipharma makes its presence felt across the globe, and as a result, has acquired several distinctions among its partners and followers.

It is known as a fast-growing, speciality pharmaceutical company, and one of the leading players inmoderate to severe pain management, inAsia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. It has established itself as a pioneer in controlled release technology (ACROCONTIN) for pain management, over 12 hours, to help alleviate pain in patients and improve quality of life. And finally, it has built a strong presence in medical education and in the promotion of pain management awareness among caregivers and patients.

Mundipharma Middle East FZ LLC
Business Central Towers A,
Floor 32, Office 02, Dubai Media City,P.O.Box 502927, Dubai, UAE

T +971 44 398 777

MT Energy Resources is an Australian upstream oil and gas subsurface and local content consultancy and advisory company comprised of highly experienced personnel who are experts in their respective fields.

We serve clients globally with a special focus on Africa, Asia and Australasia. We advise governments, national oil and gas companies and independent oil companies. Our motivated expert consultants combine global experience and insights to unlock significant value for our clients.

We work with clients to provide comprehensive solutions to their technical and local content challenges. We help them govern, manage and engineer their projects. We deliver the best to our clients through professional excellence thanks to robust technical tools, processes and frameworks together with proven methodologies and workflows.

MT Energy Resources
Level 24 Allendale Square
77 St Georges Terrace
Perth 6000 WA

T + 61 8 61413148
F + 61 8 6141 3101

The Sharjah Business Women Council was established in 2002 to contribute to the economic and social development of the Emirate of Sharjah by supporting women's full economic integration and assisting them in maximising their potential. SBWC currently has 1,500 business women, professionals, students and graduates, and aspiring individuals amongst its members.

SBWC is able to communicate, connect and cater to members through a tailor-made membership management system. A core focus of the council is entrepreneurship development, which it encourages through programs such as Badiri Women’s Enterprise Development Virtual Academy and Jeel, geared towards creating the next generation of women and youth entrepreneurs.

Sharjah Business Women Council
Al Qasimi Street,
P.O. Box 31122
Sharjah, UAE

T +971 6591140 is the first company to offer non-traditional and flexible working options in the MENA region. Catering to professional women and forward-thinking businesses alike, it was launched in April 2016. The brainchild of Helen McGuire and CEO of MCG Group Justin McGuire, the company sources and supports skilled women back into the workplace by matching them with progressive businesses that understand the value of flexible working.

Hopscotch also offers exclusive skills workshops sessions as well as a one-to-one coaching service on a host of work related issues by a certified trainer in order to ensure the return to work process is a smooth one. The company has experienced huge success so far with thousands of women registered through its site and a constant stream of active jobs offered by its growing client base.


MCG Associates FZ LLC
1409 DAMAC Executive Heights
Barsha Heights, P.O. Box 211 802
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

T +971 4 275 7600

PWN Global is a not-for-profit global professional network and a social catalyst for balanced leadership. Globally and locally, PWN supports some 50 organisations in their strategy to build gender balanced leadership within their organisation. As a dynamic, fast-growing offline and online networking and leadership development platform, PWN Global supports professional women and men in all sectors and industries. With over 3,500 members and more than 90 nationalities, PWN Global is a volunteer-led organisation delivering over 600 events per year, in 26 city networks. Recognising the importance of personal development, PWN Global also offers a comprehensive cross-border, cross-industry mentoring programme to all members. 

Join the mission of this incredible organisation – connect, share, learn – ADVANCE!

PWN Global
4, Rue Galvani
75838 Paris Cedex 17

T +33 9 70 46 65 64


Islamic Fashion and Design Council (IFDC) is the world’s leading modest fashion and design council representing the Islamic economy and its stakeholders. IFDC, the foremost advocate for Islamic fashion, art and design professionals, aspiring talent, and initiatives, has an array of products, services, and effective training programs for all levels. Our platform is designed to ensure the success of Islamic fashion and design in the global marketplace as we facilitate the industry players in accessing the vast growth potential.

COVER magazine

IFDC’s COVER magazine is the only magazine in the world bringing together global modest fashion and design in one place in a stylish manner. Deemed by many as the ‘Vogue’ of Islamic fashion, COVER is an exciting, revolutionary and vibrant read. A destination magazine for everyone interested in modest fashion and lifestyle., a city marketing portal that provides media and marketing solutions servicing to both local and international clients, and support major events through sponsorship, organizing, and marketing services such as:

  • Email campaign
  • Banner advertising
  • Social Media Campaign
  • SMS Campaign
  • Events $ Training Marketing
  • Public Relations Services
  • Web Design & Development Services
  • Advertising, Media, Graphic Design

Contact Eye of Riyadh:
Tel: +966 11 2288587
Despite being young in age, American University of Sharjah (AUS) is acclaimed throughout the region for its academic excellence and multicultural campus life.

Founded in 1997 by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Sharjah, the university was envisaged by His Highness as a leading educational institution in the Gulf region. Consciously based upon American institutions of higher education, AUS is thoroughly grounded in Arab culture and is part of a larger process of the revitalization of intellectual life in the Middle East. It is an independent, not-for-profit coeducational institution that is proud of its role as a leading comprehensive coeducational university, serving students from the region and around the world.

As a provider of quality higher education in the Gulf, AUS is licensed and its programs are accredited by the Commission for Academic Accreditation of the Ministry of Education's Higher Education Affairs Division in the United Arab Emirates. AUS is also accredited in the United States of America by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA, Tel +1 215 662 5606). The bachelor of science degree programs in chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering offered by the College of Engineering are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET ( The bachelor of science degree program in computer science offered by the College of Engineering is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET ( The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) and the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees offered by the School of Business Administration are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), The Bachelor of Architecture program of the College of Architecture, Art and Design is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) of the United States,

AUS is a member of AAICU (Association of American International Colleges and Universities), a leadership organization of American international universities, whose members provide responsible delivery and quality assurance of American higher education outside the United States.

AUS offers 26 majors and 46 minors at the undergraduate level, and 13 master's degrees programs through the following academic divisions:

  • College of Architecture, Art and Design
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Engineering
  • School of Business Administration

While Arabic is the official language of the United Arab Emirates, the language of instruction at AUS is English.


  • award categories


    award categories


    This award honours the most prominent businesswoman, regardless of industries to have achieved success through her leadership and strategic management and business skills engagements over the last 12 months.


    This award honours a female leader for her efforts and initiatives in the public sector that promote the development of women community and advocate women rights and empowerment.


    This award honours a leading female entrepreneur who has established an innovative business entity, product or service with strong business fundamentals


    This award recognises a leading male business leader for his advocacy in supporting and developing women talent and women in business.


    This award recognises a multi-national corporation which actively encourages its women executives to develop skills through training and leadership programs, mentorship, and provides them with growth opportunities.


    This award honours a small and medium-sized enterprise (up to 250 employees) which actively encourages its women executives to develop skills through training and leadership programs, mentorship, and provides them with growth opportunities.


    This award recognises an initiative created and implemented by a private company, public company, educational institution, public sector, non-governmental organisation or non-profit organisation to encourage women’s economic empowerment.


    This award recognises an initiative created to promote a culturally diverse workforce and provide equal opportunities from recruitment to promotion, within a public or private organisation in the MENA region.




    Individual Past Winners

    • Leading Businesswoman of the Year

      Hala Badri

      Executive Vice President – Brand & Communications

    • Most Innovative Woman Entrepreneur

      Lama Bazzari

      Founder and Chief Executive Officer
      Nstyle International

    • Leading Woman in Public Sector

      Dr Aisha Bin Bishr

      Assistant Director General
      The Executive Office

    • Male Champion of Change

      Tarek Rabah

      Area Vice President, Middle East & Africa

    • Best Local Initiative for Women’s Economic Empowerment

      Uforo Iban Uto Inwang

      She’s Empowered through Agriculture
      People, Environment and Sustainability Foundation

    • Best Global Initiative for Women’s Economic Empowerment

      Women. Fast Forward


    • Most Woman-Friendly Employer

      PepsiCo Greater China Region

    • WIL Honorary Achievement Award

      Khalid Alkhodair,

      CEO, Glowork

    • Women’s Empowerment Recognition Award

      Almas Jiwani

      UN Women Canada National Committee


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The WIL Economic Forum is a unique opportunity to find yourself absolutely surrounded by powerful, strong women–the resulting inspiration, knowledge and connections will be life changing.

Kristen Pressner – VP, Head of HR Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America, Diagnostics Division, Roche


I was very impressed with the comprehensive agenda and broad mix of high quality speakers at the WIL Economic Forum. It was time worth spent and another big step forward on the important topic of diversity and inclusion in this part of the world.

Assaf AlQuraishi – VP, Human Resources, Unilever MENA


Businesses cannot be successful without diverse thinking styles and approaches to leadership. The Women in Leadership Economic Forum provides an important opportunity to listen and share how to integrate these differences into the everyday processes, projects and values of the organizations in which we work.

Walter Hurdle – Global Chief Diversity Officer, AIG


Women are increasingly moving into roles as decision-makers and leaders in both private and professional spheres. It is important that they now step up and engage in the change process.

Jennifer O’Lear – Head of Corporate HR Development & Engagement, and Chief Diversity Officer, Merck


As the pipeline of female talent continues to expand, it is up to corporate stakeholders to make the ‘business case’ for investing in women and act as catalysts for change.

Dr Leila Hoteit -Partner and Managing Director, Boston Consulting Group


I left the Women in Leadership Economic Forum feeling inspired and energised. While we have certainly come a long way, there is much more work to be done to support and foster equality for women in every segment of our economy. Onwards and upwards!

VP of Talent Planning & Inclusion, Pfizer


Gender diversity makes good business sense and everyday women are making positive changes to workplace culture by driving service excellence and enabling a balanced economic growth.

Nathalie Amiel-Ferrault – VP, EMEA Customer Experience, MEIA Marketing & Communications, FedEx Express


Women are typically adept at managing complexity, coping with ambiguity and bringing clarity to situations. Conferences like WIL give women the chance to pause, reflect and recharge their batteries by creating new global networks.

Wendy Alexander – Associate Dean, Global Business, London Business School


If you have questions about any aspect of the forum or require more information, please contact our team below.


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