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

Endorsed by the UAE Ministry of Economy for the past four years, the 19th Global WIL Economic Forum is bringing together up to 500 global business leaders, policy-makers, entrepreneurs, NGOs, artists and youth to champion diversity as the cornerstone of sustainable economic development.

Initiated in Dubai as the Women in Leadership Forum in 2009, the forum has since then travelled and evolved from being a singular platform dedicated to gender parity, to a purpose-driven community. Throughout the year and over these two days, the WIL Forum celebrates the big and small steps taken by large corporations, governments and individuals to promote diversity & inclusion and shares the stories of every day heroes, storytellers and game changers.

Held under the theme “The Butterfly Effect – From Intent to Impact”, this year’s edition places a particular focus on enacting social change through social entrepreneurship, impact investment, philanthropy and community building.

The agenda touches on key aspects of our modern society and explores diversity as the driving force of our collective future. Philanthropy and corporate social responsibility, as well as education and arts and culture, will be central to the conversation.

Designed to drive action, the program leverages the experience of business and community leaders to give attendees a roadmap to further their personal development, and organisations with the tools to make a difference.


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 successful 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 inclusion 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 cross-sector peers and industry leaders in an environment built to harness the principles of diversity and inclusion.

Book ‘brain dates’ with like-minded peers using our online app ( and kick off conversations in our brain dating lounge at the forum.

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H.E. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori

H.E. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori

Minister of Economy, United Arab Emirates H.E. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori View Profile
H.E. Noura Al Kaabi

H.E. Noura Al Kaabi

Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs, UAE H.E. Noura Al Kaabi View Profile
Dr. Auma Obama

Dr. Auma Obama

Founder & Director, Sauti Kuu Foundation Dr. Auma Obama View Profile
Haben Girma

Haben Girma

Global inclusion advocate, President Obama Champion of Change Haben Girma View Profile


Chairperson, Al Maskari Holding H.E. DR. SHAIKHA AL MASKARI View Profile
H.E. 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 Sultan holds a Bachelor’s degree (B. Sc.) 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 Sultan holds the positions below:

Chairman of the Supreme Committee for Consumer Protection

Chairman of the Coordinating and Economic Cooperation Committee

Chairman of the National Committee for the Follow-up Program of Investment Climate

Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Securities and Commodities Authority

Chairman of the Insurance Authority

Chairman of the Federal Civil Aviation Authority

Prior to his current responsibilities, His Excellency Sultan held the previous positions below:

Minister of Government Sector Development (2006-2008)

Minister of Transport and Communications (2004-2006)

Chairman of Aman (Dubai Islamic Insurance Company) (2002-2008)

Vice President of Dubai Islamic Bank (1999 – 2008)

Group Managing Director of Saeed & Mohamed Al Naboodah Group (1998 – 2004)

Deputy Director General – Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry (1996 – 1998)
H.E. Noura Al Kaabi
Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs of the United Arab Emirates and Chairwoman of the Media Zone Authority-Abu Dhabi and twofour54

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 Chair of the Media Zone Authority - Abu Dhabi (MZA) and twofour54, the home of media and entertainment in Abu Dhabi; Chair of Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC Group) and Chair of Abu Dhabi Media Company. She is also the Media & Marketing Chair for the Special Olympics. She is on the committee of TCA’s Museum Acquisition Committee and is part of the Advisory Board for Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation and Qasr Al Hosn. She is also a board member of the UAE’s National Media Council, International Federal Council, Image Nation, National Archive, Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Zayed Sports Council and Young Global Leader. 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; and she was named as one of the 20 most powerful women in global television by The Hollywood Reporter in 2016.

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.
Dr. Auma Obama
Born and raised in Kenya, Dr. Obama studied in Germany, obtaining a Masters degree at the University of Heidelberg, completing her doctorate studies at the University of Bayreuth and also graduated from the Berlin Film and Television Academy. Dr. Obama lived and worked in Germany and the UK for several years before returning to Kenya to work for the humanitarian agency, CARE International. A key component of her work there was to create and coordinate of the "Sport for Social Change Network", an initiative that brought together grassroots organizations from various countries (East Africa, Egypt, Bangladesh) that used sport - with a special focus on girls -, as a tool for social change.

In 2010 Dr Auma Obama founded the Sauti Kuu Foundation ( The Foundation seeks to give a voice to financially and socially disadvantaged children and youth. Using a Self-Help Model of intervention the Foundation works to unlock their potential and enable them to improve their lives.

Dr. Obama is the Director of the Sauti Kuu Foundation. She also has held/ holds the following positions: Trustee of the Jacobs Foundation (2011 – 2015), Councilor of the World Future Council (2015 - Current), Patron of the Storymoja International Festival (2014 – Current), and the WeLT Business Club (2017). She is also a Trustee of the Stiftung Lesen (German Reading Foundation (2015 – Current), and a Council Member of the Kilimanjaro Initiative since 2014 to date Dr. Obama is the Initiator of the Sauti Kuu Act Now Youth Awards 2015

Dr Obama is a published author. Her memoir ‘Das Leben kommt immer dazwischen’, was first written published in German in 2010. The English edition ‘And Then Life Happens’ later came out in 2012. She has been awarded numerous prizes for her humanitarian work as well as an international Speaker, who has given numerous presentations worldwide on sustainable Socio-economic Development, with special emphasis on the relationship between the ‘Developed’ and ’Developing’ World.

Dr. Obama, is an alumni of the Rockefeller Foundation‘s Bellagio Centre Residency Program.
Haben Girma
Haben Girma has earned recognition as a White House Champion of Change, Forbes 30 under 30, and BBC Women of Africa Hero. The first Deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law School, Haben advocates for equal access to information for people with disabilities. Haben holds a B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology from Lewis & Clark College. Because of her disability rights advocacy she has been honored by President Barack Obama, President Bill Clinton, and many others. Based in San Francisco, Haben enjoys salsa dancing, surfing, and traveling the world.

Haben has been featured extensively in media around the world, including the BBC, NBC, Forbes, NPR, and many more. Learn more about Haben at
Her Excellency Dr. Shaikha Al Maskari started her career with ADNOC Group and in 1989 she joined her family petroleum company, Tricon Energy Operations. Under her leadership, Tricon evolved into a conglomerate comprised of multinational firms and government-linked companies. In 2008, HE Dr. Shaikha established Al Maskari Holding (AMH), the privately owned holding company of the Al Maskari portfolio that controls the family’s operating subsidiaries, joint venture companies, strategic partnerships, and private equity.

For national corporate social responsibility, HE Dr. Shaikha founded the Global Institute of Justice & Technology and the Global Paramedic & Rescue Academy. Both have trained hundreds of UAE Ministry of Interior personnel in advanced police sciences, security, search and rescue and emergency medical services and have won numerous national, regional and international awards. In 1993, she set up her family charity, United Mercy Foundation (presently operated underneath her family foundation), which sponsors orphans and orphanages and provides food, medical, and emergency relief in crisis zones in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. In 2003, she co-founded the Diyarbakir ( Grameen) Microcredit Project in Turkey.

On 17th March, 2017, in UK Parliamentary Debates (HANSARD), House of Lords Official Report, Her Excellency Dr. Shaikha Al Maskari was paid a tribute for having “dedicated her time, energy and personal funding to numerous refugee camps”.

On 19th October, 2016, His Majesty the King of Sweden Carl the XVI Gustaf bestowed upon HE Dr. Shaikha the Order of the Polar Star, Member 1st Class. The Order of the Polar Star was awarded for her service to Sweden.

Also, on 19th October, 2016, she was awarded “the Emirati Honorary Shield” for her pioneering Humanitarian contributions to the development of the State.

In honor of Emirati Women’s Day 2016, the UAE Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority published “Emaratiyah” a collection of profiles of the UAE Inspiring Women. HE Dr. Shaikha was included for her roles as a leading businesswoman and a philanthropist.

HE Dr. Shaikha was recognized by Forbes Middle East in their 2015 list of 100 Most Powerful Arab Business Women. She has been conferred by the Federation of GCC Chambers of Commerce & Industry : “Award For Excellence In Leadership And Contribution to the Economic Empowerment of Emirati Women ” ; by Enterprise Asia the “2016 Asia-Pacific Woman Entrepreneur of the Year” ; by the Australian Trade Minister in 2015: for “Making outstanding contribution to enhancing Australia-UAE Relations”; by the WWLCA: “Women Leadership Achievement Award 2015”; by Arab Woman Awards: “Emirati Businesswoman of the Year 2014; by Global Thinkers Forum: “Excellence In Business 2014”; by Petroleum Institute and Kuwait University: “For Contribution in Offshore Engineering”; by Am/Cham Abu Dhabi: Falcon Award 2013 “ For Promoting UAE-USA Trade Relations,” ; by Am/Cham MENA: “Best Woman Entrepreneur 2012”; by HH Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Cultural Center for “ Promoting and Contribution to Indo-Arab Relations”; by TIAW World of Difference Award 2012: “For outstanding contribution to the economic empowerment of women” ; honored by United States CAPSTONE Military Program for her services in enhancing bilateral relations; and recipient of several awards from the UAE Red Crescent for on-going contributions to international emergency relief. Her Excellency Dr. Shaikha Al Maskari earned her BA at the University of London, MA and PhD (Geology) at Indiana University, and trained in geophysics with the US Geological Survey.

HE Dr. Shaikha is Chairperson of Al Maskari Holding (AMH), Emirates & Al Maskari Holdings, and Tricon Energy Operations. Board memberships include GR Vision Pte Ltd and Property Facilities Services Pte Ltd.HE Dr. Shaikha also serves on several Boards of non-profit organizations; she is a Board member of Arab International Women’s Forum (AIWF), a Board member of Women For Sustainable Growth (W4SG), a member of the International High Advisory Board of International Cooperation Platform (ICP), Advisory Board member of the Emirati-Swiss Friendship Forum, Advisory Board member of Enterprise Asia, and Advisory Board member of Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF).
Becky Anderson
Becky Anderson is one of CNN International's highest profile anchors. She hosts "Connect the World with Becky Anderson.”

Anderson is based in CNN's Abu Dhabi bureau, allowing her a distinctive regional perspective on some of today's most important news stories, including the deepening humanitarian crisis in Syria and the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Anderson is a skilled interviewer, adept at close questioning and has interviewed many of the world's leading politicians, decision-makers & thought-leaders, including most recently President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Lebanon’s Prime Minister Tammam Salam and President Beji Caid Essebsi of Tunisia. She is equally at home quizzing the world's A-listers, including George Clooney and Oprah Winfrey.

Anderson has extensive business journalism experience including posts with the UK's ITN, CNBC Europe and Bloomberg. She began her career in journalism as a print reporter with various business publications, after gaining a Master of Mass Communication from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University.
Dr. Raja Easa Al Gurg, Managing Director of the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group LLC (ESAG), is a well known businesswoman in the region. She has achieved laurels for her stellar leadership of the Group under the tutelage of her father, the Chairman, H.E. Easa Saleh Al Gurg, KCVO, CBE. Her counsel and valuable insights have significantly contributed to the growth and expansion of ESAG.

A leading business woman in her own right, Dr. Al Gurg has carved a unique niche for herself in the region due to her support and encouragement of Arab women entrepreneurs. She is the President of Dubai Business Women Council; Vice Chairperson of the Board of Directors, Dubai Healthcare City Authority; Board member of the Dubai Chamber Of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) and Dubai Women’s Association.

Dr. Al Gurg is the first Emirati woman on the board of HSBC Bank Middle East Limited and is also on the advisory board of Coutts Bank, the wealth division of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. She is the Head of the Auditing Committee at the Federal Customs Authority and a Board member. Dr Raja is also on the Board of Trustees for the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives - one of the largest development and community foundations in the Middle East.

She is also Vice Chairperson, Board of Trustees, for the Mohammad Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences and a member of the Board of Governors of the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University. She was conferred the Doctor of Literature (D.Litt.) honour by Amity University, India. Dr. Raja Al Gurg is also the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Al Jalila Foundation, a non-profit organisation whose mandate is to promote the UAE as a centre of excellence for medical research and education.

Dr. Al Gurg features in the 29th spot in the listing of the 100 Most Powerful Arabs, compiled by Gulf Business magazine in 2017. She was listed 91st among ‘The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women’ by Forbes for 2016. The World's 100 Most Powerful Arab Businesswomen' for 2015 by Forbes and was ranked first in the Forbes Middle East’s ranking of ‘The 200 Most Powerful Arab Women in Family Business’ for 2014. She has earned several other plaudits and awards in recent years. These include the ‘World of Difference Award’ from the International Alliance for Women (TIAW) in 2009.

Dr. Al Gurg represents the U.A.E. at many international conferences and round-tables as a key-note speaker and is also part of the Government of Dubai’s official delegation for various trade and commerce meetings. She also hosted the first MENA Businesswomen’s Network Forum, in her capacity as the President of the Dubai Business Women Council.

Besides providing valuable counsel to various business groups and international trade alliances, Dr. Al Gurg spends considerable time in several philanthropic, social and charitable activities, notably with the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Charity Foundation and the Al Jalila Foundation, a UAE organization with global aspirations dedicated to making lasting and significant contributions in healthcare to transform lives.
H.H. Sheikha Mariam Al Mualla
Mariam Al Mualla works and volunteers on different initiatives at the Executive Office of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qassimi. One of the initiatives, FUNN is dedicated to promoting and supporting media art for young children and the youth of Sharjah and UAE. Another initiative is The Big Heart Foundation, which aims to raise funds for sustainable projects for refugees in the Middle East.

She recently joined the organization on a trip to Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan in an effort to use arts and media as a means to bring hope and joy refugee children and youth; the team organized various workshops for 7-18 year olds including handing out new cameras and providing photography workshops.

Mariam is passionate about education for all and cultural diplomacy. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in Applied Communications from the Higher Colleges of Technology in Sharjah.
Iris Epple-Righi
Iris Epple-Righi is the CEO of the ESCADA Group since September 1, 2016.

Mrs Epple-Righi has considerable experience in international apparel brands. For the past 13 years she has worked for Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, both owned by PVH Corp., most recently as President Brand Management for Calvin Klein Europe.

Before Calvin Klein, Iris Epple-Righi worked for Tommy Hilfiger, where she was responsible for several years for their retail business and later for the product.

Mrs Epple-Righi started her career at the German department store Breuninger, where she was in various positions in the buying department and for her last 6 years as GMM.

She has a Master of Business degree from Eberhard Karls University in Germany.
Maha Ali
Ms. Ali served as Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply in 2015/2016. She worked at the Trade Ministry since 1998, served at Jordan’s Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva in 2002, and was appointed as the Ministry’s Secretary General in 2010. She has a BSc in Industrial Engineering, an MBA and a Trade Policy Diploma.

During her ministerial service, Ms. Ali was ranked the 8th most powerful Arab woman in government by Forbes Middle East/2015. She has a broad experience in international trade, industrial and trade policies. She was a member of the negotiation teams for Jordan’s accession to the World Trade Organization and Jordan’s Free Trade Agreements with the US, Singapore, Canada, and Turkey.

Ms. Ali was awarded the Royal Medal by His Majesty King Abdullah II of the Third Order in 2008 and of the Fifth Order in 2000. In 2016, she received the Governor General’s Medallion by the Right Honourable David Johnston Governor General of Canada in appreciation of efforts exerted in fostering greater ties between Jordan and Canada.
Kristina Kuzmic
Energetic, funny, and obsessed with creativity, Kristina has an in-your-face perspective on issues of parenting and life in general. In fact, you may have seen Kristina recently on your Facebook feed, or on any one of a number of internet, radio or TV outlets. She has become a YouTube sensation with her “mom-centric” videos about raising children and juggling all of life’s challenges. With over 300 million views across media outlets and websites worldwide, Kristina already has a voice and personality that has proven to be a hit with a massive audience (from young millennials through Gen-Xers and even Baby Boomers).

The Huffington Post referred to Kristina’s videos as “Parenting comedy at its finest,” and The Inquisitr has praised her “witty charm.” People Magazine, Cosmopolitan and Yahoo have all posted articles on her creative parenting advice and unique humor, and media outlets across the country are picking up on her videos and re-posting them. Kristina has quickly made a name for herself as a creative, yet unpretentious parent, as well as a motivational speaker/comedian. In 2011, Kristina was chosen from 20,000 applicants and crowned the winner of Mark Burnett’s reality TV competition: “Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star.” The competition involved numerous grueling challenges, such as writing and producing television segments, and interviewing celebrities including Susie Orman, Gayle King, Arsenio Hall and Oprah Winfrey herself.

Kristina’s first reality show titled “The Ambush Cook,” aired on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Oprah said of Kristina, “What is that THING?…That’s so charming and charismatic and connected to the audience that makes you feel like, I know her, I want to be her, I’m like her… She has all of that. She is an ‘IT PLUS’ girl… I wanna watch her!” Kristina has been approached by various sites to create original content, and in 2016, she made the decision to partner with, the largest women’s lifestyle site. Little Things nicknamed Kristina the “Truth Bomb Mom.”

Kristina’s blog posts, which incorporate her unique insights on family-related topics, have been published on various websites, including and The Huffington Post.

Kristina and her husband currently live in Southern California, where her most important, rewarding, and exhausting careers include being a sanitation engineer, chef, chauffer, and conflict resolution guru for her three (mostly satisfied) clients – her children.
Tonye Cole
Tonye P. Cole is the co-founder and executive director of the Sahara Group. An architecture alumni of the University of Lagos and Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program (AMP186), Tonye Cole, together with his partners has grown the company, founded in 1996, from a single entity to a leading African Energy (Oil, Gas and Power ) and infrastructure conglomerate with operations in over 10 countries across four continents of the world.

Tonye is an active member of the World Economic Forum’s Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI) and also represents Sahara as a member of the Private Sector Advisory Group of the United Nations Sustainable Development Fund (UN SDG-F) - in recognition of Sahara Group’s role in promoting inclusive economic growth for poverty eradication, capacity building, food security and access to potable water in Africa.

His passion for youth development and giving back to the less privileged is expressed through his foundation Nehemiah Youth Empowerment Initiative and Corporate Social Responsibility arm of the group, Sahara Foundation; which has recorded many interventions in the area of Education, Environment, Health, Capacity building and currently in the area of Extraprenueurship using a model that seeks to drive sustainability and create platforms that finds, creates and connects young people with business interests in emerging markets.

A motivational speaker, ordained minister, entrepreneur and firm believer in Africa's inherent greatness, he has travelled vastly delivering numerous papers to the continents youth. He is a regular columnist for Thisday Style and the author of Morning Reflections, an inspirational devotional and My God Thinks.

He is married to Dr. Sylvia Cole with whom they have three children.
Afra Atiq
Afra Atiq is an Emirati award-winning poet, having recently won the ADMAF Creativity Award. She is the first spoken word poet to win the award.

In early 2016, Afra left the corporate word, with nothing but faith in her heart, to pursue poetry. She has been featured in 13 cities across 4 countries and proudly gives back to her community through mentorships and workshops with Untitled Chapters (a thriving hub for Emirati female writers).

She has been a featured performer/speaker at platforms like the Emriates Airlines Festival of Literature, Step Music Festival, TedxAUS, TedxTCHS, NYUAD, Sheraa Sharjah, as well as at numerous universities and schools. Afra was named Best Performer for 2015-16 by Rooftop Rhythms and has performed at the legendary Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe in New York. In addition, Afra is the only Emirati to perform at the Bowery Poetry Club and win the PoetsNY poetry slam at the same venue.

Technically, she holds a master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy (specializing in Middle Eastern politics, gender policies, and power dynamics) and is pursuing a PhD at UAE University —however, performing poetry takes center stage in her life.
Donna Benton
Donna Benton started the Entertainer in 2001 after identifying a market need for both providing consumers with dining incentives and enabling restaurants to reach new customers. The Entertainer filled this gap by providing buy one get one free offers to the best restaurants, cafes, nightspots and attractions. Donna worked alone to build the business from the ground up – managing all of the corporate legalities to set the business up, recruited all of the merchants the first year, oversaw the printing and production and did most of the sales herself, literally door to door.

Word of mouth from delighted customers drove strong book sales and Donna – a native of Melbourne, Australia – grew the business into different countries using the same model, while also expanding her product line to include spas, beauty and hotel accommodation. In 2013, the Entertainer launched its award-winning smartphone App, which allows consumers to redeem their buy one get one free offers directly from their phones.

Over the past fifteen years Donna has used her passion and enthusiasm to drive the company from a single Dubai book to a Dubai-based international brand. The Entertainer portfolio now includes 39 products, providing offers across 18 destinations in 14 countries – including every GCC country, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, South Africa, London, Athens, Cyprus and Malta. With offers from over 10,000 merchant partners, the Entertainer drives over US$ 1.3 Billion dollars into the global economy each year.

More information available at:
Website –
Twitter – @Entertainer241
Facebook -
Olatorera Oniru
Olatorera Oniru née Majekodunmi, is an assiduous entrepreneur passionate about all things Africa. As the CEO of, she is currently leading initiatives to shift the balance between importation and home-grown production – focusing on innovation to maximize Africa’s natural resources and human capital. A member of The National Scholars Honor Society USA, Ms. Oniru started her career working for two Fortune Top 5 companies, namely Bank of America Merrill Lynch and General Electric. She also worked for one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies, Lars Magnus Ericsson, as a global senior consultant and later as Head of Sales Governance. During the course of her career as an employee, she traveled to over 50 cities in over 10 countries in 4 continents.

Ms. Oniru is one of the world's youngest and most sought-after public speakers on topics related to leadership, entrepreneurship and technology driving Africa's growth. As a leading champion of the Made in Africa Movement, she has been recognized by Commonwealth Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship, was named amongst Forbes Most Promising Africans,'s Top 5 Youngest Entrepreneurs and was awareded at the Nigerian Innovation Awards and African Achievers Awards.

Her track record of success has been featured in Forbes, Huffington Post and several other leading publications. In 2016, She was invited to speak at AfricaCom, NigeriaCom, World Retail Congress, TMT Finance, Seamless Africa, African Development Forum, Women in Business South Africa and several other leading events. Ms. Oniru holds a scholarship-based Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the prestigious Emory University USA and Executive Management Certificates from Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden and International Institute for Management Development, Switzerland.

Ms. Oniru's passions include: Innovation, Poverty Alleviation, National Development, Good Governance, Happy People.
Dimple Sahni
Dimple is responsible for originating investments, managing relationships, and helping to execute strategies for the portfolios at Anthos Asset Management dedicated to impact investing. This includes Skopos Impact Fund, a global, private, impact investing fund focused on measurable, positive social and environmental returns alongside financial returns, with the aim to promote human dignity and social justice.

Dimple is an experienced investment professional who began her career in finance at Goldman Sachs. She then launched an Edtech startup, which was acquired by Accenture. Afterwards, she was a Kauffman Fellow for L Capital Partners before joining the Omidyar Network. Most recently she advised Unilever Corporate Ventures on its exploration of a venture investment program in emerging Asia.

Dimple holds an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School and a BA in Economics from the University of Chicago. Based in Amsterdam she is bilingual and a dual citizen of India and the US.
Muna AbuSulayman
A diverse and impactful leader with a unique cross-sectorial work experience for over 19 years, Muna AbuSulayman is recognized as an expert in the fields of Sustainable Development, Management, Philanthropy, Education, Human/Community Development, Communications, and Media.

AbuSulayman has successfully launched, managed, and scaled multiple socially conscious initiatives, businesses and foundations throughout her career and is continuously placed in lists naming her one of the most influential Arabs in the world due to the impact and reach of her work and media footprint.
Dr. Patty Ann Tublin
Dr. Patty Ann Tublin is an internationally recognized relationship, communication and “soft skills” expert. A best-selling author of “Money Can Buy You Happiness: Secrets Women Need to Know to Get Paid What They Are Worth!” and "Not Tonight Dear, I've Got a Business to Run!” which received a 4-star review from SUCCESS Magazine Book Review. As a professional speaker, she delivers inspirational keynote speeches, workshops & seminars to corporations, universities & entrepreneurial groups.

As a passionate behavioral and relationship expert, Dr. Patty Ann understands that Human Capital is every company’s most important asset. She is the Founder & CEO of Relationship Toolbox LLC, a company committed to the development of all employees through workshops, seminars, and executive coaching that utilizes communication and relationship skills to enhance individual and overall company performance. Optimizing her experience as a clinical psychologist, Dr. Patty Ann is a human behavior & motivational expert who is uniquely qualified to utilize proven psychological principles and techniques to optimize performance at every level throughout corporations, entrepreneurial groups and universities.

Passionate about utilizing her almost three decades of experience as a communication and relationship expert, Dr. Patty Ann shows professionals how to optimize "soft skills" for success in business. She is especially passionate about helping women learn to succeed and lead in business while "having a life!" Her expertise includes equipping leaders with the skills necessary for success in a global and diverse marketplace. Dr. Patty Ann has been featured as an expert on ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX News, Sirius XM & Money 101 with Bob McCormick. She is the weekly relationship expert for CT's #1 Radio Morning Talk Show & a frequent guest on WFSBTV & WTNH NEWS 8.

Published in The Wall Street Journal, SUCCESS Magazine, CNN.Fortune Postcards, Fortune, Huffington Post, Entrepreneurial Women Magazine, Lifestyles Magazine, Woman's Day and Ladies Home Journal.

Awarded the Leadership Award from The Women’s Center 29th Annual Leadership Conference along with other dignitaries such as Mrs. Colin Powell.

Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, two Master's Degrees, RN.
Molly Hayward
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.
A former business reporter for CNBC, Vibha has studied Journalism and Broadcasting from Boston University and New York University. Vibha’s films have been aired on HBO and Lifetime TV in the United States.

Her latest film ‘DAUGHTERS OF MOTHER INDIA’ is the winner of the National Film Award for Best Film on Social Issues, awarded by President of India. This is the highest honour in Indian Films. Her previous films include TERROR AT HOME, a film which was part of the United States Government’s Emmy Award winning campaign to Stop Violence Against Women and TOO HOT NOT TO HANDLE, HBO’s highly acclaimed film on Global Warming.

Ida Beerhalter
Ida Beerhalter heads IOME, a private investment partnership of women principals from the Gulf region with its head office in Riyadh, KSA.

Additionally, Mrs Beerhalter also serves as Member of the Board, Trustee, Advisor, and Expert to various for-profit and not-for-profit organizations around the globe (amongst others Astia USA, Omnia Strategy UK, WIP – Women in Parliaments Global Forum, Bellwald Partner GmbH Switzerland, Impact Investment Partners LLP UK, Sauti Kuu Foudation Kenya & Germany, Yunus Social Business GmbH Germany, Social Business Earth Switzerland, First Light Trust UK, TBLI Group The Netherlands, Charité Entrepreneurship Summit Germany) specialized in a wide range of issues, including social business, entrepreneurship, impact investment, gender inclusiveness, women empowerment, investment in emerging markets, and wealth management, family governance and succession planning.
Samra Zafar
Samra Zafar is an international, TEDx Public Speaker, an author, a women's rights activist and a social entrepreneur. She is one of 8 highly distinguished alumni to serve as a Governor for the University of Toronto, and the youngest person to receive that honour. Samra will be speaking at TEDx Mississauga 2017 about domestic abuse, women’s rights to respect, and what individuals and communities can do to make a difference. She is the founder of Brave Beginnings, a non-profit organization, dedicated to providing survivors of abuse with mentorship and friendship to support them in their goals and help them build a life of respect, dignity and freedom. Her passion is to promote diversity and inclusiveness, paying in forward, and to motivate and empower people to believe in themselves, achieve their goals and reach their full potential, no matter what the circumstances might be. Her story and work have been featured in prominent media platforms, including Toronto Life, CTV, CBC, Global News, Yahoo Canada and many others.

After arriving in Canada as a teenage bride in a forced marriage, Samra faced over a decade of abuse, oppression and opposition against her education. Refusing to give up, she pursued her education as a single mother while working multiple jobs and raising her two daughters. She graduated with a Master's Degree in Economics from the University of Toronto with the highest distinctions, while winning over a dozen awards and scholarships. She was the first mature student to win the most prestigious John Moss Award, a $17k scholarship awarded annually to the single most outstanding student across all three U of T campuses. Since then, she has received several awards for being a community leader and icon. She currently works as a manager in commercial banking. Her free time is dedicated to her two beautiful daughters and her passion for empowering others through her advocacy and social entrepreneurship work.
Alice Laugher
Karen H. Jones
Karen Henson Jones is a Philippine-American author. Her first book Heart of Miracles has been featured on CNN Profiles Philippines, and in The Washington Post and LA Yoga.

She has spoken at Talks@Google and Hay House’s I Can Do It. She is also a contributor to The Huffington Post. She attended the Lam Rim teachings taught by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in India.

Karen is a graduate of Cornell University and London Business School.
Amna Al Owais
Amna joined the DIFC Courts in 2006, she became the Deputy Registrar in 2008 and Deputy Chief Executive of the Dispute Resolution Authority in 2014. Previous to her employment at the DIFC Courts, she practiced as a lawyer in the litigation department with Hadef Al Dhahiri and Associates (Hadef & Partners now) in Dubai. Prior to that, she trained at the UAE Ministry of Justice and was admitted to practice in both the Dubai local and federal courts. Amna obtained her Masters (LLM) with Commendation in International Commercial Law from Kingston University, London.

In addition to her role as Deputy Registrar of DIFC Courts she is also Deputy Registrar of the Special Tribunal Related to Dubai World, Chairwoman of the DIFC Courts’ Users’ Committee, a member of the Consulting Council for the University of Sharjah College of Law. In 2014, after an extensive selection process Amna was selected to join the Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Leadership Development – the Young Leaders category and in the same year, appointed to the Advisory Board of the International Bar Association's Access to Justice and Legal Aid Committee.

Amna has played a key part in the establishment and development of the DIFC Courts and creation of the Dispute Resolution Authority in 2014. She spearheaded the establishment of the DIFC Courts’ Pro-Bono Programme launched in 2009, which is the first scheme of its kind in the Middle East. In 2011 Amna was recognised by the International Bar Association as one of the top 3 young lawyers in the world.

Within her role as Deputy Registrar of DIFC Courts Amna undertakes various judicial functions and other duties as prescribed in Article 17 of the DIFC Courts Law No. 10 of 2004. As Registrar of the Small Claims Tribunal, one of the busiest of the DIFC Courts, Amna coordinates all of the claims lodged and undertakes case consultations with the parties.
Ameera Amir
Ameera Amir is the founder of Weyakum, a nonprofit social enterprise that equips United Arab Emirates youth and young professionals (18-32) with the skills necessary to realize their educational and professional aspirations. Whether it is helping them set up their social enterprise, join the United Nations or pursue a degree at a top notch academic institution, Weyakum, meaning ‘with you/together’ in Arabic, supports them throughout the process.

Ameera’s experiences include working on Wall Street, the United Nations as well as locally with the Abu Dhabi Government. Her international network enables her to build synergies across multiple projects and organizations.

Ameera is an avid supporter of women and youth empowerment, sustainable development, and is very passionate about promoting peaceful co-existence among all members of the society. As a member of the Abu Dhabi Global Shapers Community, an initiative of the World Economic Forum, she initiated and managed Understanding Ramadan a project aimed at fostering tolerance.

Ameera holds a Masters in International Affairs with a concentration in Sustainable Economic Development from Columbia University in New York. She currently serves as the President of the Columbia Alumni Association of the UAE.
H.E. Dr. Maryam Al Suwaidi
HE Dr. Maryam Al Suwaidi is widely regarded as one of the few multi-faceted professionals of global repute from the region, with expertise across a broad spectrum of specialized disciplines ranging from corporate governance to security regulation and markets management to Islamic and conventional jurisprudence.

Over the past 15 years, H.E. Dr. Maryam Al Suwaidi has held several leadership positions with major focus on organizational development and quality improvement in various industries. Currently, she is the Deputy CEO for Licensing, Supervision & Enforcement - Securities & Commodities Authority (SCA), where she has held number of positions over her 10+ year tenure. The SCA is the public authority set up as the governing body of the capital markets community in the United Arab Emirates.

In her role at the SCA, HE Dr. Al Suwaidi has been the Team Leader of the SCA International Competitiveness that was ranked first in corporate board effectiveness in the board of director's effectiveness indicator at the World Competitiveness Yearbook issued by the International Institute for Management Development. The initiative was ranked number one rank in the MENA region in the Investor Protection Indicator in the World Bank Ease of Business Report. She is also the Deputy Chairman of the Technical Committee in the SCA (and chaired the Committee from 2012 till 2015); and Team Leader of the UAE Oversight and Supervision on Financial Markets of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf.
H.E. Mohammed Al-Shihhi
Hafez Ghanem
Hafez Ghanem, an Egyptian and French national, is the Vice President of the World Bank for the Middle East and North Africa since March 2, 2015. He is a development expert with more than thirty years of experience in policy analysis, project formulation and supervision, and management of multinational institutions. Dr. Ghanem leads the World Bank’s engagement with 20 Middle East and North African countries through a portfolio of ongoing projects, technical assistance and grants worth more than US$13 billion. Eradicating extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity through the creation of opportunities are core to his vision for the Middle East and North Africa Region.

Prior to his appointment as Vice President, Dr. Ghanem was a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in the Global Economy and Development program leading the Arab economies project, focused on the impact of political transition on Arab economic development.

Between 2007 and 2012, he served as the Assistant Director-General at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Thus, he was responsible for the Economic and Social Development Department and FAO’s analytical work on agricultural economics and food security, trade and markets, gender and equity, and statistics. In this role he and his counterpart in OECD coordinated the preparation of the International Organizations’ recommendations to the 2011 G20 meeting on how to respond the global food crisis. He also led the reforms of the Committee on World Food Security to make it more inclusive and responsive to country needs.

Dr. Ghanem returns to the World Bank where he had already 24 years’ experience (1983-2007), and has worked on Bank operations and initiatives in over 20 countries in Africa, Europe and Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa, and Southeast Asia. His previous positions at the World Bank include: Country Director for Nigeria where he led a multinational team of more than 100 professionals, managing the Bank’s loan portfolio of some USD 1.5 billion; Country Director for Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius and Seychelles; and Sector Leader for Public Economics and Trade Policy in the Europe and Central Asia Region. Dr. Ghanem joined the World Bank in 1983 as a Young Professional and worked as a research economist before moving on to senior economist roles in West Africa and South Asia.

He has many publications in professional journals and was a member of the core team that produced the World Bank’s 1995 World Development Report.

He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Economics from the American University in Cairo and a PhD in Economics from the University of California, Davis. He is fluent in Arabic, English and French.
Fida Chaaban
Fida Chaaban is the Chief Communications Officer of KBW Investments, a privately held Dubai-based investment concern that works across multiple sectors. Prior to her most recent appointment, Fida was the founding Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Middle East and Entrepreneur Qatar magazines. She is a big believer in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region’s startup ecosystem, and endeavors to use both print and web to positively encourage development in various entrepreneurial spaces and across industries. Based in Dubai, UAE, Fida is a social media enthusiast and sees it as the medium of today’s effective enterprises. Talk to her on Twitter @Fida.
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.
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.
With over 20 years of professional experience in the pharmaceutical and diagnostics industry, Harald Wolf is General Manager at Roche Diagnostics Middle East responsible for leading 16 countries including: UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Yemen, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya and Maldives.

In addition to this role, he is currently Head of the Working Group Point of Care (POC) where he is responsible for the Point Of Care Diagnostics business strategy implementation in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

Throughout his career, diversity and inclusion remained a priority where the percentage of women in the 45 countries under his management during his tenure and in leadership roles reached over 50% and 35% respectively. These achievements are remarkable; especially in an industry typically perceived to be male-oriented.

Harald started his illustrious career in 1986 with Boehringer Mannheim and held several management positions before re-joining Roche Diagnostics in 1996. Since then, he occupied several leading roles with increasing responsibility in Romania, Switzerland and the United States.
Vilma Jukurte
Over the past ten years Vilma has lived and worked in New York, Chicago, London and Dubai, garnering extensive experience in the field of international business with a particular focus on the development of creative communities.

As director of Alserkal Avenue, Vilma has been instrumental in the evolution of Alserkal Avenue, a regional hub for the development of arts and culture. The creative centre has grown to become the most prominent arts district in the region, housing close to thirty contemporary art galleries, and creative and alternative community spaces within the Industrial quarter of Al Quoz.
Maya Hojeij
Maya Hojeij is Editor in Chief and Presenter of “#Mal” daily business news show on Dubai TV and has produced and presented Show in 2012.

Between 2002 and 2011, Ms. Hojeij was a Business News Presenter at Al Arabiya news channel part of MBC Group., she was part of the launch of AL Arabiya News Channel, and was one of the first Stock watchers in the Arab world.

During her time with Al Arabiya, Maya contributed in producing and training with a main focus on reporting.

In addition to her experience in television and training, Ms. Hojeij teaches Media courses as an adjunct instructor at the Mohammed Bin Rashed School of Communication at the American University of Dubai and leads workshops there.

Ms. Hojeij has also moderated panels for local and international organizations such as the Dubai Press Club and the World Economic Forum, and interviewed hundreds of business and political personalities in her career and is also a Certified Professional Trainer.

Thea Myhrvold
Being half Arabic, Ms. Myhrvold’s goal has always been to be a part of the growth and development in the region. As a woman and a teacher, her dream is to contribute to worldwide educational reform, by breaking down barriers to learning and improving how we transfer and understand knowledge.

At 21, she created one of the first gamified apps for high school students for Economics. Her passion continued to develop through her teaching. This lead her to create her third venture at 23, a global platform for personalised learning through – a global marketplace for one-to-one learning in real time, providing an alternative to current online solutions.

Ms. Myhrvold is an award-winning speaker, and has been featured in The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, and Arabian Business. She holds a BA in International Relations, Economics and Psychology from Webster University.
Joy Aljouny
Ms. Ajlouny is an e-commerce industry professional. She is the co-founder of Fetchr, a Silicon-Valley backed technology company based in Dubai aimed at solving the "no-address" problem hindering growth in emerging markets. Fetchr uses patented technology allowing people to use their mobile phone's GPS location as their address. Fetchr is the first start-up in the Middle East to be funded by the largest and most successful venture capital firm in Silicon Valley, NEA. Ms. Aljouny, on behalf of Fetchr, was on the cover of Forbes Magazine in the Middle East, which named Fetchr the #1 startup in the region. Prior to Fetchr, she founded Bonfaire, an e-commerce discovery platform for luxury footwear and accessories. Bonfaire was acquired in 2013 by fashion e-commerce giant Moda Operandi, owned by LVMH and Condé Nast.

While only 2.7% of venture capital funding has been raised by women, she has successfully raised funds for two startups from the most prestigious Silicon Valley venture capital firms. This puts her in the top 1% of female entrepreneurs. She is passionate about using technology to solve persistent issues in emerging markets, as well as empowering women entrepreneurs to break out of traditional roles, especially in the Middle East.
Petrina D’Rozario
Founder President, Women in Film & Television Association India

COO, Purple Pebble Pictures

Born and raised in Calcutta, Petrina was an all-rounder in school winning accolades in literature, sports, dramatics and elocution. At 14 she won the inter-school championship in athletics and would often be seen volunteering for extra-curricular activities. At 17 her family moved to Bangalore, where she joined Mount Carmel College and graduated in 2002 with a degree in Communicative English (Mass Communication) She was nick-named the ‘Prithviraj of Zee’ by her classmates, because while she was interning at Zee News her colleagues would call her ‘Prithvi-na.’

At 19, she worked as a journalist intern with Zee News and The Times of India - where she combined her love for meeting new people with literature and thus began her tryst with journalism. After graduating in 2002, Petrina travelled and lived in Australia and New Zealand and wrote for the Sunday Star Times & Sunday News – two national weeklies in NZ. Her love for filmmaking made her take a year-long sabbatical during which she enrolled into South Seas Film School in New Zealand and graduated with a distinction & double major in documentary directing and producing, while simultaneously freelancing with a local production house Mirchi , producing /anchoring a weekly magazine food show ‘Aapka Ghar’ and a part time features writer.

Ideating, developing, executing and marketing projects with efficiency are Petrina’s forte. She has been part of various co-productions for feature films, television and short films with Greece, Australia, New Zealand and India in the capacity of an associate producer, producer, executive producer, assistant director and creative director. Having worked with leading production houses in NZ – Greenstone Pictures, Eyeworks Touchdown Petrina’s trans-global sensibilities helps her when working with co-productions. Since returning to India, (2010) she has worked as a Producer on more than 60 adfilms and it was during this time she realised the need for a networking platform for women working in the industry.

With plenty of support from the WIFT International chair she initiated the need for a WIFT(Women in Film & Television), chapter in India. With the support of an advisory board of Anupama Chopra, Ashvini Yardi, Kiran Rao, Vandana Malik, Zarina Mehta, Madhusree Dutta, Ashni Parekh, Sooni Taraporevala and Uma da Cunha, Petrina spearheads the shaping of WIFT India ( and is responsible for the development of the chapter’s strategy, network and aim to enhance the visibility of women working in film & television. Today she sits on the board as the Founder President of WIFT India and on the International Board of WIFT (L.A) in the Communications and Marketing committee. Petrina was featured in the June 2012 issue of Femina which highlighted her journey in setting up WIFT India and 2013 Vogue India & Hello! Magazine.

Her first short film produced, ‘PYAAS’(2013) was selected in various international film festivals including River to River Indian Film Festival in Florence where she was invited along with the director to showcase the film. She has been a jury member on the ‘Celebrate Age’ competition section at the 14th MAMI Film Festival (2012) alongside noted author and columnist Shobhaa De with National Award winning directors Bhavna Talwar, Sachin Kundalkar, and noted actor Ranvir Shorey. The National Anthem conceptualised & produced by her as a celebration to women empowerment featured 40 women from across different film fraternities in India played across 400PVR screens on WOMEN’S DAY -8th March 2014 and continues to be screened at select PVR theatres.

Recently Petrina completed a year with BBC Worldwide India as a Creative Director where she developed ideas to be pitched to channels. She developed, scripted and directed a 10-part series on the endangered species of crocodiles – Gharials – for BBC Earth (digital). She was the creative director on the cooking show STAY HOME CHEF for TLC Discovery and was instrumental in the creative concept for the documentary on Mahindra’s electric vehicle, the e2o, for Discovery’s INSIDE OUT.

Petrina attended the WIFTI Summit in Washington DC where she was invited to stay at Catherine Wyler’s home – daughter of Hollywood’s favourite director William Wyler, who’s film ‘Ben Hur’ won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Holding the infamous Ben Hur OSCAR in the living room of Catherine Wyler was one of her most unforgettable and inspirational moments she holds close to her heart. Hoping that someday she will win one too for a story waiting to be told!
Noor Shamma
Curiosity, emotion and desire drive the work of Noor Shamma. Noor consciously remains ‘unclassifiable’ as an artist so that she can express herself through many different mediums. Noor’s current work explores the relationship between art, identity and emotion through a plethora of imagery, texture and expressive styles.

As the originator of the popular and ongoing Postcard Initiative sweeping through the nation (and beyond), Noor also finds time to teach children art in her spare time. Noor is Head of Communications and Public Affairs at the Paris-Sorbonne University in Abu Dhabi. She lives in the United Arab Emirates and holds a BSc in Design Management from the American University of Sharjah and has an Executive Masters in Marketing, Management, Communications and Media with first class honors: mention très bien, from the Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi.
Alia Al Rifai
Al Rifai assumed her current position on July 1, 2016, after almost two years as Senior Executive Vice President of Finance for the company’s Energy Management Division in the region.

Al Rifai, whose career at Siemens spans close to two decades, is leading the company’s financial operations in the Middle East, focusing on strengthening key growth areas, driving profitability and promoting diversity and local value creation.

From her base in Siemens Middle East headquarters at Masdar City, Al Rifai oversees key growth markets for Siemens in the region, including the UAE, Egypt, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait. During this exciting time of development in the region, Al Rifai plays an instrumental role in driving expansion across different sectors, with energy efficiency and digitalization taking center stage.

In addition to strengthening the company’s portfolio and providing customized, innovative technologies to Siemens’ customers, adding value to society and contributing to local knowledge transfer are some of her key priorities.

Al Rifai started with Siemens as Commercial Project Manager in Damascus, Syria, in 1997. Since then, she has worked in the UAE and Qatar, covering different markets in the region and holding multiple leadership positions within the company, including CFO of Siemens UAE and Qatar.

Syria-born Al Rifai is a graduate of the University of Damascus. She is a strong proponent of diversity in the workplace, employee empowerment and ownership culture, and is also a spokesperson for Siemens’ Business to Society initiatives in the Middle East.
Assia Grazioli-Venier
Assia Grazioli-Venier is a media executive, angel investor and advisor to high-growth tech startups, entertainment companies and venture capital firms.In 2016, Assia launched Muse Capital with her business partner Rachel Springate. An early stage strategic angel investment fund, Muse focuses on consumer-facing entrepreneurs and technologies that are creating next-generation products from fin-tech to healthcare to entertainment.

A sought-after digital media strategist and consultant to international organizations and leaders, Assia is on the board of directors of Italy's legendary Juventus Football Club. Appointed in 2012, she is the first female and youngest board member to serve in such a role in the 120-year history of the club. Assia is also on the board of advisors of Northzone, one of Europe's leading technology investment partnerships whose portfolio includes Spotify, iZettle, MarketInvoice, Outfittery, Trustpilot, Fyndiq and Qapital.

She recently joined the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

Assia has also been a senior advisor to Spotify for over six years, where she was involved in global strategic initiatives that contribute to Spotify's growth and innovation.

Assia has a BA with Honors from Barnard College, Columbia University in the City of New York, and completed the London Business School's Emerging Leaders Programme.

She is an avid marathon runner and a staunch supporter of Augie's Quest - an organization that funds research and drug development aimed at ending ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease.

Born in Rome and raised in the US., Assia is fluent in four languages and has lived in New York City, London, Milan and Stockholm. She currently lives in Los Angeles.
Dawn Metcalfe
Ms. Metcalfe is the Managing Director of Performance Development Services (PDS) and an experienced coach, trainer and facilitator.

Her first book, “Managing the Matrix: How to Survive and Thrive in Your Organisation” was published in 2014 and will soon come out in Arabic. She regularly writes for various publications across the Middle East, including Training Magazine Middle East, Gulf Business, Explorer UAE and LinkedIn (with one article generating over 80,000 hits).

She 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.

Ms. Metcalfe 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.
Maysoun Ramadan
Maysoun Ramadan is the Head of Communication and Public Affairs for Roche Diagnostics Middle East, where she is responsible for corporate communications in which, under her capacity, fall the strategic external communications in 16 countries and internal communications to over 350 employees across the region.

She is a strong and active advocate for women in leadership and women’s health initiatives with extensive experience in oncology, hematology and breast cancer, which has allowed her to develop communications campaigns that focus on driving early diagnosis and treatment to help people live longer, better lives.

With over 10 years’ experience in the medical and marketing industry, Maysoun is responsible for driving all strategic marketing communications and branding activities at Roche Diagnostics in the freshly established management centre based in Dubai. She manages all public relations activity working closely with a variety of stakeholders including health regulators, NGOs, patient groups and the media.

With her in-depth knowledge, experience and qualifications in the pharmaceutical field, Maysoun has been able to establish relationships with key opinion leaders, manage issues and crisis’ and develop key messages and stories to communicate the company’s leadership position in the market.

Maysoun is a certified Arabic editor and TV presenter and holds a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the University Of Jordan.
Helen McGuire
Helen McGuire is the Co-Founder and MD of Hopscotch. Formerly the Head of Digital Content at Impact BBDO/Proximity, she launched Hopscotch in March 2016 whilst seven months pregnant with a mission to enable professional women to play a part in the workplace in the Middle East, no matter what their personal commitments. The company now employs a strong team across events and recruitment; has welcomed thousands of women to its database since launch; set up successful skills workshops with key clients and placed women in a variety of roles. Helen is a mum of two – Clementine (21months) and Arlo (four months) - and lives with her husband in Dubai.
Lama Younis
Lama graduated from Saudi Arabia's Effat University in 2005 with a degree in Counseling Psychology. She pursued her graduate studies in the UK and obtained her Masters degree from Middlesex University in London where she double majored in Criminology and Forensic Psychology. She has completed the final requirements for her Ph.D in International Childhood Studies, department of Geography, Environment and Development Studies at Birkbeck, University of London, UK, a world-class institution recognized for its excellence in research and teaching.

Lama's professional skills and strong educational background were determinant in her joining the Human Relations Institute in Dubai, UAE in 2007. The institute offers individuals and organizations across the Middle East professional services in psychology and human resources. In this capacity, Lama traveled across the entire Middle East region, providing qualified and expert consulting and educational services. During this time Lama was also affiliated with Effat University, teaching Developmental Psychology and Communication Methods courses in their Department of Psychology.

Continually in search of furthering her professional development, in 2008, Lama attended a post-graduate course at Harvard University entitled Delinquents, Criminals, Psychopaths, and Terrorists. This course proved crucial to broadening her development and understanding of the relationship between psychology and the law. In Spring 2010, Lama attended "Developing Critical Thinkers", a course at Teachers College of Columbia University which introduced critical thinking as the central process in the practice of leadership and teaching. Intent on building on this knowledge, later that year Lama attended a course entitled "Healing and Reconciliation in Relationships" taught by Harvard University professor Dr. Donna Hicks in the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (ICCCR) at Teachers College in Columbia University.

In this course, Lama, using evolutionary theory, explored with Dr. Hicks, emotional human vulnerability and the fact that threats to inner psychological stability are as dangerous as physical wounds. Hicks' framework included the language of dignity and indignity for describing the universal effect of emotional injuries.

In 2013 Lama completed a Level 7 Postgraduate Diploma in Traumatology and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The Diploma is accredited by the Counseling and Psychotherapy Central Award Body. In this same year she was also a guest speaker on a panel in Psychiatry and Behavioral Science and Forensic Science in the Islamic Legal System. The topics discussed on this panel were "Discipline and Punishment of Children" as well as, "Child Abuse: A General Perspective in Saudi Arabia."

In 2014, Lama received an award in the ‘Women in Business’ category at the 2nd Arabian Business StartUp Awards for her successful contributions to the business world through Hissah Enrichment Center.

Her passion to create change in the GCC led to her powerful campaigns on child abuse and child protection. She was recognised for these life changing campaigns and was listed in ‘The 100 Most Powerful Arabs Under 40” by Arabian Business, April 2015 and “Middle East, 50 personalities you need to know” by the Italian news from the world website, SecoloNuovo, April 2015. In May 2015, Lama served as a panel member in the seminar “The Role of Women in Family Business” hosted by Crowe Horwath UAE, in partnership with Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) which was held in support of the noble legislation undertaken by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE, Ruler of Dubai in 2012, to make it compulsory for companies and businesses to appoint women to their boards and senior managerial roles.

To commemorate survivors of cancer, Lama organised the first National Cancer Survivors Day in the GCC registered by The National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation, Tennessee, U.S.A. on 7th June 2015 where cancer survivors, caretakers and professionals from various fields came together to celebrate, support and share stories with one another on cancer survivorship. The event paved way to honouring different organizations which work towards the good cause of supporting individuals battling with cancer. In August 2015, to mark World Humanitarian Day by United Nations, Lama organised an awareness lunch where people were educated on the importance of World Humanitarian Day and was asked to be a part of humanitarian efforts by sharing kindness with the less fortunate. As a humanitarian effort, Lama showered children and the general public of the U.A.E with acts of generosity. Lama Younis is a strong advocate for children’s rights for the past 10 years and she believes it is time to mark the cause with a name which is ‘The Lama Campaign’. ‘The Lama Campaign’ aims to reach out and educate the people living in the GCC on different topics related to child abuse. Towards the end of the campaign each year, Hissah Enrichment Center will use its profits to visit shelters in developing countries around the world to provide emotional and financial support to abuse victims.

For her distinguished achievements, Lama was awarded “Young Achiever Award 2015” by the World Leadership Congress and “Sustainability Leadership Award 2015” by the World Sustainability Congress. She was also nominated for the Emirates Woman of the Year Award 2015 in the “Visionaries” category by the Emirates Woman Magazine.

Lama’s incessant desire to contribute to the well-being of the region continues to gain recognition and support. Among her many distinctions, in 2016, she was listed as one of the “most influential Arab people under 40” and served as a panel speaker for the Young Leaders Global Debate on “Sustainability, science, new media and education”.

As evidenced through her dedication, passion and work, Lama aims to enrich communities by providing critical services that will have a meaningful and long-term impact on the gulf region and aims to eradicate the taboo of child abuse in the GCC, Insha'Allah

Hissah Enrichment Center Press Release:
Antoine Robin
Antoine worked for 12 years as a news reporter for some of France’s biggest channels – including Canal Plus, TF1 and M6. He was the CEO of Havas Production and won numerous awards across borders.
Jean-Bernard Schmidt
Graduated from French journalism school CFJ in 1995, JB started his career as a reporter at France 2. In 2001, he co-created Complement d’Enquete’, one of the most viewed TV shows in France. Since then, he has been the Editorin-Chief of numerous shows and documentaries. He left M6 in 2014 to launch Spicee.
Louise Karim
Co-Founder of Mums@Work, Louise Karim, is an experienced Communication Specialist with more than 14 years’ experience in both the international and regional markets.

Living in Dubai since 2009, Louise has led teams at leading regional and international companies including DABO & Co, The Dubai World Trade Centre and Emirates Airlines. More recently she set up the digital department for two highly successful Dubai-based agencies. Representing a vast number of global brands including Virgin, Coca-Cola and The Four Seasons, Louise, a natural communicator with a drive to achieve, specialises in developing digital plans, which deliver strategic results.

2016 saw Louise take a shift in her career path, when she joined the Mackenzie Jones group to develop and lead the Mums@Work business. Louise’s insight into the target market through her own personal experience of juggling her role as a mother while still sustaining a successful career, is an integral part of the partnership with co-founder David Mackenzie.

A dedicated mother to two young boys, Louise is very passionate about the Mums@Work concept and the opportunity it brings to mothers in the region. She champions supporting women back to the workplace, together with building the concept and uptake of flexible work opportunities in the region.
Ghosson AlKhaled
Ghosson Ghassan Ahmad Al Khalid is currently holding the position of a Deputy CEO of ACICO Industries Company, the largest manufacturer of Autoclaved Aerated Concrete in the Middle East. Ghosson is directing a 1.3 billion dollar Asset company with a turnover of 300 million dollars. “I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of the company and the achievements of all its executives and employees,” says Mrs. Al Khaled. In addition to Kuwait, ACICO Industries is currently operating in Saudi, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates.

Under its umbrella, ACICO is employing about 4100 employees from at least 15 different nationalities with different seniorities (GMs, Senior Managers, Managers, Employees, and labors). During her tenure starting 2002, Ghosson’s one and only motto has been: “One Team, One Dream”. Different colors, different religions, and different races meant nothing but a motivation to unity and a drive to Success. “We are all ACICOIANs here, and we are all walking under the same path: Path of Success” she stated. Historically, ACICO’s staff turnover has been kept at a minimum level which shows employees loyalty to the firm due to being well treated and appreciated despite of getting multiple financially better offers.

In 2012 and 2013, Ghosson was selected as one of the most 100 powerful Arabian women as per the analysis of Arabian Business Magazine. In 2014 and 2015, Ghosson was recognized as one of the most 200 powerful Arab women as per Forbes Magazine. In 2015, Ghosson was selected as one of the most influential Arabs under 40 years by Arabian Business magazine also she was selected as one of the most powerful 100 Arab women by Forbes magazine.

Ghosson is known for her kindness and continuous support to all managers and workers. Ghosson is a big fan of employees’ self-development and this resulted in people under her management getting professional certificates such as CPA, CFA, CMA, CIA, and PMPs.

As part of her social responsibility, Ghosson established in 2016 a nonprofit autism treatment center, Autism Partnership Kuwait (APK), which uses the latest and proven methodologies in applied behavior analysis treatment.
Dr. Ozge Akbulut
Dr. Akbulut is an Assistant Professor at Sabancı University since February 2012. She received her B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering at Sabancı University in 2004. Her PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2009) focused on cost-effective fabrication of biomolecular devices and surface science. She continued her studies as a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University (2009–2011) on developing tools/techniques for resource-limited settings. Her main research interests are rheology modifiers and silicone-based composites. She also co-founded a company, Surgitate, on tactile surgical training platforms, in 2014,
Reem Al Fahim
Reem Al Fahim is the Chief Executive Officer of SEDRA Foundation, she is responsible for driving SEDRA's vision of facilitating inclusion in Abu Dhabi and the UAE.

She oversees all aspects of Foundation operations, including the overall supervision of progams, strategies, and staff. She has advocated for persons with disabilities for over 15 years as a consultant and service provider.

She sits on several boards including UAE University, Make A Wish Foundation, and is the Vice Chairperson of Special Care Centre Abu Dhabi, a school for children with disabilities in Abu Dhabi. She has a BA in Psychology and an M.Ed in Special Education from Boston University.
Michaela Alexis
Michaela graduated from Carleton University with Bachelor of Arts degree (with distinctions) with a major in legal studies, and a minor in psychology. Michaela currently works as the President of Grade A Digital, a Social Media and Personal Branding Agency in Ottawa, and has thrived in the content marketing community, successfully managing over 100 brands in the past 7 years.

In March 2016, Michaela’s article about landing her dream job went viral on Linkedin. Since then, she has replicated her viral success with multiple articles about her experiences in the business world. Recently, her article, “It’s Called a Life not a Life Sentence”, was picked by CNBC, and has amassed over 10,000 shares, and 130,000+ reads. Since then, Michaela’s articles have been featured and published in CNBC, MSN Money, Yahoo Finance, The Muse, PR Daily, and more.

Armed with just a tiny dry erase board and her writing skills, Michaela has gained over 70,000 LinkedIn followers in the past year, garnering over half a million views on photo updates that bravely document her career journey.

In Ottawa, Michaela currently sits on the advisory committee for the Ottawa Network for Education and the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa’s Awesome Auction, and works as a Community Connector for the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services. She regularly speaks at high schools and colleges, sharing her advice on networking and the power of personal branding in today’s digital landscape. Her greatest goal is to equip students with the advice and knowledge that they need to succeed, and model by example.
Sara Alemzadeh
Sara Alemzadeh is the CEO and Co-Founder of Designer-24, a Middle East based fashion technology company revolutionizing the retail industry by providing fashion for rent. Raised in NY, Sara obtained an MBA from Columbia University and a BS in Mathematics from Georgetown University. During her tenure in NY, Sara worked at Morgan Stanley for nearly a decade as an oil trader. Sara is an enthusiastic and relentlessly hard working leader that believes anyone can impact the course of a company.
Edward Matti
As Managing Partner for CCM Consultancy, Mr. 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.

He 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, he lived in Toronto and was Regional Director for Canada’s largest financial planning firm.

An accomplished public speaker and TV commentator in Canada, Mr. Matti still meets with clients to consult on their issues, develop solutions and deliver riveting interventions.

He and his team have helped clients in sales, management and leadership needs as well as branded culture and customer centric experiences.
Manal Elattir
Manal is the head of ASILA GROUP, which regroups two social businesses: ASILA (previously named Anarouz) and ASILASHOP. In 2012, Manal founded Anarouz (now named Asila), one of the first social enterprises in Morocco that aims at empowering women through leadership, entrepreneurship and market access. She then launched a global ecommerce business ASILASHOP ( that partners with women--‐led handicraft businesses and cooperatives to create a new luxury style that fosters ethical fashion, preserves Morocco’s craft heritage and empowers women entrepreneurs. Products range from handmade leather bags, accessories, jewelry, home decor as well as corporate gifts and conference bags. She is also a consultant with SILATECH on youth employment and career orientation. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Manal was the director of the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) Alumni Network, a network of activists, politicians, entrepreneurs and civil society actors that worked in synergy to design and lead development initiatives in Morocco. Manal is also a motivational speaker and an international public speaker on issues ranging from entrepreneurship, women empowerment, employment and intercultural dialogue.

Manal has been recognized at the international level for all the work that she has done. She has been nominated and selected in prestigious programs and won various awards. Some of them include the UNAOC International fellow, FORTUNE Most Powerful Women, UNESCO Human Rights Chair fellow, KVINFO MENTORING Certificate, Women Leaders of the World by the Global Women Leadership Network, AUSTRALIAN Arab Women Dialogue, VITAL VOICES Lead Fellow, Architects of the future award, the Australia Middle East media Women’s Award and the World of difference award by the INTERNATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR WOMEN. She is a Phi Betta Kappa Honor graduate from Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota and she completed the International Business and Trade Washington semester program at American University in Washington DC.
Claire Sharrock
Claire Sharrock is an accomplished journalist, broadcaster and creative consultant with 20 years’ experience in the media industry spanning print, radio and digital.

Her career started with the BBC in London, where she worked across radio and television, before seeking adventure in Dubai.

During her 16 years (and counting) in the UAE, she was part of the team that launched the popular newsbrand 7DAYS, eventually becoming the country’s first female editor of a daily newspaper in 2007. She was later promoted to Managing Editor, helping to develop the media company’s digital and commercial content divisions.

Since the 7DAYS journey ended, Claire has continued to create content, in particular for ARN talk radio station, Dubai Eye 103.8, and as a digital storyteller, working with brands to tell their stories through video.

Having been the lone female voice in a management team for a number of years, Claire is a strong supporter of women in leadership and a firm advocate of balance in the boardroom.
Patricia is the co-founder and director of operations at Five One Labs, a start-up incubator for refugee and conflict-affected entrepreneurs in the Middle East, launching first in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Prior to Five One Labs, she worked as a Middle East political risk analyst at the Dubai office of consultancy Control Risks, where she advised clients on the political, security and reputational risks to their operations in the region. She has a Master of Public Administration in Economic and Political Development from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Economics from Tufts University.
Samia Hasan
Samia Hasan is the founder of Direction Dose – crafting millennial experiences through events, career and startup coaching, writing, training and speaking. She’s a certified Strengths Strategy coach, NLP Practitioner and IPCC from the International Coaching Federation (ICF). After completing her MBA in Marketing, she started her career with Procter & Gamble, world leading FMCG organization. She worked her way up as a Senior Regional Brand Manager, growing some of P&G’s billion dollar brands for 9+ years. Throughout this time, she experienced tremendous learning and growth, managed a huge business with multiple geographies and teams, until she discovered ‘people development’ as her true calling. At Direction Dose, Samia helps young professionals see who they are and achieve what they are capable of. As a career coach, she helps them find their passion and calling, discover and leverage their strengths, enabling them to excel in their careers. As a startup coach, she enables entrepreneurs outline a clear business strategy and craft their unique brand stories, carving out a business they’d be proud of. Having lived in UAE for more than 20 years during different stages of her life, she witnessed the country’s remarkable growth and the limitless possibilities it offers. Samia has recently launched a millennial network event series Unwind the Grind which is an after hour affair where young folks chill out in an interactive and inspiring place to discuss what they love to talk about most – their work! The show features music gigs, drama, stand-up comedy, career confessions, live mentoring, fireside chat with success stories and networking with like-minded millennials. As a budding thought leader, Samia writes about career and startup topics pertaining millennials as a regular contributor at Huffington Post and Entrepreneur ME.
Sallyann Della Casa
Sallyann Della Casa is the Lead Tree Shaker at the Growing Leaders Foundation since 2011. Her first act was as a corporate lawyer for 10 years in the US.

GLEAC her latest venture brings full circle her data-driven legal mind, her people driven strength as an organizational behavior professional working with companies such as Nestle, DP World, NBAD, Repsol, Mubadala, Careem etc. and her expertise as a curriculum and systems designer for her Foundation.

Sallyann is a dual citizen of Trinidad and Canada. She holds a doctorate, degrees and certifications in Law, Urban Planning, French, Italian and Organizational Behavior from Harvard University, University of Miami, St Thomas University, and Franklin College, Switzerland.Yes, she is a proud nerd!
Catherine Ladousse
A graduate of the University of Aix en Provence, with degrees in literature and philosophy, Catherine Ladousse also holds a diploma from the Institut Français de Presse, University of Paris II.

Catherine Ladousse began her career with the Association of Francophone Universities before joining the Communications department of Credit Agricole in Paris, then in Cairo. In 1991, she became Communications Director & Customer Satisfaction at American Express, France. She joined IBM in 1995, first as Head of Media for the EMEA PC division then became the Communication Director for IBM France. She joined Lenovo in 2005 as Executive Director of Communications for EMEA. She then helped create the company's global diversity program, “Women In Lenovo Leadership” in 2007.

Since 2012, Catherine has led all corporate and executive communications, major events and diversity initiatives throughout Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Outside Lenovo, Catherine dedicates her time to gender diversity in the workplace and is the co-Founder and Chairman of the French women's network, “Cercle InterElles” which is sponsored by 14 blue-chip companies, in the Technology and Sciences space
Nadine Benchaffai
Mashal Waqar
Mashal Waqar is the co-founder and CTO of The Tempest, the fastest growing media company changing the narrative of diverse millennial women in the world. She is a strong advocate of diversity, inclusion, and accessibility, and has previously worked on Deaf accessibility initiatives at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Dubai campus, as well as at The Tempest.

Waqar strongly believes in empowering women and bringing their voices to the forefront; her prior work experience comes from transitioning in roles in cyber security, digital marketing, and tech while working for various startups. She is also passionate about bringing forward conversations of mental health; she has recently worked on a UNHRD project in collaboration with RIT Dubai, to help children in crisis, from a behavioral and neuroscience perspective.

Although she completed her Bachelors in Computing Security with double minors in International Business, and Networking & Systems Administrations from RIT this year, she’s been an active part of the community, advocating for changes both on campus, and globally at the RIT Student Government Consortiums in Croatia and the U.S. She started the Dubai campus’ first student-run publication as editor-in-chief of WRITERS Magazine, served as Student Government President 2016, IEEE Student Branch chair, and was the UAE delegate for the RIT 2017 Commencement Ceremony. She was also awarded the President’s Cup award for her contributions to the RIT community.
Gillian Jones
Gillian Jones-Williams is an author & founder of Emerge Development Consultancy and Managing Director. Gillian’s main focus is in organizational strategy development and change initiatives and she has successfully implemented HR strategies and projects, coaching and mentoring strategies and visions for many organizations. Her understanding and application of psychology, hypnosis and Neuro Linguistic Programming allows her to build deep rapport and achieve outstanding and lasting behavioural changes with individuals and groups.

Gillian partners with many organizations to implement organizational changes and has designed and delivered programmes of varying sizes to national organizations and independent companies. She works well in multinational cultures having facilitated events and coached executives in Paris, Milan, Hamburg, The Netherlands, Barcelona, Norway, Brussels, Madrid, Dublin, Portugal, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, USA, China and Australia.

In her career as an author Gillian has contributed to the coaching book “Best Practice in Performance Coaching” published by Kogan Page in September 2007 and endorsed by Sir John Whitmore and Sir Richard Branson, she has also co-authored 50 Top Tools for Coaching which was published by Kogan Page in Autumn 2009 and is now on its 3rd edition. Gillian is an expert in organisational culture change and her book ‘How to Create a Coaching Culture Strategy’ was published in June 2014. She also recorded a DVD of 10 Top Tools for Coaching.
Narmeen Naser
Narmeen Naser is a Global Health Graduate and Professional with 7 years of experience working in Communications for both the public and private sector in Dubai. With a background in the humanitarian sector and a passion for the arts, she and her co-founder, Hassan Bello, are using Art to create impact, and to help give voice and support to countless grassroots social initiatives around the world through their company, the AJALA Project. Narmeen Naser is now using her background in outreach and project management to bring in global community-driven social impact initiatives on a unilateral platform to facilitate more partnerships for impact. She has been an active member of the local Art community for a number of years and has worked on various international development projects working within education, indigenous rights, female economic empowerment, refugee health, and agriculture.
Florence Fontani
Florence Fontani is a communications professional with more than 20 years of experience across Europe and the Middle East.

Florence has worked with some of the world’s most recognised brands, including Nestle and La Henin Bank.

Florence has been an integral part of the ENGIE team since 1998, when she joined Suez HQ as Head of Internal Communication before moving to Head of External Communication in 2000. In her 19 years within the organisation, she has seen it transform.

A passionate advocate for women in the global energy sector, today, Florence is the Executive Vice President of Strategy, Communications and Environmental Social Responsibility, Middle East, South & Central Asia and Turkey (MESCAT).

Florence holds Masters Degrees in Finance from Paris IX Dauphine and Advance Studies in Communication and Marketing from CELSA. In her spare time she enjoys listening to music and flying drones.
Nathalie Amiel-Ferrault
Ms. Amiel-Ferrault has been the Vice President of Customer Experience and Marketing at FedEx Express Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Africa (MEISA) since 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 centres 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 with a Marketing Analyst role. By 2009, she had been promoted to Vice-President Customer Experience and Customer Service, EMEA. In 2011, she moved back to Dubai, adding to her previous role the responsibilities of Marketing & Communications for the Middle East and India. She 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, she is a staunch supporter of workplace diversity and inclusion, and women’s empowerment and has addressed several international forums on these topics.

Ms. Amiel-Ferrault holds a Master’s degree in Management, Business and International Marketing from the Montpellier Business School.
Radhika Punshi
Radhika Punshi is the co-founder and managing director of The Talent Enterprise. As an organizational psychologist and HR professional with over fifteen years of experience in the GCC region, she is an expert on local talent development, with an emphasis on gender and youth inclusion. With an Ivy League education and two master’s degrees in organizational behaviour and psychology, Radhika is the first person from the MENASA region to be awarded a degree in positive psychology.

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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, UAE

T +971 4 816 9000
F +971 4 816 9001

At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products. Our global portfolio includes medicines and vaccines as well as many of the world's best-known consumer health care products.

Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world's premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with healthcare providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable healthcare around the world. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on us.

Pfizer Gulf FZ LLC
Pfizer Building, Dubai Media City,
P.O. Box 502749,
Dubai, UAE

T +971 4 453 2000
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments.

We operate one of the world’s most advanced processing networks - VisaNet - that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants.

Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, pay ahead with prepaid or pay later with credit products.
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.

FedEx Express
Dubai World Trade Center,
26th Floor, P.O. Box 9239,
Dubai, UAE

T +971 4 331 4216
F +971 4 331 0714
Siemens AG (Berlin and Munich) is a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for more than 165 years.

The company is active in more than 200 countries, focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalisation. One of the world’s largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is the Number 1 in offshore wind turbine construction; a leading supplier of gas and steam turbines for power generation; a major provider of power transmission solutions; and a pioneer in infrastructure solutions, as well as automation, drive and software solutions for industry.

The company is also a leading provider of medical imaging equipment – such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging systems – and a leader in laboratory diagnostics, as well as clinical IT.

In the 2015 fiscal year, which ended on September 30th, 2015, Siemens generated revenue of €75.6 billion and net income of €7.4 billion. By the end of September 2015, the company had approximately 348,000 employees worldwide.

Further information is available at

Siemens AG
Building B-05 (Siemens Building)
Masdar City (opposite Presidential Flight) P.O. Box 47015
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

T. +971 2 616 5100
Founded in 1958 by two brothers, the Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group is among the most well-respected family company names in the UAE. The management of the Group’s operating businesses is undertaken by Al Naboodah Group Enterprises (ANGE). Employing over 16,000 people and over 40 nationalities, the ANGE business focus covers civil engineering, building and MEP (mechanical, electrical, plumbing) as well as representing a diverse portfolio of global brands in the transportation, travel, electrical, logistics, heavy equipment, agriculture and fit-out arenas. The Al Naboodah brand is renowned for the delivery of world-class projects and services within demanding schedules and exceeding the quality demanded by its clients. Our business is headquartered in the UAE but we also have operations in Oman, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and East Africa.

ENGIE Middle East, South & Central Asia and Turkey (MESCAT) is a regional market leader in low-carbon energy solutions. The BU produces ca. 32 GW of gas-fired power and has close to 1 GW of solar power in operation & under construction or development. In the Gulf region, it is also a leading producer of desalinated water with a capacity of ca. 5.5 million m3/day.

ENGIE MESCAT is the region’s foremost provider of Facility Management Services, particularly in the UAE and Qatar (through Cofely-Besix Facility Management) and offers Operations & Maintenance services both in power & water and gas. In Turkey, ENGIE also has 370,000 customers in gas distribution via IZGAZ, provides 145,000 m3 floating gas storage & regasification capacity and is active in energy retail, trading & origination. In the light of the region’s need to adopt strategies to diversify the energy mix and improve energy efficiency, ENGIE MESCAT will continue to develop and operate utility scale low-carbon energies and will grow its regional position in Integrated Solutions for customers.
American University of Sharjah (AUS) was founded in 1997 by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. Located in University City, Sharjah, AUS is a not-for-profit, independent institution of higher education, formed on the American model.

AUS offers 26 majors and 45 minors at the undergraduate level, and 14 Master’s degrees through the College of Architecture, Art and Design; the College of Arts and Sciences; the College of Engineering; and the School of Business Administration. These programs are designed to meet the challenges of a competitive business and industrial environment. AUS degree programs are based on the North American model of education, which integrates broad-based liberal arts education with professional education studies.

AUS is licensed and its programs are accredited by the Commission for Academic Accreditation of the UAE Ministry of Education’s Higher Education Affairs Division. AUS is accredited in the USA by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

American University of Sharjah
PO Box 26666
Sharjah, UAE

T +971 6 515 5555
F +971 6 515 2200
As clients' needs have become more complex and specialized, thus widening the gap between HR needs and work force capabilities, we have proudly worked hand in hand to provide a variety of management consulting services to assist companies in achieving more.

CCM Consultancy offers integrated end-to-end solutions focusing on organizational transformation, people development and branded customer experiences. Upskilling individuals and enhancing organizations, while ensuring a return on investment have been our main drivers, and has earned us the privilege of supporting clients considered to be leaders in their industry.

We represent TACK International and TMI World, two of the world’s largest learning and people development companies with a long-standing history of 67 and 40 years respectively.

CCM Consultancy’s dedicated team of consultants and support staff deploy high-level concepts and have the competence to utilise inspiration as a catalyst to overcome resistance to change, to facilitate the transformation process and to shape the organisational culture.

CCM Consultancy
Mazaya Business Ave.
AA1, Office 2602,
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

T +971 4 447 2187
F +971 4 447 2189
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 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.

EY refers to the global organisation and may refer to one or more of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organisation, please visit

The MENA practice of EY has been operating in the region since 1923. For over 90 years, we have grown to over 6,000 people united across 20 offices and 15 countries, sharing the same values and an unwavering commitment to quality. As an organisation, 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 organisation in the region.


Al Saqr Business Tower
Sheikh Zayed Road
P.O. Box 9267,
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

T. +971 4 332 4000
GSK is a leading healthcare company on a mission to help people do more, feel better and live longer. Regionally and globally, we have a proven track record for providing medicines, vaccines, and consumer products.

GSK has a 300-year global legacy and 65 years of local presence in the GCC; GSK opened its first office in the region 65 years ago and has been providing greater access and innovation to patients and consumers ever since.

API Tower, 28th Floor,
Next to Fairmont Hotel,
Sheikh Zayed Road,
P.O. Box 50199,
Dubai, UAE

T +971 4 403 7100
F +971 4 332 9964
Launched by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the UAE Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, NAMA Women Advancement Establishment is chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah.

Our core philosophy at NAMA is to raise awareness that women are an indispensable human resource for the development of every nation. NAMA was conceived to go beyond the remit of supporting women and ensuring gender equality to a broader scope that aims to see women become influential key members of society, thereby enabling them to climb the ladder of success. It encourages policies and legislation to support women and actively pursues programmes that support gender integration into all sectors and abolishes unjust practices and policies that discriminate against the advancement of women.

Its five affiliates, Sharjah Business Women Council, Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council, NAMA Fund, Badiri Education and Development, and Anwan, fall under the umbrella of NAMA Women Advancement Establishment.

For more information, visit

NAMA Women Advancement Establishment

The Executive Office of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi
Al Qasimi Street, Sharjah,
P.O. Box 2334 Sharjah, UAE

T. +971 6 594 1262
F. +971 6 523 9339

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

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

Novartis provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, cost-saving generic and biosimilar pharmaceuticals and eye care. Novartis has leading positions globally in each of these areas. In 2016, the Group achieved net sales of USD 48.5 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.0 billion. Novartis Group companies employ approximately 119,000 full-time-equivalent associates. Novartis products are sold in approximately 155 countries around the world. For more information, please visit

Novartis Pharma
5th Floor, Limitless Building
Jumeirah Village, Al Khail Road
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

T. +971 4 818 5448
ACICO is an established group in the manufacturing, building materials, quality property and construction sectors, with a track record of over 25 years of experience in the Arabian Gulf construction industry. The group also has over 15 years of experience in real estate development.

We established our business operations in Kuwait, backed by our competencies in the manufacture of autoclaved aerated concrete. This was under the license of the prestigious Hebel Company in Germany and complements our experience in working with major real estate developers. We have since gained a reputation as a manufacturer of products and services that meet the essential requirements for modern building materials – and a reputation as a developer of quality residential developments that target the retail and enterprise markets.

Over the years, we have built up a sound reputation as a reliable building materials supplier and contractor, able to undertake a wide spectrum of projects for both public and private sector clients. Most of our customers are established names, including government bodies and major real estate developers. Our main construction business is undertaken through our subsidiary, ACICO Construction, which holds the highest (A1) grading for general building works - and therefore allows us to undertake public sector construction projects with an unlimited contract values.

ACICO Industries
Kuwait Sharq,
Al-Hamra Business Tower, 34th Floor
P.O. Box 24079
Safat, 1310, Kuwait

T. +965 188 8811
F. +965 2 242 2103
Standard Chartered is a leading international banking group, with more than 80,000 employees and a 150-year history in some of the world’s most dynamic markets. Standard Chartered banks the people and companies driving investment, trade and creation of wealth across Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Standard Chartered’s heritage and values are expressed in its brand promise, Here for good.

In the UAE, Standard Chartered opened its first branch in 1958 in Sharjah. The Group’s business gradually increased in the UAE with the opening of several branches and today, Dubai is the Bank’s regional hub for the Africa and Middle East region and is the centre for its Islamic Banking arm, Standard Chartered Saadiq.

Standard Chartered UAE is offering an extensive range of Islamic and conventional products and services for consumers, local companies, multinationals, corporate and financial institutions.

Standard Chartered Bank UAE

DIFC, P.O. Box 999
Sheikh Zayed Road
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
About JLL
JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. A Fortune 500 company, JLL helps real estate owners, occupiers and investors achieve their business ambitions. In 2016, JLL had revenue of $6.8 billion and fee revenue of $5.8 billion and, on behalf of clients, managed 409 million square meters and completed sales acquisitions and finance transactions of approximately $136 billion. At year-end 2016, JLL had nearly 300 corporate offices, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of more than 77,000. As of December 31, 2016, LaSalle Investment Management has $60.1 billion of real estate under asset management. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated.

Across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) JLL is a leading player in the real estate and hospitality services markets. The firm has worked in 35 countries across the region and employs over 520 internationally qualified professionals across its offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Jeddah, Al Khobar, Cairo, Casablanca, Johannesburg, Lagos and Nairobi.;

Office 403, Emaar Square,
Building 1, Downtown,
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

T. +971 4 426 6999
F. +971 4 365 3260
Entrepreneur Middle East (ME) is a licensee of U.S.-based Entrepreneur, a monthly print publication devoted to business endeavours that act as a valuable resource for business people globally. In addition to print, Entrepreneur as a global brand makes strategic use of various other mediums in the realm of the web and social media.

Entrepreneur ME, in adherence with our global parent company standards, is committed to localize and high-quality content delivery under the following section headers: Tech, Money, Start It Up, ‘Treponomics, and Culture.

Entrepreneur Middle East

Al Thuraya Tower #1, Dubai Media City
P.O. Box 502511, Dubai, UAE
T +971 4 420 0506
F +971 4 420 0196 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

The British Business Group Dubai and Northern Emirates (BBG) is the region’s foremost business-to-business membership networking group, enabling like-minded professionals to further their business interests in the UAE and wider region.

To that end, we work closely with the UK and UAE governments to provide support, counsel and advice to British businesses in the UAE, as well as those seeking to establish a commercial foothold in Dubai and the northern emirates.

We also connect to a wider network of similar entities across the region and, with many companies choosing Dubai as their hub for coordinating commercial operations in Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Indian sub-continent, we are a valuable source of information and links for businesses seeking to expand their operations.
Founded in 2002 in Doha, the main objective of the GBCQ is to promote, cultivate and assist business relations between Germany and Qatar by forming a platform where business representatives of both nations can meet and exchange views and ideas and create new opportunities. To promote the business relations among our members, the Council regularly organizes business and social networking events and forums featuring industry experts as well as government officials. The GBCQ is successfully managed by the German Industry & Commerce Office Qatar (AHK), a semi-government trade promotion office and part of the worldwide network of German Chambers of Commerce abroad.
AmCham Abu Dhabi (the trademark of the American Business Group of Abu Dhabi) is a member of the global network of American Chambers of Commerce. Active since 1986, the AmCham Abu Dhabi mission has been to promote commerce, investment and goodwill between the United States of America, the membership, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates. AmCham Abu Dhabi is an independent, not-for-profit association comprised of Fortune 500 corporations, small and medium sized companies and prominent business leaders and entrepreneurs. AmCham Abu Dhabi provides a uniquely situated platform through which executives pursue and discuss issues impacting business operations between the U.S. and U.A.E. Substantive government advocacy programs, educational and networking programs and customized business service are just a few of the many benefits AmCham Abu Dhabi provides its members. Through the support of its members, AmCham Abu Dhabi has become the recognized voice of U.S. business in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. For more information, visit:
Since 1987, the French Business Council (FBC) is the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Dubai & Northern Emirates. 10th French chamber abroad and the largest in the Middle East, the FBC gathers 750 members including representatives of French companies based in the UAE and France, as well as local and global companies interested in the French market.

The FBC works closely with French governmental organizations and local authorities. The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry is its legal sponsor. Through these privileged connections, members have access to all they need to engage in and pursue their business development, both in France and in the UAE.

The FBC mission is to help foster and develop the economic and commercial relations between France and the UAE. The 15 FBC dynamic business-oriented sectorial committees, clubs and working groups, give members the opportunity to share their experience and to stay up to date with the latest developments in their industry.

The French Business Council organizes more than 90 events per year, including conferences, corporate forums, workshops, networking gatherings and a Gala Dinner, and offers effective communication platforms: E-Newsletter and email campaigns sent to 8,500 contacts, a corporate website registering 6,500 visitors/month and social media with more than 6,000 fans & subscribers.
Founded in 1962, Catalyst is the leading global nonprofit organization accelerating progress for women through workplace inclusion. With operations in the United States, Canada, Europe, India, Australia, and Japan, and more than 800 supporting organizations, Catalyst is the trusted resource for research, information, and advice about women at work. Catalyst annually honors exemplary organizational initiatives that promote women's advancement with the Catalyst Award.
Description:The American Business Council of Dubai & the Northern Emirates (ABC Dubai), the first bilateral trade organization established in the UAE, operates under the local patronage of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. ABC Dubai represents corporate and individual members with business interests across the Middle East and functions as an official international chapter of the US Chamber of Commerce. The organization’s membership is comprised of American Fortune 500 companies, SMEs, large and small UAE organizations, and professionals from all sectors of business and industry – all accepted after review of eligibility based upon membership qualification criteria. ABC Dubai maintains strong ties with local and international, public and private sector leaders, providing a wide range of services and organizing events and business advocacy efforts on behalf of its members.
Mompreneurs Middle East empowers female entrepreneurs in the region with the entrepreneurial education and community support they require to start and scale their businesses. It is a platform that connects businesses together and allows entrepreneurs to share expertise, advice, recommendations and contacts.

Mompreneurs ME is founded on the vision that “Empowered Mothers Raise Empowered Children”, and therefore champions women’s empowerment in the region through entrepreneurial education and mompreneurship.

Mompreneurs Middles East tackles the four main challenges that entrepreneurs face on their journey: Mentorship, Fundraising, Education and Community Support. This is achieved through our Flagship course: Mompreneur Rising, events such as The Global Mentoring Walk - Dubai Chapter, and other activities and initiatives throughout the year.

Mompreneurs ME also supports the community of entrepreneurs by providing them access to specialized events and exhibitions taking place in the region. Collectively, the community of female entrepreneurs is stronger and better able to compete in today’s business environment where information sharing and mentorship leads to the collective success of all members.

Instagram: @MompreneursME

Our Why
Empowered Mothers raise Empowered Children who are our Future Leaders.

Our Vision
A world in which mothers are accomplished and fulfilled. They have found harmony between their roles as a mother and entrepreneur and they feel empowered.

Our Mission
Empower mothers to find balance, harmony, and success in their personal and professional lives through entrepreneurial education and mompreneurship.

Our Core Values
Integrity, Growth, Impact, Harmony, Collaboration.
WOMENA is a UAE-based angel investment network that empowers and educates women to invest in promising startups, to foster entrepreneurship and promote innovation in the MENA region. With strong ties to innovation hubs around the world, WOMENA stands at a unique crossroads to be able to foster growth and diversity in the MENA startup ecosystem.
12 years of experience helping Spanish companies doing business in UAE

The Spanish Business Council is a private non-profit organization whose aim is to establish a corporate platform to strengthen business and cultural ties between Spain and the United Arab Emirates, by linking Spanish companies to Emirati public and private entities.

It has been founded in 2005 and supported by the Spanish Embassy and the Spanish Commercial Office in the UAE. The Spanish Business Council gathers Spanish companies/individuals or foreign companies/individuals, which want to establish business relations in the United Arab Emirates. Our vision is to improve commercial relations between Spain and UAE playing a leading role in the expansion of the bilateral relationship.

Our mission
• To promote Spanish commercial and business interests in the UAE and encourage economic and commercial activities and other initiatives between the UAE and Spain.
• To offer to the members a platform to exchange information and experiences and to communicate and interact with Public and Private entities and persons in the UAE by means of meetings, gatherings, seminars, conferences and receptions.
• To strengthen commercial, economic and cultural ties and promote mutual awareness between the UAE and Spain.
• To reinforce the image of Spain in the UAE.
Women-able is a high impact economic development initiative that works in partnership with sponsors and funding partners.

Our BUILD and GROWTH programs run over 12 months as practical and real time initiatives focused on the owners actual business. We develop the skills and mind set to build commercial acumen, financial literacy and increase confidence.

Throughout the last 4 years, working with our International partners and supporters, we have developed tools and a proven methodology to skill women to create viable business models, increase sales and revenue channels, create jobs and enable women owned business become investment and export ready.

Powered by grow.ME, a Dubai based impact development consultancy and a support network of over 350 alumni, mentors and coaches, Women-able provides a platform to thrive.

Quite simply, we power women for business.

Join us and lets make equal economic participation for women a reality .
Weyakum, meaning ‘with you’ in Arabic, is a nonprofit social enterprise that equips United Arab Emirates youth and young professionals (18-32) with the skills necessary to realize their educational and professional aspirations. Whether it is helping them set up their social enterprise, join the United Nations or pursue a degree at a top notch academic institution, Weyakum supports them throughout the process. Follow @weyakum on instagram or visit to learn more!
ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants. We aim to offer business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.

Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. We believe that accountants bring value to economies in all stages of development. We aim to develop capacity in the profession and encourage the adoption of consistent global standards. Our values are aligned to the needs of employers in all sectors and we ensure that, through our qualifications, we prepare accountants for business. We work to open up the profession to people of all backgrounds and remove artificial barriers to entry, ensuring that our qualifications and their delivery meet the diverse needs of trainee professionals and their employers.

We support our 188,000 members and 480,000 students in 178 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. We work through a network of 100 offices and centres and more than 7,400 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through our public interest remit, we promote appropriate regulation of accounting and conduct relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.
Mums@Work has one very simple aim – re-connecting professional women to the workplace after they have taken a career break and supporting working women to find more flexible work options. Mums@Work are bringing a mass of untapped talent back to the workforce, changing the playing field for women in the UAE.

With the backing of Mackenzie Jones, one of the largest independent recruitment firms in the GCC, who have a network with hundreds of clients and over a decade's worth of regional experience.

Since its launch in 2016 Mums@Work has created a community of 10,000 professional women; of which they have trained and placed over 1,000 candidates.

Mums@Work strive to mentor and empower their candidates on their journey back to work through regular training events, an online career hub and 121 coaching with their certified coach. With events focusing on topics such as; CV writing, interview skills and personal branding, candidates are supported every step on the return to work journey.
Description: Founded in 2014 as the first information design & data visualization agency in the Middle East, focuses on helping companies communicate data to stakeholders clearly and effectively in order to help drive business. Core services include infographics, infographic trainings, explainer videos, data visualizations, reports and presentation design.
Inc. Arabia, the magazine for growing companies in the Middle East and North Africa, delivers information and advice for region's ever-increasing band of innovative business builders. Covering virtually every business and management task, including marketing, sales, finding capital and managing people, Inc. Arabia helps the region's business owners and CEOs start, run and grow their businesses., 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
Launched in 2013, MBC Group’s CSR arm, MBC Al Amal, is an ongoing interactive initiative that is the collective umbrella for the multitude of campaigns, initiatives, and contributions whether created, launched, supported or adopted by MBC Group. MBC Al Amal’s core focus is on the empowerment and development of Arab youth, for our future and theirs. Our strategy is also about developing and implementing initiatives to show our ongoing commitment to education, capacity building and work readiness, supporting entrepreneurship, and humanitarian causes.
The Tempest is a groundbreaking technology and media company aimed at building, amplifying and connecting innovative products and experiences for diverse millennial women. Launched in March 2016, The Tempest has exploded into the global conversation, reaching millions of millennials a month. With an audience spanning over 90 countries, The Tempest is disrupting traditional media models and putting the power in the hands of diverse millennial women to own their stories and define global conversations. Visit for more information. Thank you!
Since 2009, our professional training division (formerly called MiH Training Academy) has enabled over 5,000 professionals, managers and senior executives to develop their skill set and gain career-advancing knowledge.

Our wide range of training programs cover areas including finance, healthcare, hospitality, HR, IT, leadership and management, marketing, oil and gas, PA and strategy, as well as soft skills.

Qualified trainers from all corners of the globe have a wealth of experience in their respective fields and a proven track record of successfully helping clients take their careers to the next level.

Naseba professional training
Boutique Villa n°5, Media City,
P.O. Box 500563,
Dubai, UAE

T +971 4 367 1376
F +971 4 367 2764
Our Mission is to improve the community by helping individuals and companies dramatically transform the results they are achieving For over two decades, Right Selection Speakers Bureau (RSSB) have been passionately encouraging and relentlessly promoting a learning culture globally and are now maestros at inspiring success for all.

Conference Organizers, Events Planners and Major Corporates regularly source leading speakers through RSSB who are well connected with an elite group of high-class international motivational speakers. These thought leaders and transformational gurus add a special touch of class and elevate each event with their expertise and futuristic thinking in various fields like hospitality, customer service, sales, marketing, leadership, strategy, team building, communication skills, mind mapping and more.

Practical and inspirational tools like Books and CDs are also sourced worldwide and made available to conference organizers to gift their delegates and also for the benefit of the learning and development centers of the corporates.

Right Selection- The Speakers Bureau
1603, The Citadel
Business Bay, Dubai
Call: +971 4 420 5599

As part of the WIFT International network the WIFT Mumbai Chapter is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to provide a dynamic platform to facilitate the exchange of ideas, accelerate the professional development and recognise the achievement of women in film, television and other screen based media.

Its mission is to help in the development and achievement of women working in film, television and other screen based mediums.


• To provide a forum that will promote the interest of women working in film, television and other screen based media.
• To enhance the international visibility of our members
• To provide exclusive networking opportunities for our members
• To provide global expertise for professional development, leadership skills and production training for women working in screen-based media.
• To offer an educational forum through activities and programs based on research that will meet the needs of our members.
Spicee is a brand new online TV reports and documentary pla7orm (and mobile applica9on). It was launched on June 15 th , 2015, by two confirmed news and media professionals: Antoine Robin who created Havas produc9on within the Havas group and Jean-Bernard Schmidt, previously senior execu9ve of M6 (private French TV network). Spicee features, almost exclusively, original and interna9onal media reports and documentaries on demanding subjects. Spicee also broadcasts innova9ve modules and programs. All of Spicee’s video reports are exclusively produced by its journalists and documentary-makers. Spicee is a completely independent media; it is not sustained by adver9sing but rather by its subscribers and its community.

Spicee features almost exclusively original and interna9onal documentaries on demanding subjects. Spicee also broadcasts innova9ve modules and programs. All of these video reports are exclusively produced by our journalists and documentary-makers. Videos can last from 5, 15, 30 to 52 minutes, and there will be new videos every week on the website. Our authors enjoy a great freedom in the expression of their crea9vity. Here, there is no censorship. This is the Spicee signature. We also select for you, the best documentaries and TV reports from the last years. Documentaries and inves9ga9ons that oben cast an interes9ng light on today’s news (Spicee Select).

Spicee is a completely independent media, that is to say that, it is not sustained by adver9sing but rather by its subscribers and its community. Therefore, we are free to deal with any topics we want, without any restric9on.


Presented by H.E. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy

  • award categories


    award categories


    This category recognises a policy-maker or public figure in the public sector for her strong commitment to developing female talent, her leadership, her ability to innovate and pave the way for future generations of female leaders.
    Open to: Women in leadership positions in the public sector (Chairwoman, Director General, Minister, CEO, Deputy CEO, Undersecretary, Governor, Managing Director, etc.)


    This category recognises a policy-maker or private figure in the private sector for her strong commitment to developing female talent, her leadership, her ability to innovate and pave the way for future generations of female leaders.
    Open to: Women in leadership positions in the public sector (Chairwoman, Director General, Minister, CEO, Deputy CEO, Undersecretary, Governor, Managing Director, etc.)

    Female Entrepreneur of the Year | NOMINATE NOW

    This category recognises a woman entrepreneur who has successfully established a new business or developed an existing business over the past 12 months.
    Open to: Any female founder / owner / co-founder a private or public companies, non-for-profit organisation or educational institutions.


    This category recognises a young leader, mover or shaker who is an inspiring leaders in his/her community, has successfully established an initiative or demonstrated a significant and measurable contribution to an existing initiative over the past 12 months.
    Open to: Young leaders under the age of 26.

    Male Champion of Change | NOMINATE NOW

    This category recognises a male business leader, policy maker or public figure for his strong commitment to developing female talent and supporting women’s economic empowerment.
    Open to: Men in leadership positions (Chairperson, President, CEO, Regional Director, Founder, etc)

    Most Woman-friendly Employer MNC / SME | NOMINATE NOW

    This category recognises an organisation which actively encourages its female executives to develop skills through training, leadership and mentorship programs, and advocates for gender equality at the workplace. In order to ensure fair competition, SMEs and MNCs will be rewarded in two separate categories.
    Open to: Any entity with a registered office in the MENA region.)

    Most Impactful D&I Initiative | NOMINATE NOW

    This award will honour an initiative created and implemented by a private company, public company, educational institution, public sector, non-governmental organisation or non-profit organisation to encourage the development of a diverse and inclusive workforce.




    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


    • Award Guidelines* Required

      Please fill up the form below to become a sponsor. And we will get in touch with you shortly.

submit your nominations
  • submit your nominations* Required

    Please complete the form below to receive the nomination forms and guidelines and we will get in touch with you shortly.

The WIL Forum launched its Short Film Competition for Women’s Economic Empowerment and invites you to raise YOUR voice to change the narrative around women.

best short film competition for women’s economic empowerment


5 Delegates

(5% discount)

10 Delegates

(10% discount)

5 Delegates

4* accommodation

5 Delegates

5* accommodation
$500 Off

10 Delegates

4* accommodation

10 Delegates

5* accommodation

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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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