Over the past decade, the WIL Forum has brought together over 5,250 world leaders.

Vision 2030 puts a strong emphasis on creating an open and tolerant society. In order to achieve a leading position globally, the Kingdom strives to better employ its human capital – leveraging its female talent, the potential of its youth and encouraging the creation of small and medium enterprises to support economic development and reduce unemployment.

The 3rd Women in Leadership (WIL) Economic Forum Saudi Arabia is part of the WIL Series that broke new ground in the Middle East by gathering and supporting female leaders through an action-oriented platform. The forum brings together up to 250 female and male business leaders, entrepreneurs, diversity champions and policy-makers from across the Kingdom to advance women in leadership and address the challenges that are specific to Saudi Arabia.

Held under the name “Let’s talk about tomorrow”, this year’s edition discusses the critical importance of cross-sector collaboration in order to meet the demands of tomorrow’s economy. The program features engaging conference sessions, inspiring keynotes, hands-on workshops, executive round tables and facilitated networking sessions. Key themes that will be discussed include youth empowerment, Saudisation, female entrepreneurship and Diversity & Inclusion.

Building on these key pillars, the WIL Forum Saudi Arabia focuses on sustainability and makes the case for gender diversity as a key vertical of a forward-looking society, while providing organisations with a platform to showcase their achievements and reach out to women, and attendees with actionable tools to further advance their careers.

The exceptionally well organised WIL forum supports you on so many levels. The quality and warm tone of the presentations plus the dynamic networking create a synergy of activities that lift you as a person, promote you professionally and inspire you to lean in, look up and give back.

Anjum Malik, Co-Founder, Alhambra US Chamber

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.

Have productive learning conversations with delegates from a variety of industries, representing different demographics and age groups. A special session will be dedicated to reverse mentoring, where the ‘grown ups’ will have the opportunity to learn from the youth.


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Fatima Al Jaber

Fatima Al Jaber

COO, Al Jaber Group Fatima Al Jaber View Profile


Founder, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women CHERIE BLAIR View Profile
Khaled Almaeena

Khaled Almaeena

Managing Director , Quartz Khaled Almaeena View Profile
Sheryl Kara Sandberg is an American technology executive, activist, and author. She is the chief operating officer (COO) of Facebook and founder of Leanin.org (also known as the Lean In Foundation). In June 2012, she was elected to the board of directors by the existing board members becoming the first woman to serve on Facebook's board. Before she joined Facebook as its COO, Sandberg was vice president of global online sales and operations at Google, and was involved in launching Google's philanthropic arm Google.org. Before Google, Sandberg served as chief of staff for United States Secretary of the Treasury Lawrence Summers.

In 2012, she was named in the Time 100, an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world according to Time magazine. As of June 2015, Sandberg is reported to be worth over US$1 billion, due to her stock holdings in Facebook and other companies.
Fatima Al Jaber
In her position as chief operating officer of the Abu Dhabi-based Al Jaber Group, Fatima Al Jaber oversees more than 50,000 staff and manages around $4.9bn in assets. The conglomerate, which has built a number of iconic projects across the UAE, was founded by her father, Obaid Al Jaber, 40 years ago.

Prior to her appointment at the firm four years ago Al Jaber had a hugely successful career at the public works department at Abu Dhabi Municipality.

She is a regular speaker at business conferences across the region as well as a high profile ambassador for women in the workplace. She is also fiercely proud of the opportunities available for Emirati women. “Everything is there; if a woman wants to start a business she can. If she wants to work in government, she can find a job. If she wants to study, there are all sorts of education venues and places to study. The choices are all there,” she told CEO Middle East last month.

Al Jaber became the first Emirati woman to be elected to the board of directors at the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce in December 2009.
Cherie Blair was born in Bury in 1954 but moved when very young to Liverpool where she grew up. The first member of her family to go to university, she studied law at the London School of Economics. Called to the Bar in 1976, she became a Queens Counsel in 1995 and was a founder member of Matrix Chambers. She sat as a Recorder, as part-time judges are known, from 1999-2015; she is also an accredited mediator and arbitrator.

Her fellow trainee at her first chambers was Tony Blair. The couple married in 1980 and have four children - the youngest, Leo, being the first child born to a serving Prime Minister for over a century.

As well as fighting for human rights in her professional career, Cherie is an active campaigner on equality and human rights issues. She has spoken across the world on both issues and also on the need for improved work/life balance for both women and men.

Mrs Blair published her autobiography: 'Speaking for Myself ' in 2008.

Later that year Cherie set up her charity; the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women. She believes that by empowering and supporting women around the world, they can play an increasingly important role in their economies and societies. The Foundation works with women in Africa, South Asia and the Middle East, helping them generate their own income and developing projects which encourage them to become successful and self sustaining entrepreneurs.

Cherie is also closely involved with over 20 charities with a special emphasis on those working with women, with children, and with those based on Merseyside. She is Honorary Vice President of Barnados, President of the Loomba Foundation, Patron of Scope and Patron of a number of charities, including Breast Cancer Care. She was an Ambassador for London 2012. Cherie has been a member of the Labour Party since she was 16.

Cherie was awarded a CBE in the 2013 New Year's Honours List for services to Women's Issues and to charity in the UK and Overseas.
H.R.H. Princess Dr.Sheikha Hissah Saad Al-Sabah
Sheikha Hissah is the second daughter of the late HH 14th Amir of Kuwait Shiekh Saad Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah. Upon her graduation from AUB Lebanon she started her retail company in Fashion to be the first lady in business in Kuwait from then on she went on to get her Masters in hospital administration & worked at the military hospital as head of Medical Services. In 1992 she started her own gallery to promote Arab artists & in 1999 established the Council for Arab Businesswomen to promote Arab women in business. She has succeeded as president for the last 15 years to bring Arab women from 19 countries in a full force of economic power. She has received a doctorate in Humane Letters.
Mutlaq Al Morished
Mr. Mutlaq H. Al-Morished is the CEO of TASNEE, one of the largest Saudi diversified industrial companies having investments in several fields. Prior to his present post, he was Executive Vice President of Corporate Finance at SABIC, Vice President of Metals SBU, EVP Shared Services, President of SADAF and HADEED, consecutively. He was also Chairman of the Board of Yansab, SABIC Capital, SAUDI KAYAN, SABIC Captive Insurance Limited. He was board member of Gulf Bank in Bahrain and the Advisory Board for Economic Affairs of the Supreme Economic Council.

In addition, Mr. Al-Morished is board member of General Organization of Saudi Arabian Airlines, Alinma Tokio Marine (ATMC), Aluminum Bahrain (ALBA) and Chairman of the board of Alinma Investment Co.

Mr. Al-Morished holds a Master’s Degree from Stanford University, a Master’s Degree of Science in Nuclear Engineering from Princeton University, and a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Nuclear Physics and Mathematics from the University of Denver.
Khaled Almaeena
Mr. Khaled Almaeena has held a broad range of positions in Saudi media for almost thirty years, including CEO of a PR Firm, Saudi Television news anchor, talk show host, radio announcer and journalist. Almaeena also held a series of senior positions in Saudia Airlines.

As the Editor-in-Chief of Arab News, the largest English-language newspaper in the Middle East, Almaeena steered the paper through the Gulf Crisis and pioneered bringing the newspapers back to a liberated Kuwait. Under his direction, the paper was first in 2003 to send a Saudi reporter to Iraq to report extensively from the front lines.

As a journalist, Almaeena has represented Saudi media at Arab summits in Baghdad, Morocco and elsewhere. In 1990, he was one of the four journalists to cover historic resumption of diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Russia. He also travelled to China as part of this diplomatic mission.

Highly regarded for his views, Almaeena’s political and social columns appear in Gild News – Dubai, Asharaq Al-Awsat, Al-Eqtisadiah, Arab News, Times of Oman, Asian Age, Al Arabia , Makkah and the China Post. His interest in sports attracted him to the successful promotion of squash and tennis tournaments in the Kingdom.

In 1982, Almaeena became the Editor-in-Chief of Arab News. He stepped down in 1993 to head the Saudi Public Relations (SRPC) a position he held for five years. He returned to the top editor’s post of Arab News in 1998 and continued until October 2011.

In April 2012, he joined as the Editor-in-Chief of Saudi Gazette, English daily published from Jeddah and continued in the position until the end of April 2014.

Mr. Almaeena was awarded the highest civilian Awards Sitara-e-imtiyaz (Star of Excellence) by the government of Pakistan in January 2009.

He was awarded a Doctorate in Humanities from Mindanao University in the Philippines in February 2009.

He is also a visiting nonresident scholar at the University of Central Florida.

Almaeena is fluent in several languages.
Dr. Lama Al Sulaiman
Lama Al Sulaiman is Vice Chair and Board Member of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She has her PhD in health and nutrition from King's College of London.

She was the first woman in Saudi Arabia to be elected as a board member in the chamber of commerce in 2005, and was re-elected deputy chairwoman of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce & Industry in December 2009, becoming the first female to hold such a post in Saudi history, and she is also the first women to join Committee of Entertainment as a board member.

In 2011, she was awarded the title of fifth most powerful female in the Arab world, in a list compiled by Arabian businesses, and she was a board member of Club Med in France She heads the Saudi delegation at ILO, where she represents the private sector.

She is also a board member and business developer at Rolaco Holdings, and a board member of Foras Investment in Saudi Arabia, and a member of Coutts Advisory Board.

She is a board member of the Khadijah Bint Khuwailed Lobbying center for women, and a member of the Ministry of Labor Advisory Board on women issues She is a Fellow of the third class of the Middle East Leadership Initiative of the Aspen Institute and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. She is also a guest expert at UN women.

She is a member of the King’s college philanthropic board, and board member of Prince Majed organization for society development.
Iman Mutlaq
IMAN MUTLAQ, a dynamic leader and expert in financial markets, was born in Saudi Arabia. She’s a strong-willed character. She has never let her circumstances define her, and thus she erased all the negative voices off her mind. Challenges were always welcome to her, she was totally convinced that life is a daring adventure, in which we have to face and overcome our challenges instead of surrendering to them. As a single mother, Mutlaq was able to move forward independently, raising her two sons to see them all grown up, mature, and become successful young men. Although she had to delay her undergraduate studies to manage her responsibilities, her belief that it’s never too late to pursue your goals in life and achieve your dreams made her return strongly, and she successfully completed an MBA in finance and most recently her Chief Financial Analyst level one examination.

Mutlaq has always been an enthusiast young lady, that at the age of 14 she started selling arts and crafts at school. Quick to realize her skill, she moved on to establish her first export-import company at 18 and by 27, she entered the financial world. Mutlaq finds that her strengths lie in analyzing and interpreting financial market trends to build appropriate investment strategies. Her strong technical and analytical skills have helped numerous investors accumulate wealth.

She currently serves as CEO of Sigma Investments, Director of INGOT Brokers, a consortium of multinational financial companies that operate across six continents, and she is also part of the Global Alliance Partners, a network of regulated financial services companies focusing on the capital midmarket.

According to Forbes- July 2017 , Ms. Mutlaq is considered one of the most powerful Arab businesswomen , she is ranked the 41st and in September 2016, Ms. Mutlaq is considered one of the business pioneers in the Middle East; she is ranked the 32nd among the best Business women in the Arab world,She won the American Chamber of Commerce in Cairo (AMCham) Award as the best Arab business woman - March 2016.

Mutlaq firmly believes that building successful companies begins with the will to work hard and succeed. Her most recent, and very worth mentioning accomplishment was the establishment of EGYCOMEX, the first and biggest commodities exchange of its kind in the MENA region to be launched in the 4th quarter of 2017.

Besides being a successful business woman, Mutlaq became the first instructor for the art of living foundation in Jordan, an educational and humanitarian movement engaged in stress-management and service initiatives, launched by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, which promotes peace and development.

Furthermore, helping others has always been a part of who she is. In early 2014, Iman and a team from Jordan scaled Mount Kilamanjaro to raise funds for the King Hussein Cancer Foundation. The group raised $1.3 million for cancer research.

Mutlaq concerns were focused on women’s empowerment. She is very aware of the fact that for a country to truly progress, every citizen should be adequately empowered, and further empowering women is vital in accelerating the peace, stability and security for the nations. She successfully implemented six programs in Iraq that aimed at supporting 400 women to advance their careers, and contribute to the economic growth of the country. Recognizing her professional accomplishments, the Obama Administration invited Mutlaq, among a few entrepreneurs from the Middle East, to attend the inaugural White House Entrepreneurship Summit in 2010 where she met former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the late Ambassador Holbrooke to discuss ways to accelerate women’s empowerment in Afghanistan and across the Middle East.

Ms. Multaq activities now is to focus on reinstating the happiness of 16,000 refugee children and also empower women as she believes in the centrality of their role in promoting peace, the stability and security of nations. Ms. Mutlaq latest project is the establishment of 8x8 project, which is a project to support educated women in Jordan and help them to create their own projects. Project 8x8 is about eight projects, each project includes eight women working as partners, and the income will be divided into two parts: 50% for partners and 50% to expand the project to reach a total of 110 employed women by the end of the year.

Mutlaq has received many awards throughout her fulfilling journey; the “Middle - East Woman of the Year" award, presented to her during the 3rd Global Official of Dignity Awards which was held in the United Nations Headquarters in New York on August 2015, The “Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition” from US Congresswoman Karen Bass, and Jordan's Top Businesswomen award in 2015. Also, she has been appointed as "Goodwill Ambassador for Human Rights and Peace" in Jordan 2014.

According to Mutlaq, happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, therefore she lives and teaches how to achieve balance. She believes that in order to live the life you choose, you must acknowledge your power in that, and work accordingly. Love, Give, and Inspire others, unconditionally. Her favorite quote, is: “Love is not an emotion, it is your very existence” – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
Wafa AlObaidat
Chief Executive Officer and Creative Director

Obai and Hill

Obai and Hill provides its clients with creative and innovative designs and strategic solutions that give them the needed competitive edge in the current marketplace. The company aims to bring young innovative designers into a new light and bridge the gap between the unestablished young designer and the client, creating a business for the Middle Eastern consumer and the breadth of young talent in Europe.

In 2015, Obai and Hill received the Start Up of the Year award, hosted by the Bahrain Entrepreneurship Awards. In line with the Kingdom’s national economic vision, the inaugural award celebrates the achievements of Bahrain’s entrepreneurs and their socio-economic role in spurring a private sector-driven economy. In addition to her involvement with Obai and Hill, Wafa is a Feature Contributor to Start Up Bahrain, an award-winning independent publication for startups and entrepreneurship, and a columnist at Khaleejesque Magazine where she writes about startups, design, and the creative industry in the Middle East.

Wafa is also a Shaper in the Global Shapers Community, a network of city-based Hubs developed and led by young leaders between 20 and 30 years old who want to develop their leadership potential to better serve society.

Wafa is a committee member of the SME Society in the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce. Her expertise includes community building, business management, communication skills, concept creation, managing teams, and business development. Wafa earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Interior and Spatial Design from Chelsea College of Art and Design at the University of the Arts in London. She is fluent in Arabic and English.
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!
Halah Alhamrani
Halah Alhamrani is the first female kickboxing and boxing trainer in Saudi Arabia, residing in Jeddah. She has 28 years of experience practicing all styles of Martial Arts including Japanese Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, Boxing and kickboxing, with certifications in both CrossFit (level 2) and Calisthenics (level 1) She runs her own private gym in Jeddah called “Flagboxing”. “Flagboxing”, which stands for Fight Like A Girl Boxing, is the first female boxing/kickboxing gym in Saudi Arabia. By creating the gym, Halah is not only encouraging women within the Kingdom to be more active and engaged, but also teaching them to be persevering to reach their goals. After graduating from high school in Jeddah, she moved to San Diego, where she majored in environmental studies and minored in international relations. Halah grew up with a tremendous support from her family and recognizes the importance of strong female role models in a girl’s life.

Halah has attended various workshops around the world with some of the biggest names in the fitness industry including, Ido Portal, Yuval Ayalon, Steve Maxwell, Einar Svinland, Jon Yuen and Kenneth Gallarzo.
Sofana Dahlan
An accomplished lawyer, social entrepreneur, and a WEF Young Global Leader, Sofana Dahlan is an exemplary individual whose core competency lies in identifying gaps and developing programs as creative solutions that have a socio-economic impact. Currently, Dahlan is serving as the Vice Governor for Entrepreneurship Advancement at the Small and Medium Enterprises Authority of Saudi Arabia, making her the first Saudi female senior economic policy-maker.

She is the founder of many social enterprises and initiatives that focus on developing the creative industries in the Saudi Arabia such as Tashkeil, Kayanspace and the Saudi National Creative Initiative (SNCI) and holds the prized distinction of being among the first three female lawyers to have been granted the permit to practice law in Saudi Arabia. She has served as a legal consultant in different parts of the Arab world including Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and Kuwait.
Dr. Asma Siddiki
Dr. Asma Siddiki has been involved in the education and higher education sectors in the GCC region for the past twenty years. She most notably held leadership roles at corporate and academic institutions, in particular working with universities in their early stages of development focusing extensively on student services, institutional effectiveness, curriculum development, organizational development, and global institutional partnerships. She is an entrepreneur, angel investor, and mentor.

Dr Siddiki is currently serving as Senior Director for Special Projects with Emaar Economic City (EEC) in King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), Saudi Arbaia, where her main commitment is to lead the Office of Student Affairs at the Prince Mohammed Bin Salman College of Business and Entrepreneurship (MBSC). Prior to joining MBSC and EEC, Dr. Siddiki was a Higher Education Management Consultant as well as the Founder and CEO of Oxbridge Learning Limited (previously knows as Alpha1Education), an education company specialized in developing and delivering educational programs for youth, such as its flagship programme, Oxbridge Summers, a summer school hosted at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge in the UK for secondary school students. Earlier, Dr. Siddiki was Director, Global Higher Education at Huron Consulting Group based in Dubai; Associate Dean for Development and Director of Degree Programs at the Dubai School of Government (in association with Harvard Kennedy School). She also served at Effat University (then College) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, as Vice Dean, leading the Offices of Academic Affairs as well as Student Affairs. Dr. Siddiki was a Senior Fulbright Scholar during the summer of 2005 at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, focusing on Civic Engagement as it relates to the student experience. She began her career as a teacher of a school (K-12), and afterwards, as Tutor at the University of Oxford, and Assistant Professor at King Abdul Aziz University and at Effat University.

Dr. Siddiki is the Founder of a non-profit, Simply Heuristic, serves on the Saudi-British Society Committee and the International Relations Committee (IRC) at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, amongst other initiatives for cross-cultural dialogue and understanding, was selected for the Vital Voices VV Grow Fellowship for female entrepreneurs (2014), and has been recognized for her professional achievements and contributions to society by the World Economic Forum, as a Young Global Leader (Class of 2014).

Dr. Asma Siddiki was educated in England, Switzerland and Saudi Arabia. She received her Doctoral degree (DPhil) as well as her Master’s (MSt) from the University of Oxford, and her Bachelor’s (BA) from King Abdul Aziz 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.
Prof. Samira Islam
Prof. Samira Islam is the first Saudi woman to obtain Bachelor and Ph.D. degrees, obtain full professorship and become vice-dean in a Saudi university. She is the first Saudi to become Professor of Pharmacology and Regional Adviser of World Health Organisation (WHO) – Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office.

Throughout the years she has established herself as a well-known supporter and advocate of women education and empowerment. Prof. Samira has initiated formal university education for women in Saudi Arabia and became an establisher and Dean of various science and health programs.

Prof. Islam has published 36 research articles in scientific & specialized journals, and has presented 54 scientific researchers at national & international conferences & WHO meetings and 36 scientific presentations related to society, focusing on drug efficacy. Her researches focus on pharmacogenetic / pharmacokinetic and phenotyping which defined the Saudi population profile in pathways of some drug metabolism, was the 1st of its kind that became reference in literature.

She is a founded the Drug Monitoring Unit (DMU), providing drug blood levels (data) researchers' publications and inform the treating doctors which accordingly adjust the dose for individual patients safety.

Prof. Samira Islam is a notable recipient of:
• "Makkah Award for Excellency" the highest for exemplary contribution to Science & Research
• UNESCO, L’Oréal "Women in Science" Award (Shortlisted)
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).
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.
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.
Nadir A. Mohammed
Dr. Mohammed is the Country Director of the GCC countries in the Middle East and North Africa region of the World Bank. He joined the Bank in 1998 as country economist for Egypt and Yemen, became Country Manager for Albania, and returned to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region as Operations Director in 2007. During 2010-2012, Dr. Mohammed was on external assignment from the Bank where he served as Acting Director of Strategy at the Kuwaiti Prime Minister’s Office. He also served as a Senior Advisor in the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management (PREM) network during 2009-2010 and 2012-2013.

Before joining the Bank, Mr. Mohammed worked in two multilateral development banks (African Development Bank, 1994-1996) and the Islamic Development Bank (1996-1998). Mr. Mohammed started his career in academia as a lecturer and research officer at universities in Khartoum, Addis Ababa, Cambridge and Oxford.

Dr. Mohammed is a graduate of the University of Khartoum (BS in Economics) and has two post-graduate degrees in Economics from the University of Cambridge (M. Phil and Ph. D). He published widely on issues of economic development, public finance, conflict and civil wars, natural resource management, poverty reduction, governance and defence economics.
H.E. Prof. Hassan Diab
H.E. Prof. Hassan Diab is currently Vice President at AUB and a Professor of Computer Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, AUB. He has over 130 publications in internationally refereed journals and conferences and has supervised 80 research projects. He is a registered Chartered Engineer in the Engineering Council, UK, and a registered Chartered Professional Engineer in the National Professional Engineers Register, Australia. He is Fellow in IET (UK), IEAust (Australia) & Senior Member in IEEE (USA).

He received 30 national/international awards and was invited for inclusion in over 40 international biographies with over 100 citations including Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in Science & Engineering, and Outstanding People of the 21st Century, as well as honorary membership on boards of several biographical institutions.

He was seconded by AUB to serve as Founding President and Dean of the College of Engineering at Dhofar University, Sultanate of Oman. Effective October 2006, he was appointed as Vice President for Regional External Programs (REP) at AUB with an annual projects budget of over $22Million.

Effective June 13, 2011, he was appointed as Minister of Education and Higher Education (MEHE) in the Lebanese Cabinet to take over the largest ministry in Lebanon. MEHE is composed of major directorates and offices including Directorate of Education, Higher Education, Vocational and Technical Education (VTE), Central Administration, Education Center for Research & Development, Education Sector Development Secretariat, etc. MEHE includes 60,000 employees across the country and controls or oversees over 3000 schools, 50 higher education institutions, and 450 VTE institutes in both the public and private sectors culminating in over 1.3 million students. Minister Diab managed an annual budget of around $1Billion. During 2011-2014, an unprecedented number of accomplishments in MEHE were achieved, many of which for the first time in the history of MEHE.
Barbara J. Krumsiek
Ms. Krumsiek’s professional background spans four decades in the asset management field, including most recently as the CEO and Chair of Calvert Investments, Inc. During her tenure at Calvert, she developed the Calvert Women’s Principles, a global code of conduct adopted by the U.N. Global Compact and U.N. Women as the basis for the U.N. Women’s Empowerment Principles.

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

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

Graduating Phi Beta Kappa with University Honors and Honors in Mathematics from Rutgers University, Ms. Krumsiek holds a Master of Science in Mathematics from New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences.
Liliane Kanaan
With over 20 years of professional experience across multinational organizations in the Middle East and North Africa, Ms. Kanaan’s responsibilities include leading and managing the first sales affiliate for Roche Diagnostics in the region as Country Manager Egypt.

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

Ms. Kanaan holds a Master’s degree in Molecular Biology from Paul Sabatier University.
Hala Sleiman
Since 2014, Hala Sleiman has been the General Manager of Merck, Near East region. She delivered sustainable double digit growth and improved profitability in the last 3 years. Hala put together a strong performance team and embedded positive leadership. She drove dedicated strategy for Iraq where she tripled the sales in 2 years. She lead 5 years growth strategy for Iran via innovation and pioneer approaches, putting Merck on the map among top 5 International companies. She delivered a sustained profitable growth in Levant area, more than double the market growth.

Hala has diverse experience in different functions in the Pharmaceutical industries over the last 20 years. To name some, she was the Head of Regulatory Affairs for ME, Africa, Russia and Turkey. She lead as well for the same region, the Business Development department where she played a major role in the Africa project by delivering a solid plan and continuous progress on new product introduction and cross-functional alignment. At Merck, Hala was as well Country Head for Iran business.

Prior to joining Merck, she worked in Marketing at Novartis, as Brand Manager for the cardiovascular line for MEA. Previously, she was the RA Head and Member of the Executive Boardof MEA at Novartis, based in Beirut. Before this, she worked at Eli Lilly, in various roles in sales, marketing and regulatory, where she drove significant sales growth for Prozac, and participated in the launch of Evista.

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

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

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

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

Paolo is married and has two children.
Leila Hoteit
In her role as Partner and Managing Director at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Dr. Leila Hoteit provides strategic leadership advice to an extensive portfolio of high profile clients across the Middle East’s government sector. Her primary responsibility is to strengthen capabilities across the Human Capital Development space covering Education, Education for Employment and Women’s Economic Empowerment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Baljeet Nagi
Ms. Nagi is an ACCA certified accountant and the Director of ERP - SCM Sales Development &Strategy for the Middle East and Africa at Oracle. She has 20 years of experience in the IT and ERP domain. She joined Oracle in 1997 and has worked across EMEA, APAC and now MEA. She has helped drive digital financial transformation for organisations both on premise and SaaS across MEA.

Prior to joining Oracle, she worked as a Financial Controller at blue chip companies in the UK. She supports charities in various ways, including through raising funds for children’s charities and helping charity organisations prepare financial statements. She climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 2006 and takes three-hour-long, nonstop Spinning classes.

She is the Chairperson of an Asian elderly care facility in the UK, and the Country Leader of Oracle Women Leadership in Dubai.

Ms. Nagi holds a BSc (Honours) in Biology from Bristol University.


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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

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

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 ey.com.

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
Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of those we love.
That’s why the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies for more than 125 years has committed itself to caring for people. This commitment—a legacy of our founders and a very real motivating force among our employees—is embodied in Our Credo, which speaks to “our first responsibility” to the doctors, nurses, patients, the mothers and fathers and all who use our products.

The success of our enterprise is built on Our Credo and a unique set of strategic principles. We are broadly based in health care. Our focus is on managing for the long term. We operate under a decentralized management approach. And we do all this through a unique culture that values and fosters the development of our people.

In today’s highly competitive global marketplace, it is also essential that we focus on the critical drivers of our future growth: to create value through innovation, to extend our global reach, with local focus, to execute with excellence in everything we do and to inspire leadership with purpose among the people who carry on the Johnson & Johnson legacy. By caring, one person at a time, we aspire to help billions of people live longer, healthier, happier lives. There is no company better positioned to achieve this aspiration than Johnson & Johnson.

Cutting-edge science, digital technology and new ways of thinking are improving how people are cared for around the globe, and we are at the forefront. We are the world’s most broadly-based global healthcare business, with more than 275 companies in 60 countries, and our companies touch all aspects of human health, from consumer products to pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Through them, we forge new frontiers and blow through walls to create breakthrough solutions to the world’s most pressing health challenges to help people live longer, healthier and happier lives.

Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Academic Medical Centre, Bldg 14, Level 6
Dubai Healthcare City, PO Box 505080

T +971 4 429 7200
F +971 4 297 250

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

Merck is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 50,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life – from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions. In 2015, Merck generated sales of € 12.85 billion in 66 countries.

Founded in 1668, Merck is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck, Darmstadt, Germany holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, Millipore Sigma and EMD Performance Materials.

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

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

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

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


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

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

FedEx Express is the world’s largest express transportation company, providing fast and reliable delivery to more than 220 countries and territories. FedEx Express uses a global air-and-ground network to speed delivery of time-sensitive shipments, by a definite time and date with a money-back guarantee.

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

T +971 4 331 4216
F +971 4 331 0714

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

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

PepsiCo Middle East and North Africa

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

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

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

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

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

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

T +971 4  309 9999
F +971 4  309 9792


The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and one of the world’s leading advisor on business strategy, established in Dubai since 2007.

Our mission is clear: going deep to unlock insight and having the courage to act.

We bring the right people together to challenge established thinking and drive transformation. We work with our clients to build the capabilities that enable organizations to achieve sustainable competitive advantage and secure lasting results.

The Boston Consulting Group works with financial institutions as well as public sector organisations, and the following industries: Energy & Environment, Industrial Goods, Telecom Media & Technology, Healthcare, Financial Institutions and Consumer Goods.

We are shaping the future. Together.

The Boston Consulting Group
Dubai Internet City,
Office Park, Block D,
Dubai, UAE

T +971 4 448 0300
F +971 4 448 0333
www.bcg.com / www.bcgperspectives.com

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

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

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

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

Cummins Middle East

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

T +971 44 398 777
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

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


Strata Manufacturing PJSC (STRATA) is a composite aero-structures manufacturing facility based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Established in 2009, with production beginning in 2010, Strata has partnerships with the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers, Airbus and Boeing, as well as tier one suppliers to Alenia Aermacchi, FACC AG, SAAB and S.A.B.C.A. Strata is wholly owned by Mubadala Development Company PJSC (Mubadala), the Abu Dhabi-based investment and development company.

Strata manufactures various parts on Airbus, Boeing and ATR aircrafts, including: Airbus A330/340/380 Flap Track Fairings; A330/340 Ailerons; A330/340 Spoilers & A350-900/1000 Flap Support Fairings; ATR 42/72 Rudder & Vertical Fin; Boeing B777 Empennage Ribs & B787 Vertical Fin Ribs.

Strata Manufacturing PJSC

Al Ain, Airport Area
Al Ain, UAE

T +971 3 707 1300
F +971 3 707 1491
aafaq has always been proactive in introducing Shari’a compliant products and financially innovative services to serve the customer. Their growth and prominence is due to their strategic alliances with government organizations as well as due to the unique presence and excellence of their services.

aafaq’s strategic view of its role as a finance company meets the visionary approach of HH Sheikh Muhammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Since inception, in 2006, aafaq has endeavored to be a role model for care and responsibility within the community by actively supporting initiatives and projects that promotes socio-economic growth of UAE, thereby benefiting the cosmopolitan population of the country. Through its journey aafaq has participatedin several CSR schemes sponsoring the disabled, conducting events to raise fund to spread Happiness among less privilege. Company’s proactive senior management recognizing Zayed humanitarian initiative generously gives its time to morally support old people and bring happiness of joy and care amongst them.

aafaq is the only key organization among other finance companies offering one stop windows providing almost all services with optimum quality, through 75 outlets including Ministries, Tas-heel centres and the first public-private partnership; service provider to train its employees to communicate with deaf people equally.
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
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.
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.
www.eyeofriyadh.com, 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
Amouage fragrances have reflected the wonderful traditions of luxury perfume creation internationally for 35 years. The brand has a global reputation for bringing true artistry to all its creations. Other categories have been added to the overall range and today Amouage is not just a perfume brand, but expresses a luxury lifestyle. Amouage’s portfolio has extended to include luxurious bath ranges, a beautifully perfumed, long-lasting range of candles and parfums d’ambience, an amazing hand-crafted range of small leather goods and handbags and a recently-launched collection of bespoke printed silk scarves, all of which reflect innovation, attention to detail and luxury.

Led by the CEO, David Crickmore, for over the last ten years, Amouage adopts an inventive approach to all its creations. Along with Creative Director, Christopher Chong, they have together reinvented the brand aiming to render it appealing to today’s international consumers. Amouage perfumes are developed according to Mr. Chong’s detailed and inspirational brief, which is then assimilated by world-recognised perfumers in Paris, Grasse, Geneva and New York.

With a retail footprint spanning 20 standalone shops and 35 shop-in-shops across 66 countries, Amouage plans gradually to roll out a programme of stand-alone retail shops in key cities around the world.



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    award categories

    Woman Game Changer – Public / Private | NOMINATE NOW

    This category recognises a leading female business leader, policy maker or public figure for her strong commitment to developing female talent, her ability to innovate, disrupt existing practices and help pave the role for the future generation of female leaders.
    In order to be nominated in this category:
    – Nominees must hold a leadership position (Chairperson, President, CEO, Managing Director etc.) at private or public organisations or educational institutions.
    – Nominees must have been employed in their current position for at least two years.

    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 education institutions. The business must not be operating at a loss, and must be able to provide evidence of growth and sustainability.

    Male Champion of Change | NOMINATE NOW

    This category recognises a male business leader, policy maker or public figure for his strong commitment to developing women talent and supporting women’s economic empowerment.
    In order to be nominated in this category:
    – Nominees must hold a leadership position (Chairperson, President, CEO, Managing Director etc.) at private or public organisations or educational institutions.
    – Nominees must have been employed in their current position for at least two years.

    Young Leader of the Year | NOMINATE NOW

    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:
    – Applicant who has proven experience of working to improve their communities locally, regionally or at a national level and be able to show evidence of their achievements;
    – Applicant can be up to 25 years of age throughout 2017;
    – Applicant need to demonstrate evidence of his/her leadership qualities;
    – Applicant need to be supported by a suitable referee who is not related to them.

    Best Saudization Initiative | NOMINATE NOW

    This award will honour an initiative created and implemented by a private company, educational institution, public sector non-governmental organisation or non-profit organisation to encourage Saudization.
    In order to be nominated in this category, the initiatives must be able to present results of their impact in the last 12 months
    Open to: Any organisations other than public sector agencies (government) 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. In order to be nominated in this category.
    The initiative should provide any / all of the following (including but not limited to):
    – Business and management training,
    – Small & medium-sized business empowerment,
    – Market access,
    – Mentorship,
    – Links to capital,
    – Career opportunities for women
    Initiatives must be able to present results of their impact in the last 12 months
    Open to: Any entity with a registered office in the MENA region. Eligible initiatives could focus on: gender diversity, inclusion of people with special needs, cultural diversity and more.


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




    Individual Past Winners

    • Leading Businesswoman of the Year

      Hala Badri

      Executive Vice President – Brand & Communications

    • Most Innovative Woman Entrepreneur

      Lama Bazzari

      Founder and Chief Executive Officer
      Nstyle International

    • Leading Woman in Public Sector

      Dr Aisha Bin Bishr

      Assistant Director General
      The Executive Office

    • Male Champion of Change

      Tarek Rabah

      Area Vice President, Middle East & Africa

    • Best Local Initiative for Women’s Economic Empowerment

      Uforo Iban Uto Inwang

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

    • Best Global Initiative for Women’s Economic Empowerment

      Women. Fast Forward


    • Most Woman-Friendly Employer

      PepsiCo Greater China Region

    • WIL Honorary Achievement Award

      Khalid Alkhodair,

      CEO, Glowork

    • Women’s Empowerment Recognition Award

      Almas Jiwani

      UN Women Canada National Committee


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

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

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

Assaf AlQuraishi – VP, Human Resources, Unilever MENA

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

Walter Hurdle – Global Chief Diversity Officer, AIG

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

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

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

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

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

VP of Talent Planning & Inclusion, Pfizer

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

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

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

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


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


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