Organised by Naseba, the WIL Forum KSA champions women’s inclusion, Saudisation, youth empowerment and female entrepreneurship

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 WIL Economic Forum KSA 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. Organised by Naseba, the forum brings together up to 1,000 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 Economic Forum KSA 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



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.


LP WIL KSA Download Agenda

  • download agenda* Required

    Please complete the form below to receive further details about the forum and we will get in touch with you shortly.


Sofana Dahlan

Sofana Dahlan

Lawyer, social entrepreneur, WEF Young Global Leader. Sofana Dahlan View Profile
Prof. Samira Islam

Prof. Samira Islam

1st Saudi woman to obtain Bachelor and Ph.D. degrees Prof. Samira Islam View Profile
Halah Alhamrani

Halah Alhamrani

Saudi Arabia’s 1st Female Boxing Trainer Halah Alhamrani View Profile
Dr. Asma Siddiki

Dr. Asma Siddiki

Senior Director for Special Projects, Emaar Economic City Dr. Asma Siddiki View Profile
Fatima Al Banawi

Fatima Al Banawi

UNAOC fellow, storyteller, star in ‘Barakah meets Barakah’ Fatima Al Banawi View Profile
Khaled Almaeena

Khaled Almaeena

Managing Director, Quartz Khaled Almaeena View Profile
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.
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)
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.
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.
Fatima Al Banawi
Fatima Al-Banawi holds a Masters Degree in Theological Studies with a focus on Women, Gender, and Islamic Studies from Harvard University. Prior to her masters, Al-Banawi graduated with a degree in Counseling Psychology and worked against violence at the Family Protection Society in her home city Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Al-Banawi combines consultancy, storytelling, and performance in her field to deepen the conversation and strengthen the bridge between social impact work and the arts. She has co-founded the Theatre of the Oppressed Jeddah Chapter in 2010 and staged one of its plays at Harvard Arab Weekend in 2014. Later in 2015, Al-Banawi launched The Other Story Project, a platform that documents personal life stories from people and reproduces them in art form; today’s almost 1500 collected story aim for psychosocial development and a shared humanity. In 2016, Al-Banawi became known for her debut in the celebrated Saudi feature film, Barakah Meets Barakah.
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.
Dania Khaled Al Maeena
Dania Khaled Al Maeena, is a Master’s degree holder in Mental Health from Queen Mary, University of London as well as a Bachelor’s degree from George Mason University in Psychology, she is currently the CEO of Aloula Non Profit Organization the first non profit in Saudi Arabia that aims at empowering generations. Dania previously lead Zahra Breast Cancer Association as well as the Mini Jobs initiative at the Ministry of Labor and social development in Saudi Arabia. Her career spans over the past 17 years with various programs and initiatives that help develop skills with Saudi youth as well as career counseling to enable them to unlock their hidden potential.

Dania's passion revolves around social work, and giving back to the underprivileged segments of our society specifically the empowerment of women and youth. She is also a sports advocate and is the co-founder of Riyadh United women's team.

Winner of Sayidaty Award in social and humanitarian work 2015.


Experienced CEO with a demonstrated history of working in the non-profit organization management industry. Skilled in Nonprofit Organizations with a focus on youth empowerment, Organizational Development, Event Management, Career Counseling, and Team Building. Strong business development professional with a Msc focused in Mental Health from University of London.
Lubna Qassim
Lubna Qassim is the Senior Executive Vice President, Group Chief General Counsel of Emirates NBD Bank PJSC and also their first female EXCO member. She has built and leads one of the best in-house legal teams in the Middle East as elected by The Legal 500 in 2016.

Lubna Qassim is a leading global lawyer, strategist and a strong advocate of governance and diversity & inclusion in the work place.

Lubna started her career in the corporate finance practice of the global magic circle law firm Clifford Chance between their Dubai and London offices for seven years. She was then asked to join the UAE Federal Government to contribute reform in a suite of economic legislations of the UAE and shape the UAE’s legal landscape.

Lubna is the first UAE National to have worked at the World Bank as the Public Sector Consultant and also at the House of Lords, Parliament of the UK.

Lubna sits on numerous boards and also appears frequently in media around the world such as CNN, BBC, CNBC and other broadcasters. She also lectures frequently at international conferences and gives tailored briefings to government leaders and corporate executives on global economic and legal trends.

She holds a Hons LLB from Brunel University in the UK and also Post Graduation Diploma from Leeds University and a Diploma in International relations from George Town University, Washington DC.

Born in the UAE, Lubna grew up between Dubai, Singapore and London. She is a global traveler. During moments away from her busy professional and personal life she enjoys reading, swimming and writing.
Caroline Faraj
Caroline Faraj, Vice President, Head of Arabic Services, joined CNN in 2001. Since then she has overseen the content and management of the CNN Arabic site, which she launched in 2002. In 2014 she led the site’s comprehensive re-launch to embrace rapidly evolving consumer needs.

Based in Dubai, she has overseen CNNArabic during a time of great regional upheaval, over a period which has encompassed the US-led invasion of Iraq, the Arabic spring and the rise of Islamist militant group ISIS. Before joining CNN, Faraj’s previous roles included senior political reporter for Al Rai – the leading Arabic daily newspaper in Jordan, managing editor for English-language newspaper the Jordan Times and regional correspondent for the US Defense News. She has also help position in London for Dubai TV and in Jordan for Bahrain TV. She also conceived and hosted Jordan’s first morning television talk show Youm Jadid.

Faraj was born in Amman, Jordan. She has a bachelor of arts in Journalism and Mass Communications – radio and television from Yarmouk University in Jordan and a master of arts in International Journalism from City University in London. Faraj is fluent in both Arabic and English.
Virginia Salas Kastilio
Virginia Salas Kastilio is the founder of “Gini.TV”, a disruptive media firm that helps businesses build influence and online awareness. A “third culture kid” who went to over a dozen different schools and managed over a billion dollars at Apple and Oracle without a degree, Virginia decided to start from scratch and build an online following. She has been named the #1 female snapchat influencer in the world and the hired gun behind organizations like the BBC, NASDAQ, and others.
Nicolla Hewitt
Nicolla Hewitt has nearly 30 years experience in US media, working for some of the best known companies in the world including ABC, CBS, NBC and Yahoo. Currently running her own PR company advising high profile individuals and non-profits, Miss Hewitt has a reputation for an in-depth understanding of international issues and global affairs, while delivering high value media placement for her clients.

Nicolla has served as an adviser to HRH The Prince of Wales for his “Turquoise Mountain” foundation for the preservation of Islamic art and economic empowerment in Afghanistan; Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Unite; and the Vital Voices Global Partnership founded by former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton which helps women in over 130 countries around the world. She is currently the Middle East advisor for “Girl Rising,” a film and NGO about equal access for girls to receive an education and access to sports as a way for women’s empowerment.

Miss Hewitt spent over 25 years as an award-winning US network TV news producer - working on esteemed programs such as “Today” and “60 Minutes,” producing interviews for ABC, CBS and NBC with Presidents, Heads of State, and high profile individuals.

Miss Hewitt holds a BA in Broadcast Journalism from Pepperdine University, and was a media fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute. She served on the board of UN Women for Peace, and volunteers her time to Stand up to Cancer and the Entertainment Industry Foundation in the United States. She has lived in New York, London, Los Angeles, Jordan, and currently resides in Egypt.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Dawn Metcalfe
Dawn Metcalfe is an executive coach, facilitator, trainer and leadership advisor. She is also the author of Managing the Matrix (published in both English and Arabic) and Hard Talk™. Dawn is the founder of Dubai based PDSi, which helps individuals and teams get even better at what they do, and has worked with business leaders around the world to change the way they see the world, their behaviour and their impact on others.

Her insights and straight-talking approach has kept her constantly in demand from large multinationals and government entities, across the Middle East, over the last 10 years. Dawn’s latest project, HardTalk, is an innovative programme designed to help people get better at having the difficult conversations needed for success.

Dawn writes and speaks regularly in various media both in the UAE and internationally. And can’t be stopped from tweeting.
Sheikha Al-Fulaij
Sheikha joined EY Kuwait office in February 2004 after graduating from Babson College in Boston, US; and currently serves as a Partner in our Assurance service line. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) since January 2005. Sheikha currently leads EY’s Women Fast Forward initiative in MENA, which aims to accelerate achievement of gender parity in the world. She is leading the National Graduate Development Program in EY Kuwait, promoting the National staff in Kuwait. She is a mentor in Women Mentor Forum (WMF) in Kuwait, a non-profit organisation which seeks to to support and nurture the growth of women in the private sector. During her career, she has gained broad experience in audit, accounting and related services. Her client industry focus is primarily Financial Services. Sheikha has been responsible for handling and concluding on more complex technical auditing and accounting issues for various clients. She has provided certain advisory services to the clients on various accounting, corporate, regulatory and financial issues. She has worked on various special compliance assignments and has advised clients on various regulatory issues relating to the Capital Markets Authority, Central Bank of Kuwait and Ministry of Commerce and Industry. She has also participated as a lecturer for many specialised training workshops for in-house staff and clients mainly relating to changes and improvements to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and other local regulatory requirements.


view all become a sponsor

LP WIL KSA Become a Sponsor

  • become a sponsor * Required

    Please complete the form below to become a sponsor and we will get in touch with you shortly.

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

Berkeley Research Group (BRG) is a leading global strategic advisory and expert consulting firm providing independent advice, data analytics, authoritative studies, expert testimony, investigations, regulatory and dispute consulting to Fortune 500 corporations, financial institutions, government agencies, major law firms, and regulatory bodies around the world.

BRG’s experts and consultants combine intellectual rigor with practical, real‐world experience and an in‐depth understanding of industries and markets. Their expertise spans economics and finance, data analytics and statistics, and public policy in many of major economic sectors; including labor, healthcare, banking, information technology, energy, construction, and real estate.

BRG has the agility to assemble teams with the specific, nuanced talent needed to address a particular problem and provide highly specialised and strategic advice. The firm draws on a strong foundation in data analytics, highly credentialed experts, prominent academics, CPAs, experienced business leaders, former government officials, and seasoned consultants.

BRG was named by Forbes as one of America’s Best Management Consulting Firms in 2017, and is headquartered in Emeryville, California, with offices across the United States and in Asia, Australia, Canada, Latin America, the Middle East, and the United Kingdom.

Berkeley Research Group
Level 29, Tower B
Olaya Towers
Saudi Arabia

T: +966 112978071
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
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
Alf Khair is a social enterprise founded in 2013 by HRH Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud, Riyadh Saudi Arabia.

Alf Khair strives to empower human capital and boost productivity in the nation, through a number of initiatives designed to educate, train and develop skills, and inspire the next generation of youth and entrepreneurs. Alf Khair aims to intellectually and emotionally challenge, the employed and unemployed to reach their highest potential in their personal and professional growth. We drive awareness and develop creative solutions to issues that have a Saudi and global impact. offers a peek into the lives of influential Arab women through award-winning features and real-life stories. The lifestyle platform pulls back the curtain on individuals who are defining cultural trends now and covers a wealth of diverse topics from fashion and beauty to travel and food: who to watch, what to wear, and everything else in-between.
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!
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.


  • award categories


    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


    • 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.


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

Request booking form

LP WIL16 Request Form

  • Register now* Required

    Complete the form below to register for your chosen package. Your booking form will be emailed to you within 24 hours of submission.

  • Price: $0.00
The prices above do not include the 10% DTCM fee levied by the government on any delegate for any event held in Dubai.

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.


similar platforms