Opening the Women in Leadership Forum in Abu Dhabi in November 2015, His Excellency Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy of the UAE said: “The UAE’s leadership is of the firm belief that gender equality is key to the success and prosperity of our country, and a prerequisite for the happiness and security of our citizens. We believe the active participation of women across various functions is imperative to address the global challenges that humanity faces today. Women in the country are running 11,000 businesses worth $5billion. We want to double, if not triple this in the next five years.”
The value of gender equality was emphasised by forum chairperson Ellen Ryan Mardiks, vice chair at Golin, who detailed how gender diversity at the top delivers 84% return on sales, 60% return on investment capital and a 34% higher total shareholder return.
Day two started with presentations from Karen Sutherland, VP of human resources at Innovative Medicines and Priya Srinivasan, VP of human resources international at AstraZeneca on the differences between female progression in emerging and established markets. Author Rania Habiby Anderson outlined the six successful habits of women in emerging markets.
Both days ended with workshops and open fishbowl conversations. The Women in Leadership awards were presented by Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori and Naseba chief executive Sophie Le Ray.
Women in leadership achievement awards
Leading businesswoman of the year
Hala Badri, executive vice president brand and communications, du
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 MEA, AstraZeneca
Best local initiative for women’s economic empowerment
Uforo Iban Uto Inwang, People, Environment and Sustainability Foundations (PEAS)
Best global initiative for women’s economic empowerment
EY, Women. Fast Forward
Most women-friendly employer
PepsiCo, Greater China Region
WIL honorary achievement award
Women’s empowerment recognition award
Almas Jiwani, president, UN Women Canada National Committee