With COVID-19 radically transforming the professional landscape, whether for better or worse, a few things soon became apparent. In addition to the sudden mass-migration to remote working, technology took center stage like never before. From video conferencing to cloud services, during a time when social distancing could make the difference between life or death, we’ve never been as grateful for technology – in the professional world or otherwise.
In addition to increased demand for services like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Drive, LinkedIn became the world’s go-to destination for professional discourse, not to mention the site rising to the occasion as a platform many people head to in search for jobs, especially considering the mass layoffs that have happened worldwide since the pandemic.
In recently released statistics, the company said it has has over 706 million users, which is an 11% increase from the 630 million it had last June. The company also witnessed a 25% increase in messages sent on the platform since last year, a 50% increase in people sharing content, and more than 1 million hours of learning consumed every week.
So, with this increased activity in mind, LinkedIn has announced this week its second annual Top Voices list in the Gulf, which selects the top 15 local experts driving today’s professional conversations and making the biggest impact on the platform.
“Through their posts, videos or analysis on insightful articles, these selected professionals are fostering meaningful discussions and engaging members on the platform in dialogue as well as keeping them better informed on the latest from around the region,” the company said.
So, who has been identified as a Top Voice and why?
The Top Voices list for 2020 in the GCC region includes:
- Alaa Alhashem, Business and Financial Advisor
- Arjun Vir Singh, Board Member, MENA Fintech Association
- Claudia Vergueiro Massei, CEO, Siemens Oman
- David Mackenzie, Group Managing Director, Mackenzie Jones Group & Founder, [email protected] ME
- Israa Garatli, Founder, Resume Reborn
- Loic Morel, Head of Trade Finance, Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP)
- Lucy Chow, Senator representing UAE, World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF)
- Maisa Al-Haddad, Vice President, Treasury Investment, Gulf International Bank
- Mo Ali Yusuf, Regional Manager, Checkout.com
- Nada AlHarthi, Vice President of Business Affairs, Zain KSA
- Najla Al-Midfa, CEO, Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa)
- Nimer Yasin, Digital Payments Business Leader
- Riyadh Al-Najjar, KSA Country Leader – Transformation Management Leader, PwC Middle East
- Robert Abboud, MENA Financial Services Market Segment Leader, EY
- Zeta Yarwood, Executive Personal Development & Career Coach
Methodology and selection
To uncover these ‘voices’, LinkedIn leveraged a combination of qualitative and quantitative measures. The list measured all sharing activity over a period of 12 months between October 1, 2019, and September 30, 2020. Top Voices honorees from 2019 were excluded from consideration in order to highlight new voices
Lynn Chouman and Salma Altantawy, LinkedIn’s MENA editors, studied engagement among regional professionals sharing insights in their area of expertise and looked deeper into the consequent conversations they brought about, through comments and re-shares, as well as posting frequency and follower growth. As part of the qualitative analysis, LinkedIn News Editors refined and curated the list by assessing whether the contributions are insightful, conversational and timely, and whether they seek to give and get help.
Salma Altantawy, MENA News Editor at LinkedIn, said: “As a result of the pandemic, conversations and engagement across the platform significantly increased this year as members sought to utilize the platform to learn, inform, remain up to date with the latest developments and share their thoughts on topics that are important to them. The GCC region’s Top Voices 2020 list celebrates these individuals who, throughout the year, have played an influential role in this thriving social and professional community.”
This year’s Top Voices shared with LinkedIn what they talk about, and their best advice to create engaging conversations on the platform. You can find the full selection and breakdown here.