The Sharjah Business Women Council (SBWC) has recently participated in the 17th edition of the Women in Leadership (WIL) Economic Forum held in Abu Dhabi on November 2 -3 to discuss major challenges facing women in the job market.
The forum was held with the participation of a number of international and local experts in the field of entrepreneurship and sought through its sessions and parallel events to strengthen the role of women in leadership roles of the future and championing gender diversity.
Key business and thought leaders from around the world discussed a wide spectrum of topics and shared knowledge and expertise through dynamic sessions and focused networking activities. The forum highlighted a host of topics, including diversity and inclusion, women in the technologies of future, women entrepreneurship, gender diversity and best practices from prominent leaders in the public and private sectors.
The session called “Future building: Accelerating women’s advancement to achieve global gender parity” saw an in-depth debate about the need to enhance the workplace environment to help give women equal opportunities in holding leadership positions and practicing business activity without discrimination.
The session saw the participation of H.E Ameera BinKaram, Chairperson of SBWC, Almas Jiwani, President of United Nations Women National Committee and Sallyann Della Casa, founder and President of the Growing Leaders Foundation. The session was moderated by Lindsay Degouve De Nuncques, Head of ACCA Middle East.
During the session, HE Ameera BinKaram said, “The SBWC’s participation in the forum comes in line with its eagerness to strengthen the work environment for women in Sharjah, and help them to enter into the world of business, as well as to meet and network with businesswomen from around the world to share experiences and expertise. Our participation reflects our keenness to continue our quest to support and empower women, as well as to defeat challenges facing business women by turning challenges into real opportunities. We do this through our collaboration with our strategic partners in the Ministry of Economy and a number of other government departments. We are confident that women are able to prove themselves in the public and private sectors if they are provided with adequate support.”
She added, “A UAE’s comprehensive survey on the rates of Emirati women’s participation in the private sector is a must due to the importance of data in identifying weaknesses and developing the necessary plans to address them.”
In closing, BinKaram outlined the best mechanisms needed to provide support to female entrepreneurs and business women in the public and private sectors. She called for the need to apply a quota system so as to allocate fixed percentage for women’s representation in the Federal National Council, which will contribute significantly to giving women more opportunities that strengthen their presence in the legislature. This will send positive signs that encourage other women to assume leadership positions in public and private companies, she said.
The Women in Leadership Forum has been actively promoting economic empowerment of women as well as diversity and inclusion in the workplace since its inception in 1999. This year’s edition witnessed WIL Global Achievement Awards ceremony which honours leading businesswomen, entrepreneurs, male champions of change and leading organisations for recognizing the development of professional women in leadership.
Established in 2002, the Sharjah Business Women Council aims to create and enhance the work environment for women as well as to train and prepare women to enter into private economic activities and enhance their participation in social and economic development. To achieve its goals, SBWC regularly organises a variety of programs, initiatives and activities, including conferences, seminars, workshops, studies and research, in addition to forging partnerships with government and private bodies and foundations in the UAE and beyond.