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UAE’s WIL Economic Forum to present women as catalysts for economic growth

The Global WIL Economic Forum is focused on educating stakeholders and society

The UAE Ministry of Economy and naseba, a French business facilitation company with presence in major cities across the Middle East, Africa, North America and Asia, announced that the 17th edition of the Global Women in Leadership (WIL) Economic Forum will focus on highlighting the essential role of women in driving the country’s economic growth.

Unveiling the agenda for the 2015 Economic Forum, H.E. Eng. Mohammed Al Shihhi, Undersecretary for Economic affairs, UAE’s Ministry of Economy also confirmed that this years’ event will be organized in National Capital of Abu Dhabi.

Scheduled to be held from 2nd – 3rd November 2015 at the Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi, the WIL Economic Forum that is organized under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Economy, will witness participation from leading government and corporate leaders from the UAE, Middle East and around the world. These eminent and inspirational leaders will share their insights on various topics through interactive plenary sessions, keynote speeches, dedicated topical break-out streams and focused networking activities.

His Excellency Al Shihhi, said: “The Father of our Nation, His Highness Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan was a staunch proponent of women empowerment and he always stressed that women comprise nearly half of the society, and that no country can progress without developing this significant half.” He further added, “The UAE’s leadership is committed to continue working towards realizing his vision and our support for the Global WIL Economic Forum is yet another testament to that promise.”

“We are excited to witness the ever increasing level of global participation in the WIL Economic Forum and are confident that the insights and best practices shared by the luminaries in this years’ Economic Forum will inspire Emirati women to realize their full potential and eventually work towards developing the UAE as a progressive and economically prosperous nation,” concluded Al Shihhi.

Diversity and inclusion, role of women in shaping the technologies of future, female entrepreneurship, championing gender diversity and best practices from prominent leaders in the public and private sectors will be some of the key highlights of this year’s event.

Sophie Le Ray, Chief Executive Officer of naseba, said: “Women are accountable for approximately USD 20 trillion of consumer spending worldwide, which makes them the most dynamic and fastest growing economic force in the world; by 2017, women are expected to control $28 trillion of global consumer spending.” She added, “These are compelling statistics and just one of the many reasons why an increased participation from women at workplace is imperative. Advancing the role of women at work can help the government and the community transform an economic agenda into one that is based on the principles of equality and human well-being. This transformation is needed in all countries and requires action from the private sector as well as the government.”

“The Global WIL Economic Forum is focused on educating stakeholders and society at large to leave a legacy for the next generation by building on a more sustainable, rich and diverse society by promoting economic development through female entrepreneurship, expanding investment and trade opportunities for businesswomen, and by creating a culture that embraces diversity and inclusion to enhance the competitive spirit,” she added.

“At PepsiCo, we believe that diversity and inclusion is good for business and for society. Around the world we are committed to bridging the gender gap and to contributing to women’s economic empowerment. We are focused on increasing female participation in the workforce and strive to grow the number of women leaders in our company through several initiatives and platforms in each of the countries in which we operate, including in the Middle East. We look forward to the Global Women in Leadership Conference, a platform that will enable sharing of best practices with other stakeholders on issues of great importance for both the region and the world,” commented Noha Hefny, Director of Corporate Affairs, PepsiCo Middle East & Africa.

The Women in Leadership Forum has been actively promoting economic empowerment of women as well as diversity and inclusion in the workplace since its launch in 2009. The event also witnesses Global WIL Achievement Awards Ceremony which honors leading businesswomen, entrepreneurs, male champions of change and leading organizations for recognizing the development of professional women in leadership.

The key sponsors and partners for 2015 Global WIL Economic Forum include Roche, PepsiCo, AMGEN, FedEx, BCG, MerckSerono, EY, Sodexo and GolinMENA.