Forum set the stage for leaders from fields as diverse as business, politics, social entrepreneurship and medical to converge to further women empowerment
INSEAD, the leading international business school, celebrated International Women’s Day this year by bringing together leaders from the fields of business, politics, social entrepreneurship and medical to a unique platform, the ‘Inspire, Impact, Empower’ forum, held at the business school’s Middle East campus in Abu Dhabi and sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company.
Xiaowei Rose Luo, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise, INSEAD delivered the opening speech. The illustrious speaker lineup for the dialogue and debate segment included H.E. Ameera Abdelrahim BinKaram, Chairperson, Sharjah Business Women Council; Dr. Mona AlMunajjed, Sociologist, Author and Advisor on Gender/Social Issues; Miriam Farshoukh, Public Affairs and Communications Manager, The Coca-Cola Company, Middle East Region; H.E. Dr. Maryam Matar, Founder and Chairperson, UAE Genetic Diseases Association (UAEGDA); H.E. Sara Ibrahim Shuhail, General Director, Ewa’a Shelters and Eithne Treanor, Founder & Managing Director, E Treanor Media.
Miguel Sousa Lobo, Associate Professor of Decision Sciences, Director of the Abu Dhabi Campus, INSEAD, who
welcomed the attendees, commented, “The UAE leadership has shown a commendable commitment to advancing the role of women in society, business and politics. Our speaker lineup here today is testament to that. We anticipate that all those attending are inspired by the success stories shared by the women who have come together for a dialogue and who are paving the way to new ideas and to a more gender-equal society.”
H.E. Ameera Abdelrahim BinKaram added: “the more choices and opportunities that are offered to women in economical, professional and social fields, the more the world advances. This advancement will not only be on women empowerment standards, but will also reach the whole community with it. The world of is full of opportunities, and we want women to reach their full potential and turn their dreams into reality. Over the years Sharjah Business Women Council (SBWC) has launched many initiatives to support women in creating a strong foothold in economic and social sectors of the UAE. Initiatives like Jeel and Badiri aim to inspire women to launch their own business by empowering them through trainings and workshops so that they can create an impact on society.”
From the sponsor’s side, Miriam Farshoukh, Public Affairs and Communications Manager, Coca-Cola Middle East added: “5by20 is The Coca-Cola Company’s global commitment to enable the economic empowerment of 5 million women entrepreneurs across the company’s value chain by 2020. From fruit farmers across the African sub-continent to artisans in Egypt, this initiative aims to help women overcome the barriers they face to business success.
At The Coca-Cola Company we believe there is no better investment than women to spur economic growth and foster sustainable development. Through forming global and regional partnerships with various nonprofits, we bring different and valuable skills to the table to address these issues and scale for impact.
We would like to thank INSEAD for organizing the INSPIRE-IMPACT-EMPOWER Forum in celebration of International Women’s Day and creating value for attendees. Through a strong speaker lineup from various sectors, we were inspired by the best practices from the UAE and GCC on women empowerment programs and achievements.”
Recently seven women1 have been appointed to the 29-member Cabinet of the UAE, including one to serve as the new Minister of State for Happiness. The Global Gender Gap Index2 2015 compiled by the World Economic Forum gave the UAE a score of 0.646 – where 0 is total inequality and 1 is total equality. The report found the UAE ranked number one in literacy levels and enrolment in secondary education for women.