Leading business executives call for self-awareness & quantifiable datato advance gender equality in the workplace at NAMA event

Leading business executives call for self-awareness & quantifiable data to advance gender equality in the workplace at NAMA event

Recommendations on actionable strategies specific to the MENASA region put forth during NAMA Women Advancement’s second ‘Connect with Irtiqa’ round table event 


Sharjah, November 04, 2022

Continuing its mission to uphold and implement gender equitable principles, the NAMA Women Advancement (NAMA) introduced fresh momentum to conversations geared towards boosting the private sector’s inclusion of women in the workplace during its second ‘Connect with Irtiqa’ roundtable held under its Irtiqa initiative, on November 3, at the House of Wisdom in Sharjah.

Titled ‘Women in the Workplace: Setting a Roadmap for Gender Equality’ welcomed 50+ attendees – high-level representatives from medium- and large-sized private companies, government and semi-government personnel, as well as a group of influencers including media personnel, where attendees got to share challenges faced at the workplace and ask for advice.

The event featured a panel discussion to explore effective and actionable strategies for women’s inclusion in the workplace. Moderated by Rima Farrage, Senior Producer & Presenter at Forbes Middle East, the discussion was led by top private sector executives, namely, Carlina Marani, Managing Director Growth Markets, Accenture Middle East; Nada Taryam, Managing Director, Civil & Architectural Projects, Bee’ah; Bedriya Alsaeed, Employee Engagement Manager, MBC Group; and Paula Newby, CEO, Predixa. 

During the interactive session, several valuable insights on the opportunities for advancing gender equality in the workplace were presented. The speakers delved into their own experiences and shared a number of  key learnings and recommendations , including: finding tangible solutions to shift the mark on the gender map; increased male representation in panels and forums addressing women issues, more self-awareness to uncovering biases; active listening to expand horizons for multiple point of views; finding like-minded personalities for enhanced discussions; researching and quantifying all available data; and, setting strategies to conceive the changes of time.

Reem BinKaram, Director of NAMA, said: “According to the World Bank’s Women, Business and the Law 2022 report, around 2.4 billion women of working age are not afforded equal economic opportunity. At NAMA Women Advancement, we believe we can make a difference; we take meaningful action to bridge the gender divide that continues to affect  our workplaces and economies. And needless to say, this cannot be achieved without support from the private sector, which occupies a giant share of the global workforce and economy”.

“This is the reason why NAMA’s Itriqa initiative was launched in the first place”, she further noted, thanking the event’s distinguished attendees for their participation at the roundtable. “Regional and global efforts must come together to drastically address the systemic and underlying barriers that have been holding several generations of women back from realising their true potential, including at their places of work. I hope that through our discussions today, we are able to put forth valuable and actionable recommendations and continue to consolidate our role as leaders in women’s advancement.”

During the panel discussion, Paula Newby, CEO, Predixa said: “To become the needle of change, aspects of gender equality and women’s empowerment need to be quantified with data, to showcase the improvements. Only then will you get the support of the leadership who will help the momentum to continue.”

Sharing her personal journey to nurturing a society of inclusion, Nada Taryam, Managing Director, Civil & Architectural Projects, Bee’ah said: “I was fortunate enough to receive support in the beginning of my career to progress and build confidence to become the person I am today. It is this kind of support that shifts the world to becoming a better place.”

Bedriya Alsaeed, Employee Engagement Manager, MBC Group said: “Culture is what we determine it to be, so let us collectively together bring out the best in others to make it the best culture we can have.”

Carlina Marani, Managing Director Growth Markets, Accenture Middle East added that more women need to take life into their own hands. “Women need to make more tough decisions and have conversations surrounding their dreams and aspirations with their employers and partners. I believe that making ourselves clear will make it less difficult for making things happen.”

With this second roundtable, Irtiqa has once again offered a vibrant networking and advocacy platform to discuss, influence and address challenges related to women’s inclusion in the private sector. The event featured  geographically relevant conversations and shared key findings on the status of gender equality in the private sector, and offered actionable recommendations for the creation of more equitable , inclusive and diverse workplaces across the MENASA region. 

NAMA will continue its efforts with three more networking events planned for 2023.

-ENDS-

Attached images:

  1. Group photo for Reem BinKaram, Director of NAMA; Nada Taryam, Managing Director, Civil & Architectural Projects, Bee’ah; Bedriya Alsaeed, Employee Engagement Manager, MBC Group; Rima Farrage, Senior Producer & Presenter at Forbes Middle East; Carlina Marani, Managing Director Growth Markets, Accenture Middle East; and Paula Newby, CEO, Predixa

2-5) Selection of images from ‘Connect with Irtiqa’ roundtable

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