WIL Sophie Le Ray and Hind AlYouha

WIL Economic Forum to unite 300 global business and thought leaders for economic empowerment of women

: Tuesday, May 20 - 2014 @ 14:11

naseba, a French business facilitation company with on-the-ground presence in major cities across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, today announced the 16th global edition of the Women in Leadership (WIL) Economic Forum will be held in Dubai later this year under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Economy.

Scheduled to run from 19-20 November at Meydan Hotel, Dubai’s award-winning sports resort, the landmark event will gather key business and thought leaders from around the world to mull significant issues in women’s leadership and empowerment. The current edition will focus primarily on gender parity in business and the corporate world, as well as the promotion of economic development through female entrepreneurship.

Under the broad spectrum of gender parity, topics of focus will include ‘womenomics’, diversity and inclusion (D&I) strategies, women shaping the future of investments, role of women in corporate governance, challenges faced by women in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, as well as the media’s role in positioning women in business, politics and leadership.

The forum will also highlight potential business and investment opportunities, besides exploring possibilities for government and private sector partnerships with a view to advancing economic opportunities for women. Additionally, it will examine the important role of men as champions of change.

Hind Yousef AlYouha Director, Strategic Planning and Performance at the Ministry of Economy, said: “We feel extremely proud that the UAE has been chosen as the venue for this global event. It is just one more affirmation of our nation’s culture and progress in various fields, primarily with regard to the empowerment of our women. Women have been at the forefront of the UAE’s educational, economic, social, political and cultural progress and are today counted among the top business and thought leaders of the country.”

AlYouha added: “Emirati women have gone on to become federal ministers, judges, CEOs, senior management professionals in diverse sectors and even emerged as international award winning athletes and sports persons. In fact, the UAE is seen as a leader of women’s rights for the entire Arab world. Given this progressive track record, it was imperative for the Ministry of Economy to extend support to the WIL Economic Forum.”

Apart from inspirational talks, panel discussions, talk shows and keynote addresses, the event will also witness the WIL Achievement Awards ceremony that recognizes individuals and institutions who have significantly championed the cause of women empowerment. The forum will also provide participants with opportunities for networking and holding open business meetings.

Sophie Le Ray, Chief Executive Officer of naseba, said: “Women’s participation has been proven time and again to provide added momentum to economic growth at national and global levels. The fact remains, however, that gender disparity looms large as a challenge to the overall productivity at both micro and macroeconomic levels.

“For a region where SMEs comprise 95% of private enterprises, MENA has a negligible 2.5% of women entrepreneurs to speak of, which is an issue that deserves urgent attention. As pioneers of change, the UAE aims to lead the way forward to comprehensive gender parity through leveraging public-private partnership (PPP) in the region.”

She added: “The WIL Economic Forum aims to engage some of the best brains in the world to promote gender parity in the workplace as well as to generate ideas and platforms for women’s empowerment at educational, professional and entrepreneurial levels. We expect the forum to fast-track the creation of economic opportunities for women, particularly in the MENA region where the potential is as yet under-tapped.”

Interestingly, the body of sponsors for the forum comprises entities that have successfully incorporated gender parity at the corporate level with spectacular results, as well as successful multinational companies that support female entrepreneurship. Event sponsors include leading multinational business organizations Pfizer, Roche, Coca-Cola, AIG, Fedex, London Business School and APCO Worldwide.

The 16th Global Edition WIL Economic Forum will additionally serve as a platform to explore opportunities for female corporate leadership in the light of Dubai World Expo 2020 outing. The WIL Forum series of initiatives has been actively promoting economic empowerment of women as well as diversity and inclusion in the workplace since its launch in 1999.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Mathilda Saad
APCO Worldwide
Tel: +971 4 361 3879
Mobile: +971 55 6999 890

Elizabeth Cook
APCO Worldwide
Direct: +971 4 369 2929
Mobile: +971 55 597 5744
Fax: +9714 388 8001

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Tuesday, May 20- 2014 @ 14:11 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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