Business women are more inspirational than ever today

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Business women are more inspirational than ever today
Speakers at a panel discussion at the Middle East Retail Forum in Dubai on Wednesday.

dubai - Women are increasingly taking on leadership roles in different industries across the UAE


Rohma Sadaqat

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Published: Wed 12 Oct 2016, 7:49 PM

Last updated: Wed 12 Oct 2016, 9:54 PM

Business women in the UAE today are inspirational role models to young entrepreneurs due to their dedication and results-oriented approach, experts at the fifth edition of the Middle East Retail Forum said.

Speaking in an interview on the sidelines of the event, Aiisha Ramadan, fashion designer and founder of Aiisha, noted that women today are increasingly taking on leadership roles in different industries across the UAE.

"The woman of today isn't afraid to step into a leadership role," Ramadan said. "She is a global citizen, who is well-travelled, and as a result of her travels, has a lot of expertise in her domain. In addition, she also has a lot of knowledge about different fields related to her work. Business women in the UAE are also very well connected to the people around them, and as a result are seen as being very business-savvy."

Ramadan also explained that business women are increasingly becoming very tech-savvy in the UAE. This, she noted, has not always been the case, but women today are aware about the technology around them and using it to improve their businesses.

"Before, a lot of women used to rely on others to come and help them with any technology matters, but today they know the value of keeping up with the latest technological advancements and how they can be used to improve their lives. Even if they don't work directly in an IT department, they know how important it is to utilise technology in their business ventures."

Ramadan, who started her couture clothing line from the UAE in 2007, has won a number of awards such as the 'Young Designer of the Year' by Swarovski and Al Ghurair Center Award. Ramadan was named one of '30 Most Awesome Women in the Arab World' in 2009 by Arabian Woman Magazine, and she was also awarded The Gr8! Women Achiever Awards in 2011.

Asked about the challenges that women in the UAE continue to face, Ramadan noted that many women wished for greater working flexibility, especially if they were raising a family with young kids. Many women, she said, were encouraged to start their own businesses due to the flexibility it provided them.

Ramadan's observation was echoed by Mona Ataya, founder and CEO of, who noted that there has been a steady increase in the number of women entrepreneurs in the region.

"While there has been an increase in the number of women at the executive level in a company, it is also true that more and more women have the technical skills to build their own businesses today," Ataya said. "Women are also more dedicated workers due to the very nature of the multiple roles they play in society. A woman today can be a mother, a daughter, a wife, a housekeeper and run her own business. She can effortlessly multi-task and remain focused on her goals."

Ataya also noted that there has been a shift in recent years to accommodate more women in the workforce by offering flexible working hours and a model where she can work from home after her maternity leave. She said the UAE has been instrumental in this shift, and that she hoped that more companies would look into adopting such practices in the future.


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