Call to boost UAE women's role in research

Call to boost UAE womens role in research
Humaid Mansoor, Noor Shamma, Hala Al Turki and Aman Merchant attend a panel discussion during the National Treasure Initiative conference in Dubai on Wednesday.

By Staff Report

Published: Wed 28 Sep 2016, 7:45 PM

Last updated: Wed 28 Sep 2016, 9:50 PM

The two-day National Treasure Initiative conference concluded on Wednesday with a call for fostering creative leadership and enhancing women's role in research.

The final day's event by Knowledge Expansion and organised under the patronage of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry in partnership with Tejar Dubai, started with a message on sustainable living and value system of less waste to save planet earth by Setta Tutundjian, director of partnership and knowledge management, International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture.

An interactive session on creative confidence was a major attraction for young entrepreneurs and MBA students among the delegates.

The first session of the day was moderated by Aman Merchant, CEO and co-founder of Impact Hub, and panelists were Humaid Mansoor, managing director, Medicure Group, Noor Shamma, arte-prenuer and founder of Postcard Initiative, and Hala Al Turki, CEO of Kwn Education.

Another highlight of the day was a panel discussion on the new generation of women in science. The panelists included four women speakers, Dr Maryam Matar, Dr Hayat Sindi, Dr Habiba Al Safar and Setta Tutundjian, who discussed the opportunities of bringing more women in research and the scientific landscape.

Dr Maryam emphasised that women carry the unique perspective, wisdom and skills and are an underutilised section of the community.

Dr Sindi shared her global experience of how women finish their college education in science but end up in human relations. She emphasised that education for young women is the key to fill the gender gap.

Dr Setta explained how stereotyping limits women to science and stops them to grow in the science and research sector. She explained her personal experience of how the business community in general does not give weight to a woman's perspective in the workplace.

Dr Habiba said that 75 per cent of UAE women study science but still professionally they lack in building on their education and make a career in science.

Keeping to the theme of "execution," all the panelists agreed that creating role models for young women is a very beneficial step towards creating increased presence for women in the science and research landscape.

Panelists also agreed that the UAE women enjoy a very positive place in society due to the support of the UAE leadership, however, the wider Arab region and elsewhere globally, the women may not get the same platform, according to the panelists.

The panelists emphasised that we must address the different stakeholders who can realise equality and give women equal opportunities in all professional fields.

Other speakers of the morning included Fahima Al Bastaki, executive vice-president - head of business development division at Dubai Financial Market (DFM), and Khaled Habeeb AlAttar, executive board member and M.E regional manager EMMA for Peace.

Essa Al Zaabi, senior vice-president, institutional support services Sector, Dubai Chamber, and general coordinator, Tejar Dubai, said: "By all accounts, the two-day conference was a huge success as the attendees, mostly participants of Dubai Chamber's Tejar Dubai entrepreneurship development programme and management students, got rich and insightful visions and experiences by experts in the field which I am sure they will put to good use in their future business and careers."

Neha Shaikh, co-founder of National Treasure, said the National Treasure will continue to bring more innovative ideas and platforms in the future and expects the conference to return in 2017.


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