Why women can have it all!


Why women can have it all!

Emirati entrepreneur Dr Walaa Ahmed Al Shehhi tells us how women can do everything they set out to if they just believe in themselves

By Neha Mahamood

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Published: Sun 10 Mar 2019, 9:45 AM

Last updated: Sun 17 Mar 2019, 7:01 PM

Women's empowerment is all the rage now. Be it in media, politics, sports or any other field that was male dominated until only a few years ago, today the fairer sex has regained their footing and is no longer shy to reclaim their voice.
Adding to the cause, we celebrated Women's Day yesterday and we are all for acknowledging everything women do, most of which either go unnoticed or pushed under the rug.
If we stop to think about it, women should be acknowledged every single day, but when we are a race that needs Facebook to remind us of our loved one's birthdays, how are we to celebrate the everyday women in our lives?
Despite all that they do, women really do sometimes go unnoticed and tend to be wallflowers in their own lives. In The Holiday when Kate Winslet said, "You're supposed to be the leading lady of your own life," we felt that. It gave rise in us to questions like 'Can women have it all?' 'Is it even possible to put themselves first without the ensuing guilt that inevitably follows?'
Our quest for such a woman led us to the Emirati entrepreneur Dr. Walaa Ahmed Al Shehhi who has qualifications and certificates that would be the envy of many.
With over 15 years of experience in business and engineering; her exemplary leadership skills have continued to propel her to greater heights in the male-dominated field. These skills have enabled her to hone her talent as a woman entrepreneur. 
As a firm believer in women's empowerment, Dr. Walaa, a Lecturer and Writer, attributes her career growth to her determination, focus, and hard work. She is a dedicated Life Coach and Trainer as well as an expert in self-development, motivation and creativity. Her expertise also cuts across inner power, healing, and meditation - assets she passionately uses to navigate the tough and sometimes demanding life of an engineer.
Holding a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering, she went on to get an MBA and then her Ph.D in Managing Engineering Projects and Advance Strategies and Business Administration.
She was clearly on a war path to obliterate anyone who would ever stop her by saying she was not qualified enough. She went on to get Diplomas in several fields including Human Relations Engineering, Time Management, Strategic Thinking and Planning, 6 Sigma - Green Belt, and Certified Reiki healer among others.
Also a motivational speaker and writer, she reads and writes poetry among her plethora of achievements and interests.
We were curious to know more about this UAE national and her thoughts on women's empowerment. Here's a snippet of our conversation:
Growing up did you face any challenges or sexism?
Yes; but not too much. As we are in UAE we have all the laws and strategies to support women empowerment in all areas in society. But my challenge was with the awareness and the attitude of some people in that they only see a woman as a housewife and not someone who needs to follow her dreams.
What motivated you to pursue so many qualifications?
Even through difficulties my mother always told me, 'You can do it. You have it in your heart and soul to do it.' She believed in me. Also surrounding myself with people giving me the same power was essential.
More importantly I believed in myself and my inner power. I believed that I could do it.
Emirati women have come a long way in a very short time. How do you feel being part of history in the making?
I am proud of all the Emirati women including myself. It feels like owning a golden medal in the race of life.
Considering that the world celebrated Women's Day yesterday, how important do you think it is for women to be celebrated and acknowledged?
Very important; some women aren't even aware that such a day exists but when they hear about the motivation and success stories of others they get inspired. My experiences too have changed the lives and perspective of a lot of women.
Some say women can't have it all, they have to prioritise and be selective with their ambitions. Do you think women can have it all? What's your advice for women who strive to have it all?
In my point of view; we can have it all. I believe that everything will come to you at the right time; you just need to work hard. But prioritise and don't kill yourself over it. Continuity is the secret to success. Even if it takes time or you face obstacles, keep going.
Who are some of the most inspirational women in your life?
My mother, Khadija (our Prophet Muhammed's (PBUH) wife), Oprah Winfrey, Maryam Al Dakheel and Mother Teresa.
Do you think age is a detriment when it comes to women being in the limelight? Is it a deciding factor when it comes to their success?
Not at all; age is just a number. Wisdom is not age; wisdom is experience.
You've been on multiple media platforms. How does it feel being one of the faces behind the process of women's empowerment?
It's a big responsibility. When you're on stage, people look at you and may be looking up to you. You may be a role model to the audience. So you need to be true to yourself and work from the heart.
Women in the UAE, Emirati and non-Emirati, look up to you as an inspiration. What advise do you have for them to reach their potential?
Believe in your inner power that you can make miracles. You are in charge of your life; the decision is yours and the choice is yours. Never think you are week as history shows us we are stronger than we think. Lastly love yourself and you'll reach your inner peace.

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