Dr Aisha bin Bishr: The dream chaser
Believe in and pursue your dreams, the director-general of Smart Dubai Office tells Arab and Emirati women
Success cannot be attained without strong self-belief. The UAE has never said no to any woman who wants to pursue her dreams, said Dr Aisha bin Bishr, director-general of Smart Dubai Office.
"The only barrier between you and your dreams is yourself - believe it, pursue it and it is all yours. The strong support of the UAE leadership in encouraging women to come forward has not only helped them but also the country to achieve higher goals collectively," said Dr Bishr.
Prior to assuming her current role, Dr Bishr worked as assistant director-general of the executive office of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice-President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Part of her role was to lead the Smart Dubai task force team since the announcement of the Smart Dubai initiative in March 2014.
On how many smart projects her office has handled till date, she said: "We are on track to achieve the goal of 100 smart projects with 1,000 smart applications."
"We are committed to exploring and adopting the latest technology innovation to enhance city experiences. We believe that technology is the means to achieve the ultimate goal of a smart city - people's happiness. We will continue to unify all our efforts to achieve the vision of our wise leaders to increase the quality of life and happiness for all Dubai residents and visitors."
Dr Bishr also worked in the Ministry of Labour as an assistant undersecretary and has over 20 years of experience in information, communication and technology development in public and government sectors.
She holds a PhD in management, science, technology and innovation and master of philosophy in policy and research on engineering, science and technology from Manchester Business School. She also holds a bachelor of science in applied science (business information technology) from the Higher Colleges of Technology and a degree in public finance management from the Dubai School of Government and an Orchestrating Winning Performance Diploma from IMD.
Dr Bishr has received many awards; most recently, she was named the 'Leading Woman in the Public Sector 2015' at the Global Women In Leadership Economic Forum.
Addressing the 18th Women In Leadership Economic Forum recently, Dr Bishr called on every woman to rise up to the occasion and achieve her goals.
"The UAE alone has 66 per cent of women employees in government, which is the highest compared to other regions. No other government has achieved this sort of gender balance. We have the full support of our leadership on whatever we set our minds on," she said.
It may be recalled that Shaikh Mohammed had assigned the UAE Gender Balance Council to support the implementation of the Gender Inequality Index, which is issued annually by the United Nations Development Programme.
In line with the UAE Vision 2021, the Index is designed to enhance the country's efforts in driving women's participation in national development. The Council has been instructed to oversee the Index and the implementation of best practices and processes to ensure federal institutions achieve their gender balance targets, which will support the UAE's vision to become one of the world's top 25 countries for gender equality by 2021.
The council will implement a framework to consolidate the efforts of various government entities and further raise the UAE's international rank in gender equality.
Mona Ghanem Al Marri, vice-president of the UAE Gender Balance Council, was recently quoted on a government website saying: "In 2015, the UAE ranked 19th in the Global Gender Gap Report issued by the World Economic Forum, and first in the GCC and second in the Arab world in the Gender Inequality Index of the Human Development Report. This means all of us have a huge responsibility to harness our efforts to enhance women's participation across all sectors, which will further raise the UAE's ranking in international gender balance reports."
"Arab women and Emirati women need to stand up and stand high with curiosity that will help them achieve any vision they set for themselves. I am fully confident about the ability of our women to accomplish great things for our community and our region," Dr Bishr concluded.
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