HEC Paris in Qatar and the French Embassy virtual panel highlights the evolution of the role of women in QNV2030 in the context of global pandemics
An online panel discussion recently held to explore women’s contribution to the Qatar National Vision 2030, has concluded that female participation is helping to achieve the nation’s goals.
Jointly organized by HEC Paris, ranked #1 in the Financial Times European Business Schools Rankings, and the French Embassy in Qatar, the online discussion, which was open to the general public, was aimed at promoting contribution and leadership of women in all aspects of society. The two-hour event themed ‘Women & Qatar National Vision 2030: Contributions, Perspectives and Leadership’ attracted an audience from within and outside the country.
Opened by Dr. Pablo Martin de Holan, Dean of HEC Paris in Qatar, along with His Excellency Mr. Franck Gellet, French Ambassador to Qatar, the event was moderated by Dr. Amal Al Malki, the Founding Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Hamad Bin Khalifa University. She posited that while evidence points to Qatar’s success in engaging women, female participation would need to be re-activated post the pandemic.
“The progress in realizing the Qatar National Vision 2030 in issues pertaining to women participation and empowerment in the different fields in Qatar has been evident. Many success stories have been celebrated locally and internationally however, it is paramount that we take stock of what has been achieved, and investigate the losses caused by the global pandemic and start planning for a recovery,” Dr. Al Malki said.
The discussions centered around the views of three Qatari women leaders representing the financial, energy and telecommunication sectors.
Panelist Sheikha Alanoud Hamad Al-Thani, Managing Director of Business Development at the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Authority described 2020 as “a transformational year” in which the world witnessed unprecedented challenges that changed societal dynamics and instigated a ‘new normal’.
“This gives us no choice but to adapt and strive to navigate the turbulences. The financial services industry is no exception, however it faired relatively well in navigating the COVID-19 implications, backed by the swift response of Qatar’s wise management,” she said.
Sheikha Alanoud said the pre-pandemic human and community development reforms guided by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser have seen women establish themselves as a formidable part of Qatar’s workforce and that QFC’s own business environment is focused on nurturing female empowerment and leadership.
Majda Soussi, Regional Communications Manager at ENGIE in the Middle East and Africa region, and Head of the Women in Networking (WIN) Group said her employer prioritized gender diversity with Engie’s executive committee being 40% female and the company recognizing the business case for diversity.
“Gender equality benefits all sides and falls in line with fundamental values of diversity, inclusivity and justice. Gender diversity is no longer a nice-to have but a business priority to increase efficiency,” she said.
Munera Al-Dosari, Chief Strategy Officer at Ooredoo, said digitalization, which had picked up speed during the pandemic, was opening up increased knowledge-based opportunities for women.
“The pandemic created opportunities in different sectors. For example in education, with a lot of courses available online women can take the opportunity to up-skill or start a new innovative business model online,” she explained.
Reflecting on the event, Ambassador Gellet said the French Embassy was “very proud to have co-organized this panel discussion, which has allowed us to hear from different perspectives of women in relation to the Qatar National Vision 2030 and, more widely, to the future of Qatar, which is a major friend and partner of France.”
HEC Paris meanwhile stressed its commitment to promoting the role of women in the Qatar National Vision 2030 and their participation in all aspects of society. “Evidence shows that diversity improves performance and outcomes. At HEC Paris in Qatar, we aim to emphasize diversity in our programs, and particularly empower more women to achieve leadership roles and build their professional careers. We recognize women’s exceptional accomplishments and their ability to lead to a better and more sustainable world in their respective areas of influence. Diversity benefits us all”, said Dean Martin de Holan.