SHARJAH: The American University of Sharjah (AUS) will be the official Knowledge Partner of the Naseba Global Women in Leadership (WIL) Economic Forum, an event bringing together more than 500 global business leaders, educators, policy-makers, entrepreneurs, NGOs, artists and youth to champion diversity as the cornerstone of sustainable economic development. Noura Al Kaabi, UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development; Dr Auma Obama, Founder and Director of Sauti Kuu Foundation; and Haben Girma, Global Inclusion Advocate, President Obama Champion of Change, are some of the speakers at this year’s event.
As Knowledge Partner, AUS will provide expertise and support to the event. “The Butterfly Effect – From Intent to Impact” is the theme for this year’s forum and will focus on enacting social change through women’s leadership in social entrepreneurship, impact investment, philanthropy, diversity and inclusion, education and the arts.
AUS is well placed to support the forum as Knowledge Partner, with half of its students being women, and producing a significant number of the region’s female graduates in the traditionally-male dominated STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Women are also well represented in senior management positions at the university, with the Office of the Provost and Office of the Chief Operating Officer both occupied by women.
More than 50 female students from the university will be given the opportunity to attend the Forum as special VIP guests, provided with back-stage access to some of the event’s high-profile contributors. The students are also invited to take part in roundtable discussions to debate key issues raised at the forum. The students represent all four AUS colleges and School of Business, and are studying a variety of disciplines including arts, architecture, business, as well as the STEM subjects of science, mathematics, technology and engineering. These students will learn from successful educators, entrepreneurs, business people and government officials, who will share their views on women’s leadership and inclusion, in the workforce and beyond. AUS Chancellor Björn Kjerve says this is a unique opportunity for the university and its students: “AUS is committed to female empowerment in the GCC and beyond. Our alumna are shining examples of the opportunities that become available to women as a result of a high quality tertiary education. Former female students of AUS have gone on to occupy senior positions in government and business, not only in the UAE, but right around the world.”
Dr Linzi Kemp, Associate Professor at AUS School of Business Administration, who will speak at the forum, says: “Great achievements have been made in having more women enter, remain and progress in the workforce, but still much more needs to be done by organisations and in society before parity between men and women is achieved.