top of page

DWE concludes second edition of Innovative Leaders Programme

Dubai Women Establishment (DWE) has successfully concluded the second edition of its Innovative Leaders Programme, hosted in collaboration with the distinguished Ashridge-Hult International Business School in the United Kingdom. The programme was launched in 2017 under the patronage of Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of DWE and wife of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

16 female prominent Emirati leaders have completed the programme, which was developed to support the UAE’s vision of fostering a culture of innovation across the country, by helping women to transform their leadership approach through experimental and out-of-the-box thinking.

The eight-day programme followed an interactive learning process – learn, disrupt, apply and integrate, through insight sessions, guest speaker presentations, organisational visits, strategic challenge projects, coaching and networking. The four key themes of the program included agile disruptive innovation leadership, creating a culture of experimentation, leading disruptive innovation processes and decision-making at pace in uncertainty.

The programme was concluded with a ‘closing circle’ session attended by Mona Al Marri, chairperson, Board of DWE, Bjorn Bengtsson, President of Ashridge executive Education Business School, and Sultana Saif, corporate director of Development and Research at DWE.

Sheikha Manal, highlighted that the UAE has made truly remarkable strides in strengthening the influence of women and their contribution to society. Today, Emirati women are highly educated, skilled and empowered partners in the development of our nation and its continued prosperity, and have the opportunities they need to grow and succeed. This is thanks to the continuous support they receive from the UAE’s wise leadership, who are committed to ensuring that Emirati women have the necessary tools to excel across all sectors and take on decision-making positions.

Al Marri said: “The positive response to the program from female leaders and UAE institutions reflects the commitment and aspirations of Emirati women to enhance their capabilities and pursue successful careers. Having more female leaders capable of driving the UAE’s innovation culture forward supports the country’s success in all aspects and strengthens its position globally, which is why the Innovative Leaders Program was established.”

Bjorn Bengtsson, added: “Through programs like this, Ashridge-Hult International Business School is helping global leaders be the best they can be in an increasingly complex environment. Innovation is at the top of the UAE government’s and senior executives’ agenda, and Ashridge is working closely with Dubai Women Establishment to further enhance the innovation leadership skills of government leaders. Innovation is about exploring the unknown, pushing boundaries and creating new opportunities, so there often is no roadmap, which makes leading innovation hard. People, not processes, make innovation happen, so honing leadership skills, as well as creating the right vision, opportunity and support for employees to innovate, is more important than ever.”

Sultana Saif, corporate director of development and research at DWE, and project manager of the Innovative Leaders Programme, said: “The programme provides an important opportunity for female Emirati leaders to develop effective innovation leadership skills and allows them to learn about the challenges that leading institutions around the world have overcome. The program also offers participants an opportunity to gain deeper personal insight, unleash their ability to inspire and motivate others, and develop the thinking skills required to manage the challenges they will face and achieve exceptional accomplishments for themselves and their organisations.” –



bottom of page