Dubai: Her Excellency Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Government Development and the Future, honored the winners of the Women in Tech® MENA Awards, in a ceremony held in partnership between the Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP) and the Women in Tech®.
The Women in Tech® MENA Award is one of the 7 regional awards representing different parts of the world and aiming to celebrate the remarkable women around the world who innovate, inspire, and transform the technology sector.
Held under the theme ‘Women in Green’, the event was attended by His Excellency Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park (STRIP) and a group of leading experts, entrepreneurs and female nominees for the award. The awards were introduced by Ayumi Moore Aoki, Founder & CEO Women in Tech®, who underlined the need for increased presence of women in technology.
The eight winners were: Uplifting Syrian Women Initiative (Most Impactful Initiative Award), Fatma Atawna, CEO, Siraj (Best Ally Award), Aida Kandil, CEO, MyTindy (Start-up Award), Wesam Sarhan, Co-founder, Colibri Care (ID&E Disruptor’s Award), Mirna Arif, Country General Manager, Microsoft (Global Leadership Award), Dr. Fatmah Boothman, Associate Professor, King AbdulAziz University (Lifetime achievement Award), Amna Usman Choudhry, Financial Economist & Strategist for Blockchain, Metaverse and Web 3.0 (Woman in Web3 Award) and Uditi Sharma, Founder and Executive Director (Aspiring Teen Award).
Ohood Al Roumi: The UAE devotes significant attention to women’s empowerment
Her Excellency Ohood Al Roumi stressed the critical role of women in shaping the future of technology, and noted that the UAE devotes significant attention to empowering women to engage actively in shaping the future of vital sectors, particularly the technology sector.
Her Excellency highlighted the UAE’s pioneering experience in empowering Emirati women in technology, with women making up 56% of UAE government university graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Al Roumi added that the Women in Tech® Award recognizes women that are leading the tech sector, and inspires more women to actively participate in this vital sector. She stated that the partnership between the Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park and the Women in Tech® represents an optimal model for global partnerships aiming to enhance women’s participation in various fields of technology.
Her Excellency congratulated the winners of the eight award categories, and commended their success which reflects women’s strong capabilities in all fields and inspires other women to strive for excellence in the technology sector.
Hussain Al Mahmoudi: The event reflects SRTIP’s commitment to gender equity and women empowerment
In his welcome address, H.E. Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTIP, said: “Hosting the Women in Tech® MENA Awards is a milestone moment for us because it reflects deep commitment to gender equity and women empowerment. We are happy to say that more than 50% of the SRTIP workforce is made of women, some holding high positions in technology, engineering and labs. Our commitment is also evident in our scheme for women entrepreneurs, at SRTIP under which we grant them subsidies and special benefits”.
“To make the Women in Tech® MENA Awards a memorable event, we have lined up high-profile speakers who will enhance the prestige of the event with their insights and shared experiences. The keynotes and panels will provide a rich harvest of ideas that would go a long way in promoting women empowerment in the UAE and the region,” Al Mahmoudi added.
Interactive Panel Discussions
Panel discussions held before the presentation of the awards provided interesting insights into women’s role in tech fields. The panel on ‘Gender equity and climate change, an intersectional approach to sustainability’ explored how women and other underserved groups are disproportionately impacted by the global climate crisis, and that they are uniquely positioned to lead the fight for sustainability. The participants were Nadia Mannell, General Partner, Seed South Capital; Geraldine Wessing, Chief Political Analyst, Shell; Cecelia Carlsward, Founding Partner, Violet Hill & Co and Tatiana Abella, Founder and Managing Director, Goumbook FZE.
A second panel on ‘Driving inclusion through innovation’ discussed how the MENA region is driving innovation while considering human diversity and building inclusive economies. The participants were Chada El Islam Benmahcene, Baker Hughes; Dina Kahiel, Mastercard Experience Centre Director, EEMEA and Eva Hachem, Women’s Network Leader, GE Middle East, North Africa and Turkey.
Anna Green, Head of SMB, Asia Pacific and Japan at Amazon Web Services (AWS) described her journey into the world of technology and remarked that technology, like banking and law, were sectors that used to be male-dominated. She urged women to aspire for positions in these areas, especially in technology.
SRTIP’s support to the Women in Tech MENA Awards follows the successful hosting of three editions of Women in Technology MENA Forum in collaboration with Women in Tech Global Movement in March this year.
Yacoub Al Tahtamouni | Public Relations
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