More than 200 regional and global business leaders and inspirational women from all walks of life attended the 12th edition of Women in Management Top50 Global Conference and Awards in Dubai earlier this week.
Being held in the UAE for the first time, this year's event theme Resilience and Reinvention, was tackled by several globally renowned entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, celebrities, sport personalities and political influencers.
Hon. Kanimozhi Karunanidhi, Indian Member of Parliament, Dr. Edita Tahiri, the former deputy prime minister of Kosovo and Dr. Mariyam Shakeeka, Honorary Consul of Belgium in Maldives, were just some of the high-level speakers at the conference who shared their experiences and expertise as they delved into a diverse set of topics including Women in Politics and Diversity in the Workplace.
Women in Management (WIM) was founded in 2009 in Sri Lanka by Dr. Sulochana Segera with the objective of providing a networking platform for women to realize their professional dreams through mentoring. The Professional and Career Women Awards was introduced in 2011 with an initial five awards designed to recognize outstanding female leaders in the corporate sector. A decade later, and now in its twelfth year, the Professional and Career Women Awards has recognized over 53 women for their outstanding leadership and remarkable achievements with annual events held in Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Canada and now the UAE.
The event was live streamed and watched across the globe. WIM had 13 judges from 9 countries, nominations from 26 countries and winners from 14 countries.
Dr Segera's home country was also well represented with His Excellency Malraj De Silva, Ambassador to Sri Lanka in the UAE, Hon. Dr. Sudarshani Fernandopulle, Member of Parliament Sri Lanka and Hon. Eran Wickramaratne, Member of Parliament, gracing the event with their presence.
The latter shared his thoughts on Diversity, Inclusion and Gender Fluidity whilst Riza Muhammed, Chairman Sri Lanka Business Council Dubai & North Emirates, discussed Bilateral Trade Between Sri Lanka & UAE.
This edition of the high-profile event was held under the auspices of the Sri Lanka Business Council in the UAE and Equality Alliance UK.
The event culminated in an awards ceremony. Winners were identified across numerous categories like Law, Banking and Finance, Leadership, Education and Social Impact to name but a few.
Some of the local winners were: UAE - Strategic Leadership Award - Latifa AlShehhi - Head of Data Management at the Road and Transport Authority in Dubai; UAE Leadership Excellence - Aarefa Al Falahi - Member of Board of Directors - RAK Chamber of Commerce; UAE Leadership Excellence in Innovation – UAE – Sukaina Parpia, Founder & CEO of SPAR UAE; UAE Outstanding NGO/NPO - Nadia Abdul Aziz, Board Director, accepting on behalf Al Noor Rehabilitation & Welfare Association for People of Determination.
“Staging this fantastic event in Dubai was a long time coming. With such a diverse range of nationalities calling it home, access to high-level experts not to mention several of our well-deserved winners from the region, Dubai has enabled us to take this annual event to the next level. Our gratitude for the overwhelming support from local entities like the Sri Lanka Business Council cannot be overstated,” said Dr. Sulochana Segera – Founder & Chairperson Women in Management said,
“The success of this year's event has further strengthened our resolve to encourage inclusion, celebrate women in leadership and to provide that crucial platform to recognize and reward those who truly excel and inspire. We are already thinking about next year using Dubai as a springboard for further success.”
Some of the International winners are:
Egypt - Outstanding Legal Professional of the Year - Dr. Nermine Tahoun - FOUNDER & Managing Partner TAHOUN & Associates; Nepal – Women Development - Pramila Acharya Rijal – Founder President of South Asian Women Development Forum, with a SAARC recognized Forum; Maldives – Legal Category – Mariyam Shunana - Managing Partner of the most top rated law firm in the Maldives, Shunana & Co. LLP – Her award will be accepted by a Maldivian representative; Malaysia – Social Impact Award - Dr. Lalitha Kutti Krishnan Nair – Director Amogha Group of Companies; South Africa -Social Change Maker of the Year - Barbara Nussbaum - Founder and Director FINDING US IN MUSIC; Sri Lanka - Inspirational Entrepreneur of the Year - Sandra Wanduragala - Founder and Chairman Selyn Exporters (Pvt) Ltd; India Outstanding Business Women Entrepreneur- Small - Anita Ramachandran - Founder & CEO Cerebrus Consultant; Pakistan/UAE Women Empowerment - Shamira Mitha Founder and Managing Director, VERVE Marketing & Communications.
WIM Local and international partners, sponsors and well-wishers are:
Platinum Sponsor Thambapanni Restaurant – Truly Sri Lankan;
Telecommunication Partner SLT Mobitel;
Hospitality Partner Pullman Dubai Creek City Centre,;
Gold Sponsors EXPO Lanka Holdings Pl;
Al Ghurair Food Jenan;
Silver Sponsor North Port Logistics;
Gift Partners FADNA Tea, Sri Lanka Tea Board, Next Education Group, UAE Fine Fragrances;
Destination Partner, Maldives – The sunny side life, Sponsors, Al Haramain – Since 1970, SIMDI Group, Crystal Sands, The Hawks;
PR Partner The Guild;
Event Partner Team Evention, XESS – Advertising.