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Women and Leadership in The UAE - Stories, Inspirations and Policy Implications

With grant funding support from the National Research Foundation, the University of Wollongong in Dubai is proud to have teamed up with Dubai Business Woman Council (DBWC) to understand more about the role of women in the UAE workplace and the factors associated with women attaining, and succeeding in, leadership positions. It is hoped that the research will contribute to public policy initiatives aimed to heighten career leadership development opportunities among women in the UAE. 

This research project is being led by Professor Payyazhi Jayashree, Associate Dean (Education), Faculty of Business. For more information she can be contacted directly via email [email protected]

UOWD – DBWC Women and Leadership Seminar Series

The UOWD - DBWC Women and Leadership Seminar Series was launched in 2015 with a view to making a contribution to the dialogue and debates surrounding gender issues and women in leadership positions in the UAE. The seminar series provides an opportunity for working women to both share and learn from their own (and other’s) personal leadership stories and experiences, to learn from key thinkers, researchers and government representatives in the area, and to join the conversation about policy implications.

Leadership Quotes Series

As part of this ongoing research between UOWD and DBWC, a number of inspirational women are giving their views on the nature of leadership, what it means to be a leader and their own leadership journey. Motivating quotes from these conversations are shared on a regular basis on both DBWC and UOWD’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

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About the National Research Foundation

This project has received funding support amounting to AED 175,000 from the National Research Foundation as part of the University-Industry-Research Collaboration Award – a UAE Ministry of Education - Higher Education Affairs initiative that helps to promote university-industry research collaboration projects which establish the agenda for longer-term partnerships in the UAE.


UOWD-DBWC Women in Leadership Seminar: Rita Al Semaani Jansen and Therese Sevaldsen

UOWD-DBWC Women in Leadership Seminar: Rita Al Semaani Jansen - Partner, INCE & CO International Law Firm and Therese Sevaldsen - Creating inclusive workplaces to support women’s career growth. Prof Payyazhi Jayashree, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Business at UOWD, led this panel discussion as part of her ongoing research in this area.


DBWC Women and Leadership Research Seminar Series #4 - Empowering Women to Take Ownership of Change

‘Why Not?’ Says Ayesha Al Kaabi. And what a powerful slogan that is too, to live one’s life by.

Ayesha Al Kaabi shares her leadership journey as part of the UOWD-DBWC-UNDP Women and #Leadership #Research #Seminar #Series with Dr Payyazhi Jayashree, Associate Dean (Education), University of Wollongong in Dubai. From the importance of #challenging #prejudices to creating #opportunities through change readiness and authentic leadership, while continuing to be true to one's cultural #legacy, Ayesha’s narrative related to emergence and enactment of leadership is as inspiring as it is empowering.


DBWC Women and Leadership Research Seminar Series #3 - Igniting Entrepreneurial Leadership and Action

Lessons from Dr Hibah Shatah, BDS, MSC, FDSRCSI and owner of Maharat.

Today is World Autism Awareness Day and we are delighted to bring to you Dr Hibah Shatah’s interview with Associate Dean, UOWD, Dr Payyazhi Jayashree, lead researcher for the UOWD-DBWC Women and Leadership Research Seminar Series. Dr Hibah shares her story about her early childhood where she got the opportunity to develop an explorer’s mindset. Dr Hibah shares her early training as a dentist, and experiencing stereotypes and challenges and learning from failure, in her journey towards becoming a dental surgeon. The interview focusses on how a personal experience led Dr Hibah to co-find the Child Learning and Enrichment Medical Center in 2010, an autism specialty center and how this preparatory center is structured as per a unique model that gives every child diagnosed with autism an individual education plan, besides teaching academics how to facilitate an enabling environment at the same time – all driven by her need to create a center dedicated to inclusion of children with developmental delays in mainstream education.


DBWC Women and Leadership Research Seminar Series #2 - Entrepreneurial Leadership and Isobel Abulhoul, OBE

The inspiring woman behind the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

With the much awaited 2018 Emirates Airline Festival of Literature happening, DBWC and UOWD are proud to share the story of the Isobel Abulhoul OBE, Director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature and CEO and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation, as she shares her remarkable journey with Dr Payyazhi Jayashree, Associate Dean, UOWD, as part of the DBWC-UOWD Women and Leadership Seminar Series. From sharing her intimate relationship with books, to her evolution as an entrepreneur and co-founder of Magrudy’s, and to the birth of the Emirates Airlines Literature Festival in 2008, Isobel’s journey is as inspiring as it is humbling. She shares how she coloured the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, the Middle-East’s largest celebration of the written and spoken word, with all the colours of the Dubai experience, to make it one of the most authentic experiences for book lovers out there. The interview highlights the significance of discovering one’s own authentic leadership, significance of developing sustainable networks based on trust, challenging self-limiting assumptions and discovering one’s own agency.


DBWC Women and Leadership Research Seminar Series #1 - From Corporate Leadership to Entrepreneurial Leadership

The journey of Hazel Nyandoro, Founder and Managing Director of Manelith Consulting

The impactful and highly popular DBWC-UOWD Women and Leadership Seminars led by Dr Payyazhi Jayashree, Associate Dean (Education), UOWD, as part of her ongoing research to achieve the goals of UN Sustainable Development Goal # 5 (Gender parity), is back again. We are delighted to launch the hour long interviews as short twenty minute videos, bringing to you leadership lessons as shared on the platform, based on many requests from interested DBWC members, students and aspiring entrepreneurs and leaders. We will be launching one video per month and our first video puts the spotlight on Hazel Nyandoro, and shares her journey from Corporate Leadership to Entrepreneurial Leadership. Thank you for your interest and participation in this insightful and engaging series.


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