As a part of its initiative to drive constructive dialogue around Women in the Workplace, Communicate hosted the Women to Watch Conference last week in Habtoor Palace, Dubai, UAE. The event attracted an audience of over 150 professionals from the creative, marketing, advertising, and tech sectors.
Communicate proudly hosted the highly anticipated Women to Watch Conference on 15th June 2023 at the Habtoor Palace in Dubai, UAE. The conference brought together approximately 150 professionals from the media, communications, creative, and tech sectors united in their commitment to championing gender equality and advancing women's leadership. With thought-provoking discussions, insightful presentations, and engaging networking opportunities - the conference shed light on the challenges women face in today's workforce and highlighted the pressing need for creating an environment that allows women to thrive and excel. As women continue to encounter obstacles on their path to personal and professional growth, the conference served as a platform for supporting women in their journey toward becoming the best versions of themselves in the workplace.
The half-day conference hosted over 30 experts as speakers who actively delved into a constructive dialogue to discuss the headwinds women today across all industries are actively battling with. Emma Burdett, CEO and Founder of WILD which is a platform aimed at supporting women to become influential leaders, kickstarted the day with a keynote address that set the tone for the room. “The feminine flow allows us to attract our desires, be more trusting and faithful in what the universe has to offer.” WILD focuses on enabling women to channel that feminine energy, bringing them together to find their purpose, break through limitations and fear through life coaching to become more aware of investing in their personal growth and development,” she said.
Burdett’s session was followed by panel discussions, workshops, and various therapeutic activities that delved the audience into a holistic experience. Professionals from the likes of Microsoft, Kearney ME, LinkedIn, TikTok, SAP, Google, Chainsense and more shared their experiences and success stories while offering practical advice on navigating the challenges that women face in climbing the corporate ladder. They explored strategies to break down barriers, overcome biases, and create pathways for women to ascend to leadership positions.
A session tailored to explaining the importance of mentorship among young and established working women featured experts from various fields of work including, technology, film direction, automobile as well as PR and marketing. Sharing their personal journeys while highlighting the importance of supportive networks and mentorship programs in fostering career development and empowering women to reach their full potential – Nancy Paton, Director, Screenwriter, and Producer; Anastaysia Golovatenko, Director of Sherpa Communications; Marie Claire Maalouf, Executive Creative Director; Suzzanne Guzzo, Marketing Officer at GM across Africa and the Middle East took to the stage.
“Women need to embrace sisterhood and have each other's backs. Once we start embracing that, I think we will see such a big burst because people will get more confident and not feel like they’re being judged for everything. I started noticing that there is this bro culture for men, men really support each other. They create cliques and build powerful connections, and they can move up the ladder a lot faster, because of this brotherhood. This is something women haven’t pushed for. For the longest time I think this didn't even exist among women,” said Paton while sharing her story with the audience.
As a part of an effort to keep the audience engaged with the ongoing discussions, various different debate formats such as Long Table and Word Café were adapted to the discussions. “An objective we were determined to fulfill was to have each and every person among the audience engrossed. A Long Table and World Café format of discussion put the listener at the heart. Our session on “Understanding the Gen-Z women’s ‘Worth It’ equation” featuring self-made entrepreneurs in the marketing and PR landscape opened the floor to the young audience in the room – presenting them the chance to put their perspectives forth. The World Café session hosted by UN Women, Unstereotype Alliance, and the Advertising Business Group divided the room into small groups to delve into exploring the “Invisible barriers to workplace gender equality from a woman’s perspective.” Both turned out to become the most enjoyed among our attendees,” said Sahar Rafique, Managing Director of the event’s organizing company, NordStella.
Communicate aims to position itself as a platform empowering communities across industries. Following an overwhelming response from the publishing platform’s last quarter for 2023, which was centered to empower and speak the language of the ‘Youth,’ this quarter surpassed expectations while targeting the ‘Women in the workplace community.’ A special print edition featuring Communicate’s Top 10 Women To Watch along with a special coverage of this conference.