Dubai, 15 March 2021: In honour of International Women’s Day (IWD) 2021 last week, Jumeirah Group hosted a special lunch of thought-provoking discussions with some of the country’s most aspirational women.
A historical moment on the global calendar, this year’s theme was #ChooseToChallenge to call out gender bias and inequality. With inclusivity a core value of its business, Jumeirah brought together women from a myriad of industries and backgrounds to mark the occasion, each having made a significant impact on their respective sectors. This included Government and private entity leaders as well as self-made entrepreneurs who have started successful businesses in fields such as luxury, technology, retail, and fashion to support and boost self-confidence. Senior media and communications figures also attended as well as financial, technology and senior legal councils who continue to shape the nation’s corporate world. A truly diverse group, the event was a reflection of the UAE’s long-term outlook to empower women in leadership roles.
Framed by stunning views of Dubai’s iconic Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, the ‘meeting of minds’ took place at Pierchic, the multi-award-winning restaurant perched at the end of the private pier at Jumeirah Al Qasr, in accordance with all Government safety directives. Hosted by Asmaa Quorrich, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Jumeirah Group, who leads a team that is 68% female, and Head Chef Beatrice Segoni, one of the most celebrated Michelin Chefs of Florence, Italy, the event saw each woman tell their remarkable story, while collectively sharing empowering words of optimism for a more equitable and sustainable society.
The event forms part of Jumeirah’s month-long campaign to celebrate female strength and resilience, encouraging people to pause, reflect and celebrate #HerMoment by sharing precious moments with the women in their lives and encouraging self-love.
Asmaa Quorrich, Senior Vice President Marketing at Jumeirah Group, commented: “It was an honour to join this remarkable group in celebration of this year’s International Women’s Day. I was incredibly inspired to hear their stories and feel immensely proud to have stood alongside women who have achieved so much. As women, we are nurturing by nature, providing the people around us with the space to grow and prosper, whether personally or professionally. If we can encourage women to be authentic, to embrace and harness this quality, and to be comfortable with their vulnerabilities, the world will be a better place. I also believe that increased communication will push forward and empower more women, shining a spotlight on specific challenges to drive a more equal and sustainable society. Personally, I aim to continue this dialogue at every opportunity.”
Sophia Jalal, Business Executive Officer for Nestle Nutrition Middle East and North Africa, was one of the attendees, adding: “I was very pleased to be part of the International Women’s Day event at Pierchic celebrating women and our empowerment – a subject that is very dear to my heart. I am a strong advocate of female empowerment and at large, diversity and inclusion. For me, International Women’s Day is about celebrating women’s everyday achievements and giving them the space to express themselves and deliver their best work. More than 20 years ago when I started my corporate career, the situation of working women was a lot different, however today there is a spotlight on the subject with the workplaces being incredibly supportive of their female employees.”
Also in attendance was Joumana Al Darwish, Founder of HappyBox and HappyStudio, who said: “International Women’s Day is incredibly important because it allows us to celebrate each and every woman around us. I think we all have a responsibility as women to elevate and inspire each other. I think it’s imperative that all women support each other not just on International Women’s Day but every day. Us females are incredibly talented and there is so much room for growth together if we support one another. At the HappyBox and the Happy Studio, we are very fortunate because 80% of our staff is female and we celebrate and support them through various training and development workshops and mentorship programs as well. We provide them with equal opportunities to grow and thrive in the workplace.”
Diana Hamade, Lawyer and Founder of the International Advocate Legal Services added: “I believe that women are celebrated everyday of our lives – by nature, by our families and communities. But on International Women’s Day, we share stories and experiences of women who have challenged the status quo and managed to set themselves apart as role models carving a better path for future generations. So, Happy International Women’s Day to all women.”
The event also saw attendance from Najwa Attiga, General Counsel at Emirates Investment Authority, who said: “To me, this occasion marks a day when women across the world are recognised for their achievements and contributions to their families, society, the economy, science and other sectors. On International Women’s Day, we celebrate women's work and accomplishments, we uplift those who need support and are grateful to all the women who are role models starting with my own great mother, as well as all women who strived for gender equality even before we were born. It is also a day to reflect on the road ahead, and what remains to be done in our quest for promoting women's rights, economic empowerment, and gender equality.
At the Pierchic event, I was fortunate to connect with successful local and international women who are as passionate about issues related to empowering women as I am. We discussed our careers and how we had to adapt to the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has in many ways, deepened preexisting gender inequalities. We also shared stories and laughs and we saluted one another for all the amazing work we do on daily basis.”
Joy Ajlouny, Former Co-Founder and CMO of Fetchr, also attended and commented: “To me, women empowerment is about dignity and self-determination, and about finding your passion. Too many women rely on getting married and bearing children as their accomplishments in their lives. Marriages end and children grow up and move out. Women need to have something to hold onto that they accomplished for themselves. They need to set goals and accomplish them, this is what truly gives them dignity and a feeling of self-worth. What I have found is that when a woman goes out and makes money, it gives her a sense of accomplishment. Whether it’s $100 or 100 million, earning a paycheck gives you self-determination, it gives you your dignity and your freedom. I thoroughly enjoyed the Pierchic event, meeting a group of women who created their own destinies and earned their paychecks and their dignity by following their passion. That to me is women empowerment.”