Embracing Equity in Asia and the Middle East: International Women’s Day 2023

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As the world celebrates International Women’s Day 2023, it is important to reflect on the progress made towards greater gender equality in the workplace, as well as the work that remains to be done.

In this article, we’re going to shine a light on some of the leading women in business across Asia and the Middle East, as well as discuss the importance of equality in the workplace. So if you’re looking for some serious female inspiration to commemorate International Women’s Day 2023, this one is for you! 

Equality in the Workplace - The Key to Business Innovation

Many parts of the world have made leaps and bounds in terms of embracing equity in the workplace, with initiatives designed to create more opportunities for women in business. If we look at Saudi Arabia, for example, Vision 2030 aims to create over 1 million job opportunities for women in business, which marks a key step towards greater equality in the workplace.

This initiative recognizes that women have a crucial role to play in driving business innovation and that creating more opportunities for them is essential for the region’s economic success! And it’s true women play a key role industry-wide, with studies showing that companies with more women in leadership roles generally perform better financially.

Especially when it comes to the technology sector. After all, Margret Hamilton was the one who got us to the moon, and Ada Lovelace was the world’s first computer programmer! And by limiting opportunities for women in this sector, we may be limiting our ability to advance in all things digital! 

It’s true that a more diverse workforce can bring a wider range of perspectives, ideas, and experiences to the table, leading to more innovation and creativity.

In fact, women tend to be far better equipped to navigate today’s busy digital environments.

And companies looking to appeal to females or children as a target market should definitely have women in positions where key decisions are to be made. As they understand the unique needs, preferences, and behaviors of these groups. 

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Women in Business - Asia & Middle East Innovators

Across the Middle East and Asia, there are many inspiring women who are breaking down barriers and driving innovation in the business world. 

Aireen Omar, President of AirAsia Digital, is an excellent example of a highly successful woman in business. She has been a driving force behind AirAsia’s digital transformation, assisting the company in staying ahead of the curve in a rapidly changing industry. 

Roshni Nadar Malhotra, Chair of HCL Technologies, is another business trailblazer. HCL Technologies has become one of India’s most innovative and successful companies under her leadership, with a focus on expanding opportunities for women and fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion. 

Janice Lai, President of NEC Corporation, is also a rising star in the technology industry. She has played a key role in driving NEC’s growth in the Asia-Pacific region and is a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion in the workplace. 

In Saudi Arabia, Nouf Masoud, CEO of Debyazah, is Saudi Arabia’s first inclusive hospitality ambassador and is a great example of how businesses can create more opportunities for women while also promoting innovation and diversity. 

Finally, Razan Alazzouni, Art Director for the Saudi Cancer Foundation and a fashion designer, is a true inspiration to women across the Middle East. She has built a successful career in a male-dominated industry and has used her platform to promote gender equality and empower women in the region. 

These women are just a few examples of the many talented and innovative women in business making their mark. And as we celebrate International Women’s Day 2023, we can use these incredible female business icons as a source of inspiration for the new generation and encourage more companies to prioritize equality in the workplace this year! 

International Women's Day 2023: an Interview with Jayous, Managing Director

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What Does IWD and Its Theme This Year, #Embraceequity, Mean to You?

Embracing Equity is not just a campaign theme. It is about action and steps that we must take to actively support and embrace equity within our sphere of influence.

Can You Tell Us About a Female Role Model That Has Inspired You, Either Professional or Personally?

I have many female role models who have inspired me throughout my career; some of them are:

Malala Yousafzai: A young woman who survived an attempt on her life and who is now an outspoken advocate of female rights and female education in the Middle East

Mother Teresa: Devoted her life to serving the needy around the world. She spent many years in Calcutta, India, where she founded the Missionaries of Charity, a religious congregation devoted to helping those in great need. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and became a symbol of charitable, selfless work.

Christiane Amanpour: While female war correspondents have existed long before her, she stands out as a female journalist who has covered global conflict on a significant scale. In a field predominantly filled by men, she could bypass many restrictions placed on the media by the U.S. military to cover the first Gulf War, the Bosnian War, and many others.

What Can Men Do to Help to Achieve Equality?

For equality to be achieved, men must be educated on perspectives, experiences, and challenges women face and then engage as their crucial allies working hand in hand to transform the world into a place where men and women can thrive equally.

International Women's Day 2023: An interview with Gifty, Recruitment Consultant

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What Does IWD and Its Theme This Year, #Embraceequity, Mean to You?

As an HR personnel, I have had the opportunity to work with and learn from some amazing women in the workplace. It has been a great privilege to witness firsthand the incredible contributions that women make to the workforce and the society at large. Today, on International Women's Day, I am reminded of the importance of embracing equity in all aspects of our lives.

Embracing equity means recognizing that all people, regardless of gender, race, or any other characteristic, should have equal access to opportunities and resources. It means acknowledging and addressing the systemic inequalities that exist in our society, and working towards creating a more just and equitable world.

Can You Tell Us About a Female Role Model That Has Inspired You, Either Professionall or Personally?

As an African woman, I am inspired by the resilience and strength of the women who have come before me, and those who continue to pave the way for the next generation. My favorite female idol is Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan environmental and political activist who was the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Wangari Maathai's legacy is one of courage, perseverance, and dedication to environmental conservation and social justice. Her story reminds me that with determination and hard work, we can make a difference in the world.

What Advice Would You Give to Women About Their Careers?

To women who are navigating their careers, I would advise them to never stop learning and to always seek opportunities to develop their skills and knowledge. It is also important to find mentors and advocates who can provide guidance and support throughout their careers. Additionally, women should not be afraid to speak up and to advocate for themselves and their ideas.

In conclusion, achieving equity in the workplace requires a collective effort from all individuals. By working together and embracing equity, we can create a more just and equitable society for all.

Final Thoughts

As we celebrate International Women’s Day 2023, it’s more important than ever to recognize the progress that has been made over the past couple of years toward greater equity in the workplace. While there is still work to be done, by promoting greater gender diversity, we can finally unlock the full potential of the workforce and drive greater innovation and success in the years to come in these key regions. 

Finally, the key to achieving greater workplace equity is to foster an inclusive culture in which everyone is valued and respected for their unique contributions. This necessitates a concerted effort from senior management all the way down to individual employees, and that’s something we fully support at Career Pond! 

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About Author

Annie Huang

As Senior Regional Recruitment Manager, Annie uses her expert knowledge and experience to help companies with their global hiring strategy, providing support to both established enterprises and those new to the market. She knows the ins and outs of recruitment practices and employment laws throughout Asia, with a special focus on China and Singapore. Annie consults on global mobility projects and guides our clients to better understand the market so that they can reach their goals faster.

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