Women entrepreneurs have been in demand for skills galore. Right from being at the helm of affairs to micromanaging the house – you name the skills and they have it. When two or more women collaborate or engage in business the outcome will be plausible. To initiate a discussion on sustainability – the Qatar Professional Women Network hosted the first-of-its-kinds forum on What’s your environmental impact?
Qatar Professional Women’s Network (QPWN), launched in
2010 is an informal networking group for Qatari and expatriate professional
women. Its main aim is to inspire women to engage in a professional, diverse
and supportive network while expanding their skills and knowledge base.
According to a report on ‘Women in Business and Management Gaining Momentum in the Middle East and North Africa’ by the
International Labour Organisation, women in the Middle East and GCC countries report a weak presence as executives. Mercer, a global consulting company, conducted a survey in 2010 and reported a low proportion of women executives internationally, but more so in the MENA countries. Women executives accounted for 23 per cent in Morocco out of all executives, 17 per cent in the UAE, 16 per cent in Egypt and 7 per cent in Qatar. The highest rate reported globally was 33 per cent. QPWN in order to engage the working women community to collaborate and empower working women professional’s conducts discussion forums regularly.
The event saw the participation of both working and non-working women professionals from Qatar. The speakers included women entrepreneurs who have started their businesses based on reducing the environmental impact. Dr. Shiban Khan, Research, Sustainability Qatar spoke about how their organisation helps reduce carbon footprint through their #52weekchallenges and Young Ambassadors Programme. She spoke in detail about saving water, fuel and electricity. She also emphasised on carbon neutral football World Cup that will be hosted in Qatar in 2022.
Owner of One Goes Green Sze Wah Wan has her business set up on recyclable and reusable materials. Right from grocery bags to business cards, everything is made from environment friendly materials. Sze Wah Wan showcased her product range to the audience and discussed the challenges she faced while setting up her business.
The last speaker Sonali Raman highlighted how she designs sustainable yet relevant designs for her clients. Sonali’s brand also carries a line of handcrafted fashion jewelry using traditional craft techniques in contemporary designs. The line of fashion ready-to-wear is a blend of modern silhouettes with natural fabrics and traditional embroidery techniques. This is an effort to keep the traditional crafts sustainable and yet relevant to the times. She works with craft persons and artisans to create these products.The event was an interactive and engaging one where the audience pointed to the fact the sustainability should also be a part of the curriculum – as these children will be our next generation. They would have it ingrained in them right from childhood.
QPWN recently hosted a discussion forum featuring distinguished guest speakers providing personal and professional insights on how they achieve a more gender-balanced world, promoting the IWD topic 2020 of #EachforEqual – An equal world is an enabled world. on International Womens’ Day at Marriott Marquis City Centre Hotel, Doha. Stay tuned for a detailed report.
By Arshia Khan