The Digital Majlis - Female Leadership & Entrepreneurship in the GCC
A Global Think-Tank Initiative Created by The Private Investment Group and Powered by The Bridge
As government ministers, CEOs, regulators, business, and social leaders women are playing a crucial role in driving the GCC countries economic and social development, and also setting an example.
That is why, episode IV of The Digital Majlis is set to explore a compelling subject: Female Leadership & Entrepreneurship in the GCC region.
Join us as we unravel the efforts that have been made in the GCC in order to create institutional and business environments in which women can reach their full potential.
This episode is also set to provide insights about initiatives that can be implemented going further, in order to set an example that would encourage women’s increasing participation at all levels of the workforce and support female-driven entrepreneurship also providing a model that other countries or regions could follow.
Meet our extraordinary speakers:
Maryam Mohammed AlHashmi
Maryam AlHashmi is an Associate under the Director General’s Office at Expo 2020 Dubai supporting project delivery under the mandate of the Minister’s international cooperation agenda and leading Expo's International Days program.
While interning at Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, Maryam worked on UAE’s file for the High-Level Political Forum and contributed to the authoring of the UAE Sustainable Development Goals Annual Report 2017. She participated at the Future Policy Depot Initiative where she was awarded 1st place for a UAE Climate Change Policy. Through her diplomatic role as a UAE Youth Ambassador to China, she developed policy proposals for UAE and Chinese stakeholders. She was chosen by the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi to be an official youth representative of the Mohamed bin Zayed Majlis for Future Generations. She was awarded by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid AlMaktoum for winning a Special Sustainability Award on an international level at the Intel ISEF competition and a Youth Recognition Award by H.H. Sheikh Abdulla Bin Zayed AlNahyan. In 2019, she served as a World Young Leader in the Forum for World Education at OECD. Maryam's passions go beyond public policy, economics, and global affairs - she is an advent learner of cultures and languages, speaking Arabic, English, and French fluently, while currently learning Spanish and Mandarin.
Maryam holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Management from Sorbonne University, Abu Dhabi.
Fatma Husam, a 26-year-old Dubai-born modest fashion influencer. Holding a BBA in Aviation Management, she started her journey with modest clothing at a time when it was yet to be in trend. Proud to have taken part in spreading this “less cool” regional way of dressing, to now a global industry worth over hundreds of billions of dollars, she aims to continue supporting this growth and making it the “more cool” way of dressing. Her career inspired the inauguration of her jewelry brand, MAS Jewels. Always seeking to support local businesses, she strongly believes in women empowerment and the ability of women to inspire change in the world.
Sheetal Mehta Walsh
Sheetal has over 20 years’ experience in technology and venture capital and is currently launching Soho Ventures, a GBP 50 million late seed-stage venture fund to invest in globally ambitious entrepreneurs.
Sheetal started her career in investment banking in the UK and UAE. In the early 2000s, she was the Director of VC Relations at Microsoft and was responsible for creating the first Venture Capital Relations strategy under Bill Gates. She then took that business to EMEA with an HQ based in London. In her role at Microsoft, she coordinated investments and collaboration between VCs and product groups and assisted over 1000 startups to benefit from Microsoft’s global go-to-market opportunities.
Having launched a successful consultancy business after Microsoft in 2006, Sheetal was then appointed as Deal Maker for the British government’s Global Entrepreneur Programme with a mission to attract some of the most innovative technologies into the UK so that they can become global businesses. In this role, she facilitated over £1bn investment for 900 startups to go global and innovate from the UK. Sheetal was also responsible for the signing of an MOU between DIT and the Abu Dhabi government to foster and fast-track entrepreneurs and funding into the UK and exporting companies into the UAE. She also regularly runs masterclasses across Latin America and as a result expanded the UK government’s mission in the region.
Sheetal is an active angel investor in Silicon Valley and sits on numerous boards including MetaCert, an anti-phishing company, and Virtual Visions, an interactive mirror company. She also serves on the board of UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, Ireland, and Innovate Edmonton. She is the founder of Shanti Life, a global microfinance platform for financial inclusion for vulnerable women in India. She studied Political Science at University of Alberta and completed her Masters of International Relations at London School of Economics. Sheetal is based in Vancouver and splits her time between London and Silicon Valley. Sheetal is Canadian, British, holds a USA Green card and OCI card for India.
Managing Partner at Brilliance Ventures, an Israeli-based Venture Capital fund, focused on investing in growing tech companies. Managing Partner at Tel Aviv Capital (TLVC). Recognized industry leader by Forbes 30-Under-30. Investor & board member in various tech companies.
Maryam Al Hashemi
Maryam Al Hashemi is the Director of Precious Metals and Stones at DMCC.
Joining the organisation in 2003, Maryam leads the precious metals and stones division at DMCC. As an industry expert, Maryam is responsible for expanding and diversifying DMCC’s precious stones portfolio and advancing Dubai’s status as a world-leading hub for precious metals trade.
Maryam plays an important role in the development of strategic partnerships with various private sector groups – both at home and abroad – and serves as the conduit between DMCC and stakeholders in various UAE Ministries and Federal entities.
Since 2014, Maryam has served on the board of DMCC’s Dubai Diamond Exchange,
In addition to her responsibilities at DMCC, Maryam is also the Director of the United Arab Emirates Kimberley Process Office – the only entry and exit point for rough diamonds in the country.
Fatma Almarri is a Research Associate at Dubai Tourism, an ex-investment analyst, and a certified NLP Master Practitioner, Coach, and Hypnotherapist specialized in Change Facilitation. Fatma founded Bold Blue Management where she works with clients to develop and execute strategies to reach their desired outcome.