MENA Businesswomen’s Network Forum: Empowering Women
The UN guidelines defined women’s empowerment by emphasizing on the following characteristics: A women’s sense of self-worth; her right to have and to determine choices; her right to have access to opportunities and resources; her right to have the power to control her own life, both within and outside the home; and her ability to influence the direction of social change to create a more just social and economic order, nationally and internationally.
Recognising the importance of women’s empowerment in the workplace and their fundamental importance to the growth of the company and business, GE recently sponsored the MENA Businesswomen’s Network Forum 2012 organised in Dubai, under the patronage of Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, UAE Minister for Foreign Trade.
More than 350 businesswomen attended the forum whose aim was to strengthen the position and increase the reach of businesswomen in the Middle East and North Africa region by expanding their networks, improving their skills and learning new ones.
GE worldwide and in the region has established Women’s Network in 1997 that runs a ‘Women in Leadership’ program to facilitate the process of women’s empowerment. The program looks at the top performers in managerial roles and gives them six-month long assignments that are evaluated internally as well as by coaches brought from outside. The company has also invested US$200 million in Middle East localization initiatives in the past 24 months.
Mentorship plays a key role in nurturing empowered leaders. At the Businesswomen’s Forum, in a session entitled ‘Transforming a Region Through Mentoring,’ Joe Chalouhi, HR Director of GE Energy, underlined the extraordinary role that the GE Women’s Network plays to promote a culture of mentoring that leads to helping women realize their fullest potential at the workplace. The session was moderated by Nina Easton, Senior Editor and Co-chair, Most Powerful Women Summit, Fortune USA.
Further helping empower women in the workplace, GE makes provision for elements important to working women such as maternity policies and flexible working arrangements.
GE’s Women’s Network in the Middle East is all about growth and brings together more than 500 women to cultivate their leadership skills, business practices, personal contacts and career opportunities.
GE’s Women’s Network: http://www.ge.com/company/culture/people/womensnetwork.htmlMENA Businesswomen’s Network Forum: http://www.ameinfo.com/296249.html
UN’s guidelines on women’s empowerment: http://www.un.org/popin/unfpa/taskforce/guide/iatfwemp.gdl.html