On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the French Embassy in Qatar and Maison de la France hosted the Women and Diversity Lunch Talks at W Doha Hotel this week. This special get-together event gathered more than 120 participants.

In her welcome address, Qatar University President Sheikha Abdulla Al Misnad noted the success of Qatari female students in university, making up at least 64% of graduates for academic year 2017. Military colleges or student on scholarship from other government companies are not included in this statistic.

The Ambassador of France to the State of Qatar, HE Franck Gellet, stressed the prominent role of women in all sectors – business, health, education, culture – and their contribution to the development of Qatar and the achievement of its Vision 2030.

Women and Diversity Lunch Talks at W Hotel
Women and Diversity Lunch Talks at W Doha Hotel

The Women and Diversity Lunch Talks featured a panel discussion with three prominent Qatari women from varied professional backgrounds who talked about their experiences, challenges and contributions to the development of Qatar. They stressed the important role of women in society and the evident increase in the number of women joining professions that were previously ‘male dominated’.

The second panel discussion, with three Human Resources managers from French companies operating in Qatar – Alstom, Thales and Total – highlighted the case for diversity and inclusion, sharing initiatives to attract more women in the private sector. Focus was made to underline the importance of considering all aspects of diversity, not only in terms of gender, but diversity based on performance, leadership and competencies only, and not on country of origin, religion, colour or physical ability.

The final interactive session with the audience served as an opportunity to share stories of successes and promote the involvement of women and men to improve equality and diversity in our societies. Male participants were very positively representing about 25% of the audience and together with the organisers will aim at increasing this ratio in 2020.

International Women’s Day is celebrated every year on 8 March. Check the Marhaba listing here for a complete guide on events and activities around Qatar to mark the occasion.