The Fourth annual Qatar International Business Women Forum, organised by Qatari Business Women’s Association (QBWA) in collaboration with Interactive Business Network (IBN), concluded on 13 November 2013 by raising key issues enabling the promotion of women in the business.

Over the course of the two-day event at the St. Regis Hotel Doha, which was held under the patronage of HE Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani, the Minister of Economy and Trade, delegates from 39 countries took part in numerous workshops and heard keynote speeches from business leaders in the region and internationally.

At a gala dinner on the opening night, the winners of the 2013 Qatari Business Women of the Year were announced. The eight distinguished women who were honored for their services to business and their professions were:

  • Innovation winner: Fawzia Ahmad Al Abdulla from Barwa Bank
  • Community Contribution & Participation winner: Moudhi Al Hajri
  • Leadership winner: Latifa Al Darwish
  • Future Goals & Financial Performance winner: Reem Al Harami
  • Business Winner: Anisa Jassem Mohd Sulaiman
  • Business Runner up: Aisha Al Bdeed – Darz Design
  • Professional Runner Up: Hayatt Al Shahri
  • Career Achievement Criteria and the QBWA Professional Winner:  Noof Abdulla Mohd Al Sulaiti

Also, a Special Recognition Award was given to the Qatari Golfer Yasmin Al Sharshani.

Under this year’s theme: ‘Arab business women as change makers’, panel discussions covered issues including business women leaders: a unique style and technique, focusing on harnessing emotional intelligence as a strength in business.

Buthaina al Ansari, Senior Director HR at Ooredoo-Qatar, spoke about how her organization motivated its staff. Dr Nitham Hindi, Dean of the College of Economics and Business at Qatar University discussed how emotional intelligence has financial rewards for individuals and organizations.

Other discussion sessions covered the topics of Arab women as business leaders, and the role of family-owned companies versus small business enterprises as incubators of women business; financial support for women entrepreneurs and innovators; creative financing for SMEs, and whether business women change makers are born or made.

At the conclusion of the Forum, QBWA Vice Chairwoman Aisha Alfardan said:

This year’s Forum has been our most successful ever and we are grateful to the 1,000 delegates, many of whom travelled from across the world to attend this event. What has become clear is that regardless of where you are from, women globally are facing the same issues – achieving success in the workplace, battling male-dominated environments and stereotypes, balancing work and home commitments and finding the right support to achieve professional success. We have achieved much through this year’s forum but we will continue to strive for women’s advancement in business throughout the world.’

This year’s event saw the widest-ever participation, with delegates from Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Russia, China, Malaysia, USA, Australia and countries throughout the Middle East.