Entrepreneur and corporate social responsibility activist Sheikha Hanadi Nasser bin Khaled al-Thani stated that the path to sustainable economic growth and prosperity is for women to realise their potential in business and innovation.
The founder, chairperson and CEO of Amwal, Qatar’s first regulated investment company, shared her decades-long experience in business, economics and entrepreneurship at the Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q)’s Dean’s Lecture Series.
Sheikha Hanadi highlighted the strides made by Qatar over the past few decades. She noted that Qatar has the region’s highest levels of participation by women in the marketplace at 52%, including high-ranking women in government.
However, she believes that efforts are still needed to promote representation of women at the ‘C-suite level’ and on the boards of listed companies.
She pointed to the finding of a recent McKinsey Global Institute report, which suggested that advancing women’s equality can add $12tn to the global GDP by 2025.
“Better representation and diversity also lead to better decision making, while creativity and innovation are sparked when there are two genders in the room,” she argued.
Michael Trick, dean, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, highlighted Sheikha Hanadi’s commitment to business education, financial literacy, and mentoring young female entrepreneurs. “Sheikha Hanadi exemplifies how education and innovation work hand-in-hand. She shared many insights with our students, encouraging them to pursue knowledge, work hard and be persistent, and perhaps most important, to learn from your failures as well as your successes.”
Sheikha Hanadi is also the founder and chairperson of INJAZ Qatar, an organization that provides mentoring for aspiring entrepreneurs and promotes financial literacy among Qatar’s youth.
She advised the students: “You should see your degree as a key to unlocking the door to the pursuit of knowledge.”
The Dean’s Lecture Series at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar hosts leaders in business, government, and academia, providing a platform to share their knowledge and insights with the Carnegie Mellon community, and to broaden students’ understanding of important issues.
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