Female leaders working in Qatar’s booming higher education sector shared their experiences of building careers in academia at a live seminar event hosted by the Division of Continuing Professional Development at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q).
The event, titled ‘Breaking the Bias: Stories from Academia’, featured expert speakers from several of Qatar’s leading universities, an interactive Q&A session, and a panel discussion. The seminar was also accessible via WCM-Q’s online platform.
The event began with opening remarks by Dr Aicha Hind Rifai, associate professor of Clinical Psychology at WCM-Q. Dr Christine Schiwietz, assistant dean, Curriculum and Academic Advising at Georgetown University in Qatar, then gave a presentation titled ‘The Glass Ceiling and Academia: How Can We Make Change Happen?’, which highlighted the challenges faced by women aiming to progress to senior positions in the higher education sector. Dr Schiwietz then led a Q&A session.
In a session titled ‘Stories from Academia’, Dr Thurayya Arayssi, professor of Clinical Medicine and vice-dean for Academic and Curricular Affairs at WCM-Q, and Dr Selma Limam Mansar, professor of Information Systems and associate dean of Education at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, recounted their career journey to date.
Dr Arayssi said, “We were delighted to invite senior female academics to WCM-Q to share their stories with us. Through diligence, persistence and application of their great talents, these women have achieved wonderful things in academia, benefiting not only themselves but also their institutions and their colleagues and students, both female and male. Their stories serve as an inspiration and a guiding light to women and girls everywhere who have ambitions to reach the very highest standards in academia.”