More than 90 participants including senior female executives gathered at Mastercard’s MEA headquarters to emphasize the importance of building diverse and inclusive workforces

Group PhotoDubai, UAE – 21 February, 2018:
 Reiterating a global commitment to diversity, inclusion and empowerment, Mastercard, a leading technology company in the global payments industry, and the American Business Council in Dubai (ABC Dubai) hosted senior female executives and industry leaders from the region for a ‘Women Connect’ event.

Held at the Mastercard Innovation Showcase in the company’s Middle East and Africa headquarters, the event gathered more than 90 guests who joined the conversation on why gender equality and empowerment should be top priorities for companies worldwide.

The discussions started with keynote sessions by Sura Alawi, Head of Strategy and Business Excellence and Board Secretary, Smartworld; Beatrice Cornacchia, Head of Marketing and Communications, Middle East and Africa, Mastercard; and Aparna Verma, CEO, Scholars International Group, who highlighted the outstanding contributions of women across the region’s business domain and the challenges facing female executives in the corporate world.

The event’s C-Suite panel session saw a number of senior female executives sharing their personal leadership stories with the audience while emphasizing the importance of building a culture of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Participants included special guest Martina Hund-Mejean, Chief Financial Officer, Mastercard; Joe Chalouhi, Chief Human Resources Officer, GE MENAT; Esther Ndichu, Vice President of Public Affairs and Government Relations at UPS ISMEA; Ailsa Pollard, Senior Vice President – dnata Travel (Consumer) Middle East & India; and Akef Al-Aqrabawi, President and CEO, JA Middle East/ North Africa, INJAZ Al-Arab. In addition, Helen McGuire, Co-Founder and MD, Hopscotch delivered an inspirational talk on ‘Breaking the Mold.’

This event is one in a series of four events held annually by ABC Dubai featuring inspiring female leaders in business.