Gulf Daily News Sunday, 1st February 2015 Email: email@example.com 11 Top industry role for women urged By LAALA KASHEF ALGHATA TRUE gender equality can only be realised if more emphasis is placed on women occupying top leadership roles within Bahrain’s industry and commerce sector. This is the view of Bahrain Businesswomen’s Society president Ahlam Janahi, who told the GDN that while great strides have been made empowering women in Bahrain, there are still several areas that need work. She said that women struggled to get ahead in the male-dominated world of industry, but if they worked hard then the law was on their side. “One of our country’s main achievements has been the empowerment of women in business and the economy as a whole,” she said. “Women now form a key part of the national economy. “But this process is ongoing – it hasn’t been a quick fix.” Ms Janahi lamented the fact that while there is a strong cohort of businesswomen in Bahrain, there is a relative dearth of them in industry. “We need more emphasis on women, because our The GDN is proud to have partnered with UN Women to highlight its year-long campaign to promote gender equality. This is the first in a series of articles being published to mark the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing n Ms Janahi observations of the market show that they are not highly involved in industry,” she said. “Women in top positions are normally employed in retail and work for international brands, in hotels, fashion or in PR offices. “Those are all good, but we n The UN Women logo still think that Bahraini women need to be in industry as well. “In fact, we need more industry in Bahrain full stop – and I think the percentage of women should increase in all fields. “If a woman is right for the job, she has to go for that position. “When I look to hire a woman, I look at her CV, education, personality and whether she deserves to be in that position. “But I want women to be the employers, not the employees.” Ms Janahi said the next step for Bahrain would be promoting more women to leadership positions. “The number of women in leadership positions should increase, with more female ministers, ambassadors and board members in different companies, both in the public and private sector,” she said. “Even in the Shura Council and parliament, we need to have more women. “Most boards of directors in Bahrain are largely or entirely made up of men, and we need to have the concept of the board change. “We want the women to be, if not 50/50, then at least 35/65 on the board.” Awareness campaigns were also needed, Ms Janahi said, to highlight just how many women there are in Bahrain who are qualified to work at the top level. “Women have to work harder than men to prove themselves in places like Saudi, but I still think that the best brain will come out on top,” she said. “It’s an issue for women, this problem of how to break with traditional thought – but they just have to work for it.” Meanwhile, Bahrain Business and Professional Women Club chairwoman Shaikha Hind bint Salman Al Khalifa said the issues that businesswomen in Bahrain struggle with most are a lack of experience and financing. “However, we have had noticeable advancements for women in senior banking positions,” she said. “The biggest achievements also came in small and medium enterprises, which was highlighted by Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa’s award. “Women do need more training and mentorships, however. “We have programmes through Tamkeen as well as through Bahrain Development Bank and everyone can benefit from such programmes.” As women form half of society they shouldn’t be limited to any one sector, according to Shaikha Hind. “They are engineers, doctors – wherever they work, they prove their skills,” she said. “The representation of women when looking at leading posts in the public and private sectors is not up to our expectations. “Certainly I look for more equality.” firstname.lastname@example.org n The Indian School pair of Harshini Karthikeyan Aiyyar and Nithin Jayadeep were the winners of the 11th Mothercare Inter-School Quiz Contest held last night at the Bahrain Keraleeya Samajam Diamond Jubilee Hall, Segaiya. The event was organised by Amicos, Bahrain-based alumni club of Mar Ivanios College, Kerala, and managed by Synergy Middle East. Six schools made it to the finals from among 165 teams from 16 schools across Bahrain. The final was hosted by renowned Indian quiz master Derek O’Brien. Above, the winners with the cup.
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