In commemoration of this year’s Emirati Women’s Day, the Emirati Women Achievers (EWA) initiative recently unveiled its second edition. Hosted at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), the event celebrated 23 Emirati female professionals for their contributions across various sectors. Anchored by startAD and powered by Tamkeen, both Abu Dhabi-based entities, the event received collaborative support from the US Mission to the UAE and the Arab International Women’s Forum.
Patronage and Keynotes
Held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, the event was graced by keynote speeches from high-ranking officials. H.E. Dr. Maitha Salem Al Shamsi, UAE Minister of State, represented Sheikha Fatima and emphasized the instrumental role that Emirati women have played in shaping the UAE. Another notable keynote was delivered by Rima Al Mokarrab, Chair of Tamkeen and NYU Trustee, who announced the creation of the EWA Network.
EWA Network: A Collaborative Evolution
Al Mokarrab highlighted the EWA Network as an extension of the EWA initiative, designed to support and expand the reach of Emirati female professionals. The network aims to act as a collaborative platform for Emirati women from various backgrounds to share resources and experiences. “Our focus is on identifying constructive resources that serve the women innovators of today and those to come,” Al Mokarrab stated.
Spotlight on Achievers
The 23 women honored this year were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the UAE’s culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. Among the awardees were Tala Badri, founder of the Centre for Musical Arts; Hoda Alkhzaimi, Director of the Center of Cyber Security at NYUAD; and Fatima Alkaabi, the UAE’s youngest inventor as of 2015.
Building a Broader Ecosystem
In addition to the annual awards, the EWA initiative has integrated a larger network of 74 Emirati female professionals into the startAD ecosystem. They will serve as mentors, speakers, and investors, contributing to a cycle of support and opportunity for future generations of Emirati women.
International Support and Training Programs
The U.S. Mission to the UAE has been actively involved with startAD, specifically through the Academy of Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) training program. Since 2020, the AWE program has aided 29 businesses and 64 Emirati women, generating substantial economic impact in terms of funding, revenue, and job creation.
The EWA initiative not only celebrates the achievements of Emirati women but also serves as a platform for fostering growth, collaboration, and mentorship, thereby contributing to the UAE’s broader objectives of innovation and societal development.