Women in Engineering Leadership Summit

The IEEE Women in Engineering International Leadership Summit in collaboration with the American University in Dubai (AUD) and IEEE Women in Engineering and IEEE WIE UAE Chapter took place at AUD under the theme "Beyond Boundaries". The summit was opened by AUD President Dr. Lance E. de Masi who was welcomed by the summit chair, Dr. Boutheina Tlili.

Dr. de Masi highlighted that such an event taking place at the AUD campus was a reflection of the institutional support and positive attitude towards gender equality. "We work to ensure that equality of opportunity remain a key tool of effectiveness. Women equal men in number in the student body, but account for 55% of faculty and staff. Two-thirds of our Valedictorians have been female graduates. In the last two years, one-half of our Emirati graduates in engineering have been female; and I am proud to point out that almost 75% of AUD's math and science faculty are women. Actually, in science, it's almost 90%!"


Emphasizing the achievements of women in engineering and women in general Dr. de Masi said: "It was actually Chairman Mao who once said that women hold up half the sky. These days, that is becoming an understatement."


The summit focused on Inspiration, Leadership, Empowerment and Innovation aiming to bring together a global gathering of women in technology who aim to inspire, engage and empower other women. H.E. Dr. Eesa Bastaki, President - University of Dubai took to the stage as the keynote speaker where he stressed the importance of investment in education to close the gap in the gender disparity. He urged delegates not to be stagnant but to continuously innovate. He echoed the sentiments of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan who once said "if we invest in education now, then after 50 years we will be able to celebrate when we export the last barrel of oil."


Christine Dal Bello, Public Affairs Officer at the US Consulate General Dubai spoke on behalf of H.E. Ambassador Barbara Leaf, US Ambassador to the UAE acknowledging the gender gap that exists today with women comprising only 12% of the engineering field and 26% of the computing field in the US. She emphasized the US government's dedication to encourage women to join and remain in STEM-related fields through academics and professional tracks.


The event welcomed distinguished guest speakers Her Excellency Dr. Maryam Matar, Genetic Diseases Association (UAEGDA) UAE, MD Founder & Chairperson and Sultan Al-Hajji, Total E&P UAE, Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer.


The second half of the summit was filled with a notable line up of panels with industry experts leading discussions on leadership, empowerment, innovation and new trends in technology, and inspiration.


The summit offered a unique opportunity to share valuable experiences and the exchange of ideas in the Middle East and throughout the world between the audience of industry professionals, academics, and students.


The event was made possible by support of Inspire Partner, General Electric; Empower Partner, ABB Group; and Engage Partners, SAP and Al Aan TV.