Her Future: Museum of the Future Hosts Female Role Models on International Women’s Day

‘Her Future’, the special International Women’s Day session, featured women who are shaping society and took place at the Museum of the Future’s outdoor terrace

In celebration of International Women’s Day and in line with the 2023 theme “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”, the Museum of the Future hosted prominent women in business, technology and arts under the motif ‘Her Future’. Featuring an invite-only afternoon tea attended by thought leaders, partners and members of the press, the occasion paid tribute to the women who are shaping society and advancing innovation through inclusivity. This is as part of the museum’s efforts to shed light on topics crucial to humanity today and in the future. 

His Excellency Khalfan Belhoul, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Future Foundation, took part in a fireside chat with Rana Nawas, Partner at Oliver Wyman and Founder of When Women Win Podcast, which focused on women in the corporate world and the UAE’s role in supporting the women in the workplace while narrowing gender disparity to ensure an inclusive environment.

His Excellency affirmed that the UAE believes in the important role of women in designing and creating the future – they are essential and influential partners in facing challenges, driving innovation and championing excellence in various scientific, research and economic sectors. His Excellency also highlighted Emirati women as pillars of past and present societies, its success and the future.

His Excellency added, “The teams of Dubai Future Foundation and Museum of the Future include an impressive group of influential women and are good examples of what women can contribute to,  representing the museum in the best possible way and continue to successfully showcase the culture and knowledge of our country to the whole world.”

Two keynote presentations explored the role of women in key industries that are driving innovation and shaping the world today. Rima Semaan, Data and AI UAE Country Director of Microsoft UAE, discussed AI & technology while Leila Hurstel, Executive Board member and Chief MetaVerse Officer of Verse Estate and Co-Founder of AllStarsWomen DAO, highlighted topics around the metaverse.


Rima Semann: said: “As only 20% of women work in AI, we need more as technology is generally biased in its nature. This is a tipping point in history that we need to reflect upon and work to get more women involved in AI. We know what we’re after in terms of talent and there are practical things that we have to put in place, whether it is in performance management systems or interview situations where you have diverse panels. For example, we eliminated self-appraisals because women downgrade themselves subjectively, and men over-grade themselves, which ends up with an anchoring effect and misalignment.”

Leila Hurstel also commented: “The metaverse will transform the way we live and interact with each other. We need to build networks of diverse talent, as a diverse network can lead to a more equitable future for all, as well as create a positive force for change, access and diversity. Additionally, female leaders in this space should work to raise awareness and visibility for women in the industry. Women solidarity is the key and together we can move mountains!”

Moderated by broadcaster, MC and speaker, Nimi Mehta, two panel discussions featuring female industry experts, philanthropists and decision-makers emphasised the contributions of women in sustainability and space exploration as well as the future impact of these innovations on technology, healthcare and the economy.

The ‘Revolutionary Innovations for a Better Life’ panel featured Aaesha Alnuaimi, Executive Director at DEWA’s Innovation Center; Latifa Bin Haidar, Founder of Baytuki and Co-Founder of Mental Health AE;  Melda Akin, Tech Entrepreneur and Founder of D14.Ai and Sirius Labs; and Hind Bin Dmaithan, Founder of Hamzat Wasl Studio and Events Director of Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center. All panellist closed with a motivational line for all women:

·       “What would you do if you weren’t scared and could just go for it” – Melda Akin

·       “Let your passion be your engine to drive your future” – Hind Bin Dmaithan

·       “My advice to women is to always follow your passion, trust yourself and be confident to achieve your goals” –  Dr. Aaesha Alnuaimi

·       “It is inspiring to hear the stories from fellow entrepreneurs and wonderful to hear where they are at this stage of their journeys.” – Latifa Bin Haidar

The ‘Space as a Service’ panel saw the participation of Anna Hazlett, Founder and Principal of Azurx; Dr. Eng. Suaad Al Shamsi, the UAE’s first female aircraft engineer; Ayat Amr, United Nations Youth Ambassador of Jordan and Ambassador of Women and Girls in Science; and Rana Nawas, Partner at Oliver Wyman and Founder of ‘When Women Win’ podcast.

Anna Hazlett said: “Out of the 622 people who have gone to space only 75 of those are women. Our hope for the future is that more women from diverse backgrounds look to the space industry for inspiration and consider it for a future career.” Rana Nawas conquered and also said: “In this day and age, companies need to be competitive. The era is over of the mediocre man rising to the top and it is now a very competitive playing field.”

Ayat Amr closed saying: “Being a woman is not a limitation or excuse, it’s a privilege,” while Dr. Eng. Suaad Al Shamsi left with, “If you can dream it you can do it with a big smile”.

In addition, the event featured an oud performance by Shamsa Al Jasmi, the first female Emirati oud player, as well as an art installation by artist, curator, Founder of Hamzat Wasl Studio and Events Director of Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center, Hind Bin Dmaithan.

International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements of women and addresses topics revolving around women’s rights. Under the theme “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”, International Women’s Day 2023 (IWD 2023) explores the impact of the digital gender gap on widening economic and social inequalities.

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