Women’s leadership in higher education institutions (Prof. Liisa Laakso)
I will first describe the underrepresentation of women in university leadership by recent data, and then why gender equality at universities is important. In this I will refer to my own experience, too. The main focus of my presentation is to overview ongoing world-wide programmes and initiatives to enhance women’s position in university leadership and the importance of peer support and networking in this work.

The need for gender equality education in Latin America (Dr. Joyce Capelli)
The way we perceive the world is formed and defined by history and culture. Before the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the Latin American region faced many inequalities, especially the ones related to gender (in terms of access to health, education and political representation). With the concomitant event of the pandemic, an unprecedent crisis influenced all sectors and in education specifically we have found that the most disadvantaged children and youth were disproportionately affected. With the prolonged closure of schools, children and youth – girls even more – are at higher risk of learning losses and school dropout; they are also at higher risk of food insecurity as well as physical and mental health problems, compromising their development in the long term. The educational emergency can be an opportunity to rethink the current educational system and build one that closes existing inequalities and enables all children and adolescents in the region to reach their full potential.

The evolution of women empowerment (Dr. Randa Diab-Bahman)
In today’s day and age, one would expect the pillars of female empowerment to be aligned with the trajectories of women’s’ changing needs. However, there has been a dearth of information being reported from a first-person point of view on what the actual needs are. With many barriers ever-so present, there is still much ground work to be covered. Aside from noisy promises from policy makers, not much has been changed in the way societies decide on gender matters – precisely in the Middle East. It is no secret that by removing barriers that prevent women from progressing and accessing – the same way as men – the recognition of gender issues affords economies to result in better economic performance and improve economic development. In the grand scheme of things, it is important to get the right stakeholders involved in order to make informed decisions on gender issues. What was once thought of as ‘women empowerment’ has been evolving over the years, especially when expressed by women themselves. In this presentation, we will explore the changing needs of the female undergraduate student body from several private universities in Kuwait.

The impact of inclusive leadership on organisational culture and knowledge sharing behavioural intentions at workplace (Hanan Al Mheiri)
Like anything else that evolves around us, leadership and organisational culture too keeps evolving. Therefore, it is important for organisations, leadership and employees to keep up with all these enhancements to keep market competitive advantage. In order for leaders to keep excelling and ensure that they create a productive and healthy environment in the workplace, they have to adopt inclusive leadership practices. This session will address the researcher’s motivation. Then it dives into the origins of organizational culture and the evolution of leadership with focus on “Inclusive Leadership”. The session highlights the dimensions of inclusive leadership and benefits of inclusive leadership, including the positive impacts it can have on employee engagement, innovation, and creativity. The session is a mixture between both theoretical and practical outlook that provides you with practical tips and recommendations to implement at your workplace.

Why AI analytics are in the centre of our world today and key to successful operation (Miryem Salah)

The power of AI: Why AI & Analytics are both in the Centre of our world today and key for successful operation. As our world and day-to-day operation moves to digital interaction mostly, the power of data has become key for driving efficiencies through insights. Leading businesses today are leading through continuous data driven decisions. This with the increase in machine learning is raising numerous questions on the Ethics of the automation as well as the insurance that proper governance and management of key data such as personal information is in place. The presentation will talk about the future world when AI is driving our interactions and the importance of pushing innovation to help achieving SDG on gender equality through data gathering and continuous real time address whether for women in the workplace #dontletherdown or young ladies all over the world.

Women in leadership: more fixing the pipeline, less fixing the women (Professor Kimberly DeSimone)

Despite increasing recognition, well supported in the research, of the benefits of gender diversity in organizations, and notwithstanding growing initiatives implemented to support the advancement of women, the lack of women at the highest levels of leadership persists across all domains from education, to government, to business, and STEM fields in most countries across the globe. The pipeline to positions of power, pay, and prestige remains broken. Narratives surrounding women leaders persistently reflect widely circulated gender norms, limiting beliefs, and false assumptions. There is the suggestion that women can coach, sponsor, mentor their way to “fixing” the behaviors holding them back. Women are NOT broken nor are we defective. A host of external, social, and organizational variables have been identified in the literature correlating with clogging the advancement pipeline to top leadership for highly qualified women. Antiquated stereotypes, biases and beliefs relative to which leadership attributes should be valued and how woman leaders should behave continue to hinder women’s advancement. Although the focus of this talk is women advancing to top leadership roles, it is grounded in gender justice and the belief that gender justice is a human right. That every woman and girl is entitled to live in dignity, in freedom, without fear, with endless possibility. Gender justice begins with discussing and dismantling harmful structures and social constructs that result in discrimination and oppression. Women’s rights are fundamental human rights that were enshrined by the United Nations for every human being nearly 70 years ago. We must reframe the narrative, moving beyond gender towards a more equitable 21st century model for all. The incremental changes that we have introduced in the twentieth century are insufficient to respond to the needs of this century. Solutions must consider the professional, political, cultural, and personal realities of the twenty‐first century.

Women empowerment: breaking barriers towards intergenerational trauma (Nurulayn Noor)

According to the organization Social Work Today, intergenerational trauma involves multiple generations of families transmitting the damage of trauma throughout the years. This trauma affects women disproportionately. Nurulayn Noor will be presenting about intergenerational trauma and introducing some proposals for how a woman may break barriers towards this vicious cycle. Approaching this topic particularly through a South Asian lens, while applying the same principles to the larger female population, she will talk about how intergenerational trauma in combination with societal and cultural norms, construct an oppressive regime of living. She will overview the cycle of a woman’s life from childhood to adulthood, discussing how a woman absorbs this trauma and how it shapes her life. She will also focus on the importance of women empowering one another and how this serves as one way to help break the barriers towards intergenerational trauma.

Mental Health and Community Engagement (Dorcas Gwata)
The story of pandemics, is the story of inequalities. Mental health is one the greatest challenges of our time, with women and children carrying the heaviest burden, particularly in low income countries and minority groups in the global north. In London youth violence, stark inequalities, compounded by structural violence  disproportionately affect minority groups, with many young people affected by knife crime and trauma yet some of the greatest opportunities for innovation arise at a time of deep vulnerability. Where resources are scarce and access to services is poor evidence has shown that robust community engagement can enhance mental health outcomes in vulnerable communities. The Zimbabwean Friendship Bench Project is a culturally adjusted community based program led by grandmothers who provide basic mental health support in an area with high exposure to HIV, domestic violence, substance misuse and communities living in extreme poverty. The Friendship Bench has proved effective, and has been scaled up to high income countries, providing evidence that high income countries have much to learn from low resourced countries. The Gogo Project is a diaspora COVID19 response innovative project, led by young people in Mbare, Zimbabwe, the project supports grandmothers and grandchildren and child led homes with basic groceries and mental health awareness with hygiene and sanitation awareness. Importantly so as HIV rates in young girls are increasing, impacting on their education and development. Where women lead innovation thrives, the challenges of our time require bold leadership skills, the landscape in which women are leading is deeply patriarchal with complex geo-political challenges. This presentation explores leadership tools that are available to girls and women as we navigate different contexts to create greater impact in our communities and for our well being. It celebrates legacies of women in leadership and calls for bold leadership as we strive to meet the global challenges before us.

Challenge Accepted: Turn your pain into purpose (Dr. Salma Elfaki)
I will be taking the audience through my journey as a Sudanese American woman and the road to my success. My goal is to motivate and inspire girls and young women to persevere and stay determined in reaching their goals .I will discuss the role of my family, I will discuss the challenges I faced as a black female demonstrating excellence and perseverance. I will discuss big moments in my life that shaped my journey, and I will discuss skills and tools young women can use to change their lives no matter what challenges they face. I will show them how to turn the anger and hurt into actionable items and make this world a better place for them and others.

Leading with kindness: an intergenerational approach to achieving gender equality (Ella Robertson)
At the heart of every global threat is a failure of leadership. This new generation is the most informed, most educated, most connected generation in human history. One Young World identifies, promotes and connects the world’s most impactful young leaders to create a better world, with more responsible, more effective leadership.

Leadership lessons learnt from COVID-19 (Dr. Mayada AbuAffan)
Introduction: COVID-19 as a global pandemic presented a real challenge for every healthcare system; from the most sophisticated to the most under-developed systems. The World was not prepared for a problem with such a scale. The pandemic presented many challenges; highly spreadable infection with no treatment that works or readily available vaccine, a sudden need for personal protective equipment and other resources at a scale and sudden pressure on hospitals and other healthcare settings. Furthermore, reducing the spread f the infection relies heavily on population compliance and behavioural change. The psychological and economic impact of the lockdown are immense. And most recent challenge is the rollout of a mass vaccination program for the first time in the recent history.
Method: This presentation is based on reflections and insights  of many leaders working in managing COVID-19 in the UK on what aspects and styles of leadership they found necessary and effective in managing the pandemic and how they managed to keep their staff motivated and able manage the ever rising workload.
Results: The following aspects of leadership have been found essential to manage a global pandemic of such a scale;

  • To be able to manage complex situation there is a need to think and behave as a system “system leadership”
  • To be able to adapt for a fast-evolving pandemic, there is a need for “agile leadership”
  • The need for lateral thinking and innovation “transformative leadership”, especially when reaching out to communities in order to increase the vaccination uptake
  • To be able to manage a rapidly expanding workload “leadership focusing on productivity and lean processes “

The session covers how these leadership styles contribute to managing such a pandemic covering the Why, What and So What.