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Mentor Tea Highlights Dramatic Rise of Qatari Women in Business and Politics

Sheikha Alanoud bint Hamad Al-Thani

With a central message about the important role women play in Qatar’s growing economy, Sheikha Alanoud bint Hamad Al-Thani, the Managing Director of Business Development at the Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFC), was the featured guest speaker at a webinar hosted by QF partner Georgetown University in Qatar.

The talk was part of the “Mentor Tea” series, a collaboration between the GU-Q Women’s Center and Georgetown Women Alliance in Qatar (GWA-Q) which aims to inspire female students and women across the GU-Q community through engagement with professional women.

In her presentation, Sheikha Alanoud stressed the critical importance of closing gender-based employment and wage parity gaps, saying: “Women and girls continue to make incredible contributions every day across all fields of human endeavor – from business, to education, sport, art, science, agriculture, parenting, and governance.”

She also focused on entrepreneurship as an important path to women’s empowerment, highlighting key initiatives QFC offers to support women in business. The London School of Economics and University of Oxford graduate also discussed the challenges professional Qatari women face when navigating cultural expectations, but said the opportunity for advancement has never been better. “Reforms guided by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser in terms of human and community development through education, equal opportunities, family welfare and regulation, have seen women establish themselves as a formidable part of the workforce in Qatar.”

Kamilah Idris, an International Economics major, said: “Seeing professional women sharing their career journeys is not only inspirational but also empowering, and I believe it is important to showcase more women in successful positions.”

Sooin Jessica Choi, Culture and Politics major, said: “I was grateful to be able to hear from a woman in another male-dominated industry, and her personal anecdote of being the only female in the room resonated a lot with me.”

Prior to her current role, Sheikha Alanoud held the roles of Associate Director of Economic Affairs for the MENA region and Vice President of Strategic Alliances at QFC. Previously, Sheikha Alanoud served as the Qatar Country Director for Silatech, a Qatar-based social initiative that connects young people to employment opportunities across the Arab region. The GU-Q Women’s Center, created in 2010, strives to support, educate, and empower female students and women in the community of all cultures, races, identities, spirituality, and ages. Established in 2019, GWA-Q is an association dedicated to promoting innovative ideas and strategies that enhance opportunities for women in the community