WiN, The Women’s Innovation Network, is the culmination of a powerful set of ideas and beliefs focused on certain fundamental forces; the power, drive and grit that women in professional roles bring to the world of business. WiN is the brainchild of the international leadership at Shaw, having realized the power that women in key roles bring to their business model, and have embraced the idea of empowering women to become influencers within their respective regions.
“WiN was founded with the intention to play a key role as a powerful influencer in this traditionally male dominated design and construction industry, and to bring about the change we wish to see”, says Emma Burdett, Regional Director of Global and Strategic Accounts at Shaw and founder of WiN Middle East. She’s brought together a group of people with one goal in mind: to support the development of women in the local design and construction industry through resources and opportunities that help them drive successful careers.
The key group driving this initiative includes Diane Thorsen, Elaine O’Connor, Anne Barron, Yullianna Porter, Meher Fazal, Kristin Lee, Annamaria Lambri Reem Habib, Carly Dubery, Grace Van Beusekom, and Najoa Hishmeh. This unique panel of women will influence, innovate and inspire. It’s a deliberate mix of women from different industries pertaining to a design scenario: “Our thinking is rooted in a noble desire to support each other to be the best that we can be, and then collectively influence and inspire all women in the region and expand this globally. We generate ideas to affect change and through these ideas, we prosper as individuals and holistically, so do the families and communities to which we belong.”
Within the local design industry, women are often faced with an unexpected awareness of their gender and the challenges that come with this realization. WiN is of the opinion that although these moments can be potentially uncomfortable, they don’t hold back a woman’s chance of success within a traditionally male dominated industry. In the long run, they hope to provide educational resources, career focused training, volunteerism and networking opportunities, with the help of an accomplished network. More importantly, it also serves to offer insights from their peers, thereby creating a much needed opportunity for young women to be guided by these role models. In essence, they are hoping to make a real impact at the grassroots level by partnering with the American University of Dubai (AUD) by actively engaging with students, as well as by presenting a bi-monthly lecture series which would encourage public participation.