Women in Business, A Reflection

Women in Business programs, Dubai
Women in Business programs, Dubai

Women in Business - Dubai

Why Dubai?

On November 28, 2017, 73 women from diverse professional backgrounds, varying industries, and different locations across the globe convened in Dubai for the first-ever Women in Business event, hosted by BDP International. This was an idea that was championed and designed by our Chief Legal Officer, Catherine Muldoon, who has always made it her mission to both support and challenge women to further advance their personal and professional development in the workplace. I was honored to co-chair this event and was thrilled to represent BDP International at an event that served as an opportunity for us to come together and discuss present-day issues, opportunities, and of course, share our stories with one another.

Some people wondered “why Dubai?”, but once we were there, the reasoning was one hundred percent evident. At every single table during the event, there were no less than three nationalities, professional backgrounds and industries, upbringings, and career paths. At my table alone, we had eight women, all from different countries. This provided us with the opportunity to engage with women from the BDP family, as well as customers and partners from different regions. We were thanked numerous times for starting this important conversation in the Middle East, because with so many diverse backgrounds in one room it truly felt like a global event as opposed to a local one.

While there is much in the news about the reality many women face around the world in the workplace, our focus was celebrating the successes, taking ownership of your career, and the panel participants were inspirational and powerful. We held a panel dinner the night before the event, and I immediately knew that the conference was going to be a success - the caliber of women participating and the stories they shared, the advice they passed on was invaluable to the attendees. After the morning panel discussion, we focused on hands-on, mini workshops to give the attendees tools they could take home and immediately apply. One was a personal brand statement which we’ve used internally for our leadership development programs. The other was a template for an individual development plan, encouraging the participants to think about both professional and personal areas of development. And finally we discussed communication image and used a powerful exercise provided to BDP by the executive coaching firm, The Nyman Group. All tools were well received.

BDP Chairman and CEO, Richard Bolte writes observations during the Women in Business event
BDP Chairman and CEO, Richard Bolte writes observations during the Women in Business event
Women in Business Dubai Attendees
Women in Business Dubai discussion
Raquel Loanda - Women in Business Networking

The success of the event was evident at the buzz of conversation at the lunch afterward - many connections were made, and future plans started... After the event, the attendees from BDP had a private meeting to start the discussion about women at BDP.  Since returning to Philadelphia, many of our female colleagues have approached me to thank BDP for hosting such an event and express their desire to do something locally.

I felt such pride to take part in this event not only as a female but as a member of the BDP Family. I am honored to be a part of an organization that not only represents, but stands for the values of dignity, respect, and diversity in the workplace. 

Women in Business panelist

"I truly believe this kind of meeting brings a value of female professionals to a brand new level." 

"We all need to embrace being women, be aware of our power, ask for balance in every aspect of life and equality at work."

Women in Business Dubai Panel 1
Women in Business, Dubai - Panel Speakers

Join BDP on September 12, 2018, for our Women in Business event in Philadelphia! We will be joined by our keynote speaker Martha Raddatz, ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent and co-anchor of "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

A BDP International event, sponsored by Willis Tower Watson.