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First Women In Technology MEA Awards presented

WIT MEA awards recognise contribution of women to regional science & technology sector

First Women In Technology MEA Awards presented
Hala Badri, Executive Vice President, Brand & Communications, du, won the award for best all round technology executive.

The first Women in Technology MEA Awards has recognized seven female executives from the region for their exemplary work in the science and technology field.

The awards were presented as part of the inaugural Women in Technology MEA Summit, held at the Dusit Thani Hotel, Dubai, on 15 January, to provide a forum to discuss issues such as career progression and workplace bias in science and technology.

The WIT MEA Awards 2014 attracted 75 online nominations from across the industry, with over 50 nominations short listed for deliberations by an eight member jury panel.

Seven winners were awarded for their contributions to the industry:

Best all round technology executive: Hala Badri, Executive Vice President, Brand & Communications, du

Best entry level technology executive: Benbartaoui Soumaya, Head of department, Regulator Authority for Post and Telecommunication

Best middle level technology executive: Shaden Mar'i, Senior Business Analyst, Telecom Billing Systems, Eskadenia Software Jordan

Best senior level technology executive: Lamya Barrak Al Tabtebai, Deputy GM Corporate Support Dept and Head of IT, Kuwait International Bank

Best technology business start up: Nassima Berrayah, Manager and web developer

Best technology enabler and facilitator: Abeer Dawood Abu Ghaith, Managing Director, StayLinked

Best technology business entrepreneur: Natalya Kaspersky, CEO Infowatch.

Meera Kaul, Chairperson of the WIT jury and founder of WIT, founder of Meera Kaul Foundation and founder of Germanium Ventures commented: "Women in Technology MEA is a niche event, which is not really a commercial cause. It is a cause close to my heart and to the hearts of a lot of women who suffer workplace bias as we compete in our careers with men. As women, we are appalled at the fact that we are not encouraged to take up some careers as those are labelled to be for men."

"Events like Women in Technology MEA Awards 2014 show that ICT and STEM women executives can be empowered to play a significant role in the industry. Also, the event helps women in planning their career progression and adapting to the challenges of the workplace," commented Natalya Kaspersky, CEO Infowatch.

During the Summit, Kaul also announced the launch of a new fund to help women entrepreneurs in the field of information technology.

The high profile jury team which selected the winners included Aileen Nandi from the US Trade Department; Birgitta Oltersdorf from IBM Global Business Services; Claire Jones from Cisco Middle East, Africa, Russia and CIS; Haritha Ramachandran from Frost & Sullivan; Heather Ramsey from Centre for Women's Leadership Initiatives; Melvina Terazi from SAP MENA; Sherifa Hady from HP Middle East, Mediterranean and Africa; and Trish Tierney from Institute of International Education.

The Summit witnessed a line -up of high profile women executive speakers, who voiced their expert opinions on career progression and work place bias in science and technology. The speakers included Adriana Rangel from IDC, Nermeen Hassan from Vivid Life DWC, Angelika Plate from Help AG, Salima Fassil from WalmartLabs, Melvina Tarazi from SAP, Havovi Yazdabadi from Oracle, Sherifa Hady from HP, Benedicte Hennebo from BT and Shaima Ghafoor from Girls in Tech Dubai. Other speakers included Bih Janet, Hanan Kader, Bela Rawal, Miriam Farshoukh and Eman Al Awadhi.

The Women in Technology MEA Awards and Summit 2014 was supported by Meera Kaul Foundation, Germanium Ventures, Optimus Initiative, Momenta, Pavegen Systems, Softwire, Audiowings, Listendeep, Adobe, Divcowest, WD, HP, Cisco, SAP, HP, IBM, Frost & Sullivan, Girls in Tech Dubai, Institute of International Education, Chatsworth Products, Social Media Club, IDC, Emax, Tech Channel MEA and Gulf Today.

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