Dubai: The first Emirati woman to work in Al Ain city on Wednesday highlighted the factors of her success in the various roles she plays including being a state minister.
Dr. Maitha Salem Al Shamsi, said the challenge for UAE women is no more about breaking the glass ceiling, but about sustaining the dignity they have gained as committed professionals, capable multi-taskers, and dedicated homemakers.
She was speaking at an event organized by Dubai Women Establishment (DWE), to honour outstanding Emirati women leaders. The gathering was part of the Establishment's series of ongoing initiatives to spotlight the success of Emirati women in the workforce throughout the UAE, and project them as ideal role models for the younger generation.
Dr. Maitha said that in the past, the society did not accept the idea of working women, as a woman's role was confined to getting married and raising children.
She said: "I was the first Emirati woman to work in a school in Al Ain. The hesitation was that if women worked outside their homes, they will no longer respect and hold on to their traditions and cultural values.''
“I will not exaggerate if I say that many parents agreed to let their daughters' complete higher education after they were only allowed to study until preparatory grades when they interacted with me," she added.
Dr. Maitha said her father encouraged her and taught her that there is no difference between a man and a woman when it comes to education, as everyone needs to learn.
She encouraged everyone to read and keep learning because it feeds the brain and the spirit and puts a person ahead in a competition.
"We are blessed here in the UAE. Our leaders are highly conscious about ensuring our integration into every aspect of the country's development," she said.
"It is up to us to seize those opportunities and achieve excellence in each endeavour that we undertake. In doing that, it is important to first learn from the experience of others, before bringing in our own individuality to our work," Dr. Maitha stressed.
Some of the key posts held by Dr. Maitha Al Shamsi include:
- Adviser to the Supreme Chairperson of the Family Development Foundation
- Member of the Management Council of the Paris-Sorbonne University in Abu Dhabi
- Chairperson of the Board of Trustees in UAE University for Advanced Education