Dr Hussain Abdulrahman Al Rand at the IWBD Healthcare Roundtable

The International Women Board of Directors (IWBD) successfully concluded the groundbreaking HER Impact: Women Leadership in Healthcare Roundtable. This inspiring event, held on June 25, 2024, at Fakeeh University Hospital in Dubai, brought together industry leaders and prominent figures to champion women's leadership and shape the future of healthcare.

This exclusive gathering featured distinguished leaders in healthcare, including His Excellency Dr Hussain Abdulrahman Al Rand (Assistant Undersecretary for the Public Health Sector at MoHAP), Dr Ayesha Ahmad Saif AlTheeb (Head of Public Health Programs & Studies Section, Consultant Public Health, Dubai Health Authority), Dr Alya Zaid Harbi (Director of the Statistics and Research Centre at MoHAP), Dr Mohaymen Abdelghany (CEO, Fakeeh University Hospital), Dr Mohamad Fakih (Chief Nursing Officer, Fakeeh University Hospital), Karen Kamel (Regional Managing Director, McCann Health), Maysoun Ramadan (Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Partner, Roche), Imane Boudellioua (Senior Researcher, Technology Innovation Center), Malek El Husseini (Regional Director ME, UCLA Health) and more.

These distinguished speakers led discussions on critical topics shaping the future of healthcare, including neurodiversity in the workplace, the challenges of the sandwich generation, and the power of kindness in healthcare leadership.

Dr Hussain Abdulrahman Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for the Public Health Sector at MoHAP, emphasised the progress of women's leadership in the UAE. “In the UAE, women's leadership has made remarkable progress in recent years. The country’s leadership actively promotes gender equality and empowers women to lead across sectors. Government policies support women's advancement in government, business, academia, and more, driving innovation and progress.

"Emirati women exhibit resilience and capability, breaking barriers and achieving success. As a leader in public health, I have witnessed firsthand how women in the UAE have increasingly taken on leadership roles in the healthcare sector, holding key positions in hospitals, clinics, and healthcare organisations. Their contributions have been pivotal in advancing the country's healthcare system and ensuring high-quality patient care. That's why I'm proud to support the International Women's Board of Directors' HER Impact: Women Leadership in Healthcare Roundtable.”

Dr Ayesha Ahmad Saif AlTheeb, Head of Public Health Programs & Studies Section, Consultant Public Health, Dubai Health Authority, added, "A gender-balanced boardroom is critical for generating innovation, minimizing risks, and more accurately representing the different perspectives of employees, patients, and communities serviced. Too often, boardrooms lack the essential perspectives and life experiences of female executives. This deprives organisations of valuable information that could improve decision-making, culture, and outcomes.

"Senior women in healthcare have a unique intersectional grasp of the industry's concerns, including patient care, staff engagement, equity, and more. Their competence includes clinical, operational, and leadership areas. Having female executives and board members prioritizes the needs of women in healthcare, who are both providers and patients. They are crucial change agents in this transformational moment."

Dr Alya Zaid Harbi, Director of the Statistics and Research Centre, MoHAP, commented, "Women's leadership in the UAE has advanced remarkably, thanks to the unwavering support and progressive initiatives of our nation's leadership. At MoHAP, we are dedicated to fostering gender balance and providing opportunities for women to excel in healthcare leadership roles. It was my great pleasure to be part of the HER Impact: Women Leadership in Healthcare Roundtable, organised by the IWBD. This inspiring and well-organised event underscored the critical importance of leadership, gender balance, and women's empowerment in driving progress."

Poonam Chawla, Founder and Managing Director of IWBD, highlighted the necessity of women's leadership in healthcare, stating, "The global health landscape demands a diversity of voices and leadership. Regional disparities and the under-representation of women in healthcare leadership are simply unacceptable. At the International Women Board of Directors, we believe women's leadership in healthcare is not just an aspiration but a necessity for achieving health and prosperity for all. This roundtable marks a crucial step in accelerating progress, ensuring gender equity at every level from local communities to the global stage."

Dr Mohaymen Abdelghany, CEO, Fakeeh University Hospital, commented, "At Fakeeh University Hospital, we firmly believe that gender equality is not just a moral imperative, but a strategic driver of innovation and growth. By fostering a diverse and inclusive leadership team, we harness a wider range of perspectives and experiences, leading to more robust decision-making and a more creative problem-solving approach. We're proud to have 35 per cent women on our board and 60 per cent in our workforce, and we're committed to fostering a culture of inclusivity for sustainable growth.

"This reflects our commitment to valuing talent and potential, regardless of gender. This commitment positions us as an employer of choice and a trusted partner for sustainable growth."

The HER Impact Roundtable served as a powerful testament to the IWBD's commitment to fostering diversity and inclusivity in healthcare leadership. By empowering women leaders, we can build a more equitable future where everyone has access to quality healthcare.