Female U.S. Entrepreneur Leads Women’s Empowerment Initiative in the Middle East

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Connie Dieken, CEO of The Dieken Group, leads event advancing gender diversity in Middle Eastern business.

“This is a human empowerment issue,” says Dieken. “Organizations with both genders leading together are the most visionary, successful, influential contributors to the world.”

On November 6th, 2017, leadership advisor Connie Dieken led the inaugural summit of the Women’s Empowerment Network, an initiative to advance gender diversity in Middle Eastern business. Sponsored by Zain Group, the leading mobile telecommunications innovator in eight markets across the Middle East and North Africa, the Women’s Empowerment Network aims to transform the social and economic empowerment of women in the MENA region.

Dieken, the founder of Influence 360° and chief executive of The Dieken Group, is listed among the world’s Top 10 Executive Coaches and has been honored as one of the Top 10 Female Business Owners in her region of the United States. She developed and moderated the inaugural summit, which took place in Kuwait City at the Symphony Style Hotel. Attendees included eight Zain regional CEOs, approximately 250 of Zain’s female employees from eight countries, and an estimated 1,000 others via live stream.

The full-day event began with Dieken’s one-on-one interview with Zain Vice Chairman and Group CEO Bader Nasser Al-Kharafi. He shared his bold vision for the gender-equal future of Zain and Middle Eastern business as well as his thoughts about equality on a personal, national, and regional level.

“It was an extraordinary discussion with a leader who is stepping forward to influence a significant cultural transformation,” said Dieken. “It takes openness for a society to progress and this was a moment of profound openness. The women were deeply moved by Mr. Al-Kharafi’s courage, commitment, and transparency. And they responded by sharing their truths.”

Following the interview and Dieken’s keynote, the women participated in three think tank sessions on topics that included female entrepreneurship, education, and championing gender diversity, led by Dieken. By the end of the day, there was an impressive list of relevant, actionable ideas for Al-Kharafi and the rest of Zain’s leadership team to prioritize and implement.

“I thank Connie Dieken for her sound advice on leadership and inspiring all my fellow Zainers,” said Al-Kharafi. “The topic of gender diversity has been on our corporate agenda for quite some time and yet, in this region, we can observe only a marginal increase in women occupying senior roles.”

In that respect, the inaugural Women’s Empowerment Network event is only the beginning. Processes and policies that the attendees suggested during the program will be enacted over the course of the coming year. At each subsequent annual meeting, attendees will benchmark progress and further develop Zain’s gender equality initiatives.

Said Al-Kharafi, “I believe a program to initiate and measure actual progress achieved in this respect over time will reap benefits not just for women within Zain, but for the region as a whole.”

“This is a human empowerment issue,” added Dieken. “Organizations with both genders leading together are the most visionary, successful, influential contributors to the world. Social change is a prerequisite to modernize the Middle East and prepare it for the post-oil economy.”

“The Women’s Empowerment Network can influence the entire region,” Dieken continued. “This has the potential to turn promise into practice. We’re collaborating to dismantle the barriers that prevent women from playing a fuller role in private and public sector organizations. Zain Group is a global ambassador of women’s empowerment, and is taking action to shape the future of women’s involvement in the labor force.”

The Zain Group serves over 45 million customers in Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and South Sudan.

To learn more about Connie’s expertise in leadership and influence, please visit http://www.conniedieken.com.

About Connie Dieken

The founder of Influence 360° and chief executive of The Dieken Group, Connie Dieken was recently named one of the world’s Top 10 Executive Coaches and has been honored as one of the Top 10 Female Business Owners in her region in the United States.

A former newswoman, Dieken is a five-time Emmy Award® winning journalist, a two-time Telly Award® winner, and the only woman to have been inducted into both the Radio/Television Broadcasters Hall of Fame® and the Speakers Hall of Fame®, as well as the Million Dollar Consulting Hall of Fame®. The author of two best-selling business books on influence and executive presence including “Talk Less, Say More” and “Become the Real Deal,” Dieken has advised the influence strategies of leaders at many of the world’s best-known organizations, including Apple, HP, Nestlé, and The Cleveland Clinic.

Please visit http://www.conniedieken.com for more information on Dieken’s consulting services, executive coaching, speaking services, corporate training, and the books she’s authored. You can also visit http://www.Influence360.com to learn more about Dieken's research.

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Contact: Connie Dieken or Christy Lawrence
Phone: +1 (440) 930-8500 or +1 (704) 804-1054
Email: connie(at)conniedieken(dot)com or christy(at)conniedieken(dot)com

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