Misperception or Perception: Professional Development for Women Is a Challenge, Period.

Dear Pitaconsumers,

Last week I received a few tweets about my article for the Vancouver Observer arguing that there are even stronger candidates for the Top 100 Arab Women of Influence.  (The Top 100 list is compiled by Arabianbusiness.com, which I reviewed in 2012 as well.  PITAPOLICY Consulting’s analysis received attention in other articles.)  But before I jump into that conversation, I would like to invite those PITAPALs in the Washington, DC area to register for a joint professional development-yoga seminar “Mind Your Body; Mind Your Stress” workshop, which is a monthly series in partnership with Jordin’s Paradise Dance, Yoga, and Fitness studio.  Details and registration here.  Basically, I don’t like to just criticize lists without offering a solution, which is providing a professional outlet for women to network and attend a seminar on defining a strategy, purpose, and mission for your next campaign, non-profit, or small business.  Professional development is a continuous process that is a challenge for women everywhere–not just the Middle East & North Africa region!

The most intriguing tweets relate to a conversation that highlights a common misperception–or perception if one agrees with the first tweet–about Arab governments’ treatment of women’s rights.  Please take a look at the conversation thread, read the article reposted below, review the 2012 list for yourself, and form your own opinion.  We are happy to repost your responses to the opinions below next Sunday, February 10th as part of the PITAPAL community discussion.  Just send to info at pitapolicyconsulting.com!  Thanks…

Primary Twitter Exchange:

  1. @pitapolicy @VO_World I feel Arab women generally have to be granted basic rights and freedoms. A human being is not a possession.

  2. @ThomasJeffries3 @VO_World I concur, but this applies 2all #women. Pornography in the #US, #UK & #Canada facilitate the notion of possession

  3. @pitapolicy @VO_World Ingrained values are hard to change. In Media it is finally getting better. Porno is bad and so is human trafficking.

@ThomasJeffries3 @pitapolicy / kick asses n take names. Arab women have fought men for power and won since before Canada existed.

Top 100 Arab Women Leaders: How More Can Join the List

By: Mehrunisa Qayyum

Source: Vancouver Observer

CEO of the Olayan Group Lubna Al-Olayan advised at the World Economic Forum in Davos, “We need to pressure the CEOs in GCC countries” in the banking industry to mentor women and “we need to get them to believe in it…not just play lip service.”

This year, Ms. Olayan ranked as number 3 in the “100 Most Powerful Arab Women” by ArabianBusiness.com. If her advice is applied, we could see Arab women in finance and banking tap into the Islamic Banking industry, which has the potential to make headway into socially responsible investing, a global trend. It would be a shame to miss this opportunity to advance and participate in an innovative field.

 Last year, I reviewed the top 100 Most Powerful Arab Women and argued that I had mixed feelings. On the one hand, the women were influential and mostly resided in the Arab countries. Moreover, the activists named in the Top 100 effectively leveraged social media for organizing and activating communities, as described by Altmuslimah Assistant Editor, Shazia Kamal. On the other hand, most of them primarily came from a legacy of family wealth, like #5 ranked Raja Easa Al Gurg of the UAE.

 The most represented category of women who exhibited “influence” was the ‘Culture and Society’ sector. Yet the…click here to continue.

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