In celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD), PwC Qatar collaborated with “Women of Qatar” and hosted a panel to highlight this year’s IWD theme – “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, featuring
several Qatari female entrepreneurs.
The panel was the first of a series and provided an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the contributions of Qatari entrepreneurs to various industries and efforts in building a more sustainable ecosystem for women in entrepreneurship. The panel discussed each of the panellists’ journeys, the challenges they faced, and how they overcame them.
The session featured a diverse panel of accomplished women from across sectors in Qatar which was moderated by Al Jawhara Al Thani from Women of Qatar. The panellists included Shams Al Qassabi, owner and founder of Al Shomous Products/Shay Al Shomous and Al Shomous Products Factory and the first businesswoman to own a shop and a restaurant in Souq Waqif, and Asmaa Al Kuwari, a prominent life coach. During the session, the female entrepreneurs discussed the opportunities and challenges in the industry for rising female businesswomen and reflected on the importance of unleashing the knowledge and capability of women that are essential in driving and leading change.
Representing PwC Qatar Firas Sleiman, Partner and Technology, Digital & Cyber Leader said: “Entrepreneurship is a challenging field for both men and women, with women historically facing unique cultural and societal challenges that they must overcome. Despite these hurdles, we have seen the relentless efforts, growth and success of Qatari women in breaking all the barriers, ensuring their entrepreneurial triumphs, and bringing the much needed balance to the workplace.”
During the panel, Al Jawhara Al Thani commented, “At ‘Women of Qatar’ every day is women’s day. Thanks to PwC’s support we are able to create our first joint event which will help us fulfill one of our main goals, that is to create a stronger community amongst women in Qatar via an insightful panel discussion with inspiring and entrepreneurial Qatari women.”
Commenting on her career path, Asmaa Al Kuwari said, “Since life coaching was not a popular career choice, I faced several obstacles and one of them was the ability and the motivation to raise awareness of life coaching and how it can be beneficial and an essential part of people’s lives. I remember, we were only 3 or 4 local life coaches at the time and now they are growing at a rapid pace which proves there is willingness to change and adapt.”
“Business has been in my blood since I was a child, and if I did not have the support of other women around me, I would not be able to be one of the first Qatari recipe developers and the first businesswoman to own a shop and a restaurant in Souq Waqif. No journey is free from challenges and difficulties, but the end result of success makes it all worthwhile,” said Shams Al Qassabi.