KUWAIT CITY, Nov 22: The “Women in the Corporate World Series”, a series of conferences and workshops designed to offer women developmental opportunities that support their career aspirations, was launched this Monday at the Chairman’s Club, in KIPCO Tower. Organized by Alghanim Industries, and sponsored by Gulf Bank and Kuwait Project Company (Holding) — KIPCO, the event was attended by executives from the participating companies and over 40 high-potential working women.
The day included an impactful workshop entitled “Negotiating with Executive Presence” led by Harvard Business School Professor Brian J. Hall, who engaged the participants in topics such as effective negotiation practices and essential skills to enhance executive presence. Professor Hall is Head of the Negotiation, Organization and Markets Unit at HBS and currently serves as an advisor to Alghanim Industries.
Studies have shown that women have extremely effective communication skills, and they tend to excel at negotiation when it pertains to their company and coworkers. Women’s negotiation abilities, however, are not nearly as effective when it comes to negotiating on their own behalf. In 2015, New York City-based company, Levo, surveyed over 10,000 women on negotiation and found that “when starting a job at a new company, 83% of women agreed that it is important to negotiate their salary, but 63% felt uncomfortable negotiating anything.” This is one of the main factors that leads to inequality in pay and upward career mobility.
The opening event featured speeches from inspirational business leaders such as Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Global Investment House, Maha Al-Ghunaim and Chief Human Resources Officer at Alghanim Industries, George Lambros.
Commenting on the event, George Lambros said, “Alghanim Industries is pleased to be sponsoring this series, and in particular, we’re excited about today’s inaugural negotiation workshop. Negotiating skills are critical to success in so many facets of the corporate world, and it’s wonderful to have Professor Hall here today to conduct this workshop for these very talented career-minded women. Alghanim Industries is committed to supporting initiatives that help working women succeed in the corporate world, and we look forward to organizing future events in the series.”
General Manager for Human Resources at Gulf Bank, Mrs Salma Al-Hajjaj said, “Empowering women and achieving gender parity require intentional and deliberate policies. At Gulf Bank, we are committed to these strategic goals and are focused on nurturing our next generation of leaders. Over the last several years, we have been investing in increasing the number of women we have in middle and upper management. As a result, we have seen a definite increase in the number of female employees taking on leadership positions in the Bank. Following on the successful joint conference last May, this Women in the Corporate World Series provides an opportunity to help women build skills necessary for their careers.”
Group Communications Director at KIPCO, Eman Al Awadhi said, “We are delighted to continue to work alongside Alghanim Industries and Gulf Bank to help women in the corporate world successfully reach leadership positions. The ripple effect of mentorship includes taking on more responsibilities at work, making new contacts that can generate new business, and increasing self-confidence. We hope that the ‘Women in the Corporate World Series’ will serve to support aspiring women as they climb the ladder.”
Mrs Al-Ghunaim also reflected on this effort, adding that “I appreciate the initiative by Alghanim Industries and the team’s efforts to educate, empower and motivate women and the positive effects this initiative will have on the corporate world. The subject of empowering women is very close to my heart and is a major title in our social responsibility strategy.”
Women from over ten companies including PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Ooredoo Kuwait and Ernst & Young came together for this constructive three-hour workshop. Professor Hall kept participants engaged by mixing his lecture with integrated case studies and interactive negotiation assignments.
The day was extremely beneficial and culminated with a certification ceremony for participants. The participants left the workshop with new negotiation tools they could put into immediate practice at their respective work environments.
This event builds on the successful conference held this past May, entitled “Women in the Corporate World: Breaking the Glass Ceiling”. Hosted by Alghanim Industries and Gulf Bank, supported by KIPCO, the widely attended conference focused on addressing the challenges women face in the corporate workplace. These events are part of Alghanim Industries’ sustained efforts to highlight the significance and benefits of gender diversity in the corporate world, and to support career-oriented women in order for them to reach their full potential in the workplace.