The Women in Construction Ambassador programme is a powerful platform for trailblazers who are transforming the construction industry from within, by promoting diversity and inclusion in the built environment.
Dr. Shetha Al-Zubaidi is the CEO and partner of one of Alfahim Avenue Investment Group companies called Brookson Project Management. She has international experience in UK and the Middle East for full range of development management extending over twenty five years. Leading and managing a team that coordinating all issues relating to the design, development & construction activities of major projects.
From 1990 to August 2004 Dr. Shetha worked for leading consultancies in UK participating in different projects such as Capita Business Centre in Blackburn. From August 2004 to August 2007 Dr. Shetha worked for UAE leading real estate master developer, Nakheel, participating in different mega structure project such as Palm Jumeirah, Arabian Canal and Palm Deira. From August 2007 to February 2015 she worked with Al-Rajhi Group as Developments Director / Vice President in two real estate companies in UAE, Tatweer UAQ & Tameer Holding Investment. From February 2015 to June 2017 Dr Shetha worked as a Senior Vice President in Damac Properties leading international and national projects.
Dr. Shetha holds BSc in Civil Engineering. MSc in Environmental Geo-technology and PhD in Civil Engineering from UK.
I am a building engineer (CABE Associate at Chartered Association of Building Engineers), my studies focus on architectural and urban design, structural design and design of technological components for building. In particular the physical analysis of the territory, the evolution of urban systems, economic organisation of projects and their environmental impact.
My past experiences focus on architectural and interior design, research, product development, project and quality management. I delivered design and engineered solutions leader in the UK construction market. I worked across the design 2D/3D, testing, production and manufacturing of the products till approval, certification and publication.
All the listed projects have been certified by the British Board of Agrément, the UK’s leading construction certification body.
With more than 19 years of experience, Angeline Pang has developed an exceptional knowledge in Cost surveying technique. She is self motivated and handles her team well.
I am a Civil Engineer by profession and joined Laing O Rourke as a graduate engineer in 2015. Through the years, I have fulfilled multiple job roles ranging from site engineer, environment engineer, bid producer and is currently undertaking the role of a senior design engineer. I hold additional qualifications as a LEED Green Associate , Estidama PQP and is also a certified Appointed Person. A strong team player, communication and people management are my key strengths. I am currently leading the work pack strategy which involves setting up processes to monitor and manage work packages from technical, procurement and commercial perspective using digital methods to reduce the conventional paper trail in management systems.
As a committee member of Gender Diversity and Inclusion within my organisation, I hope to bridge the gap that exists between women of this industry and their male counterparts. As a female engineer, I would like to enable strategies that help my female peers face the challenges that they may face and to provide a better and inclusive working environment for our future engineers.
I am an Incorporated Engineer and a mentor within ICE(Institution of Civil Engineers, UK) with a passion to support other engineers aiming for professional qualification. Its been an honour to have been awarded the runner up position during the 2020 ‘Emerging Engineers Award’ for my paper ‘Climate Adaptation Engineering for Resilience in Construction’, an achievement I’m most proud of. I am also co-heading the STEM activities for ICE G&S committee in the UAE which focusses on STEM initiatives as well as fostering the future engineers.
Dr Bhakti More is an Associate Professor at Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Dubai campus, School of Design & Architecture. She has completed her Doctoral studies from School of Built Environment, University of Salford, Manchester, UK and has an experience as a project architect in the design industry in the UAE.
Her area of research is on social sustainability for neighbourhoods in the UAE. As a coordinator for Conservation and Environment Students Club, she believes that engaging youth in sustainability initiatives to build a sustainable future. Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Dubai campus has received awards for ‘Best Green campus audit’ and ‘Best Sustainability action project’ for the Sustainable campus initiatives by the Environment Agency, Abu Dhabi supported by Borogue and Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research for three consecutive years. Dr Bhakti has initiated training programs on Green Building Design and live projects on sustainability. She was nominated by Environment Agency, Abu Dhabi to attend International Green Education Event in Karlsruhe, Germany in 2016 to present on ‘Sustainable Campus initiative’ of Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Dubai campus and is recipient of ‘Prof Indira Parikh 50 Women in Education Leaders’ award 2018. She coordinates the internship program for School of Design & Architecture to nurture young talent in the construction sector.
Dr Bhakti represents the core team at the University for ‘Diversity & Inclusion‘ Initiative, ‘Manipal Beyond Gender’. She has initiated mentoring graduating female students to encourage their career aspirations for future leadership roles in the Construction & Design industry. As a mentor for various woman mentorship programs in the UAE she believes that university has a major role in contributing for encouraging young female talent in the construction sector. Dr Bhakti was invited as a speaker for ‘Women in Construction Summit 2019’ Dubai for panel ‘Inspiring the next generation of professionals’.
Cynthia is the Middle East Construction Industry Leader for Deloitte & Touche Middle East. Cynthia chairs industry conferences and writes articles on industry issues. Cynthia is an author and founder of the GCC Powers of Construction Publication issued by Deloitte & Touche Middle East, which includes expert views on construction opportunities and trends in the region. Her current portfolio of clients includes all the major construction companies audited in the UAE as well as number of international referral assignments.
Cynthia is an audit partner in Dubai office with over 20 years of experience in the profession. Prior to joining Deloitte Dubai in January 2006, and was a partner at Baker Tilly, United Kingdom, where she was the partner in charge of the audit department and prior to that she was with Deloitte in South Africa for 10 years. Cynthia was the first Female Audit Partner appointed in Deloitte & Touche (M.E.) in 2006 and is also the Director of Audit Operations for the Middle East, leading the practice comprising circa 1700 people.
Cynthia has worked with businesses ranging from quoted companies to large and small owner managed entities in the Middle East, United Kingdom and South Africa controlling overall service delivery. She has experience in advising on corporate transactions, including acquisition due diligence and group re-organisations. She is the Lead Partner for many International Subsidiaries with the Middle East operations head quartered in Dubai, reporting to the parent company auditors.
Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
Dr Dila Ersenkal is an environmental engineer with more than 15 years of experience in design, engineering, construction, maintenance, and operation of a wide variety of projects in mining, metals processing, energy, oil and gas, transport, and infrastructure sectors. She graduated with a doctorate degree in environmental technology, with specific expertise in application of advanced oxidation technologies and nanotechnology for water and groundwater remediation. Dila has been working as a principal consultant in leading and continued implementation of applicable industry standards relating to environment and sustainability, ensuring project compliance with worldwide standards and guidelines. Dila is a global sustainability assessment system certified green professional (GSAS-CGP), and she is also certified in GRI G4, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, and SA 8000. She has working experience in various countries including Canada, UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, USA, Australia, Chile, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Russia, Romania, Solomon Islands. Her specialties include project management, environmental and sustainability management, environmental and social impact assessments (ESIA), due diligence (EP, IFC), development of sustainability policies and strategies, sustainability reporting and auditing.
Ms. Hanane Arif is a business development and marketing professional with over 20 years of experience spanning Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific region. Recognized for her ability to lead teams, build meaningful relationships with stakeholders and help companies become more profitable, she has provided guidance to C‐level executives in a wide range of sectors.
Joining Société Générale in 2008, Hanane has worked at various echelons in the bank, from supporting the Corporate and Financial Institutions Teams, to managing strategic relationships with high net worth clientele in Private Banking. In her current role, Hanane leads the strategic and operational marketing and the communications for Société Générale Middle East and serves as the regional coordinator for the Private Banking Teams in Europe (Switzerland, Luxembourg, France, UK and Monaco),
Prior to her career in the financial sector, Hanane co‐founded a construction company helping New Caledonia met its ambitious goal of providing state‐of‐the‐art medical facilities to its citizens.
Hanane is a mentor and advocate for female‐owned SMEs and inclusion of woman in the workplace across
Ms. Jessica Rigley is a highly experienced and dedicated Health, Safety and Welfare professional, who has accumulated over 21 years’ experience within the construction field. Jessica has managed numerous projects in Ireland and throughout the Middle East, ranging from Design & Build, Construct, PPP in various sectors, Education, Healthcare, Public & Private Works, Tunnelling, Pharmaceutical, Stadium & Arena, Infrastructure, as well as Marine.
Her role is to manage, implement, maintain, and improve the health, safety, and welfare within the company for all personnel working within the Middle East Region. She also supports the tendering, operation and safety teams and coordinates the activities of a multi-disciplinary multi-national workforce. Jessica consistently strives to create a positive working environment that fosters positive attitudes, towards a proactive safety culture.
Jessica leads by example with a proven hands-on management style. She is dedicated to optimizing the works, while reducing the risks through effective planning, performance management and problem-solving skills, while communicating effectively at corporate and organisational levels internal and externally to the company, whilst sustaining positive working relationships. Jessica, in conjunction with her team, won the Construction Week Award for HSE over a number of years and was named the winner of the Woman in Leadership of the Year in 2019 at The Big 5 Women in Construction Awarads.
Jessica believes being a leader is not about being in front, it is about taking care of your team.
Layla is an Assistant Project Manager for Infrastructure, Landscape and Masterplan projects currently based in Dubai UAE. With over 7 years of experience in landscape design, urban planning, infrastructure, construction, and project management she is a highly experienced engineering professional within the project and construction management field.
Her role is to manage, coordinate and deliver projects involving multiple disciplines. Layla is a pedantic and a dedicated professional optimizing the works through active monitoring of performance and project planning while maintaining and delivering the best quality of work.
She was also nominated for the Parsons EMAP (Early Management Acceleration Program), Parsons PMC (Project Management Curriculum) and Parsons PACE (Quality Management Program). Layla was named the winner of the 2019 Next-Gen Woman of the Year at The Big 5 Women in Construction Awards.
With a passion for human capital leadership and development, Layla has dedicated valuable time for the Parsons Early Career Development Program, where she became the representative of the Committee in 2020.
Marcus Scott Taylor has been in the UAE for over 15 years. With over 16 years of experience in the recruitment industry, Taylor has seen many changes in the construction and engineering sectors. While recruitment practices in the region have been criticized for being profit-driven, Marcus has maintained high standards and leads the way in ethical best practice.
Marcus places an emphasis on ensuring placements are a strong match for candidates and employers. He is committed to finding people careers rather than simply placing them in short-term roles. He has enjoyed long relationships with many companies in the UAE, with the majority of his clients returning long after the first placement. These relationships are the result of Marcus’ attentiveness to clients and his ability to decipher what a team needs to grow successfully. He has also established a reputation in the market for delivering on his core values: integrity, accountability and transparency.
He has been a long-time ambassador for international best practice and ethics in the Middle East’s construction and engineering recruitment sector and has been actively involved in educating organisations and encouraging acceptance and diversity in gender, race and religion. He regularly participates in and moderates industry summits and events across the region. He is currently involved as a judge on the adjudicator panels of awards, assessing the worker welfare practices of nominees.
Marcus has contributed weekly columns for Construction Week, in which he has explored trends in recruitment and the wider construction and engineering industries. He has provided insights into securing the best talent, retaining quality employees and best employment practices. He is also becoming more involved in Saudi Arabia and is particularly passionate about providing solutions to the Kingdom’s talent gap and resourcing projects in order to meet ambitious growth goals. Marcus has also interviewed respected industry professionals for Construction Week, exploring their views on market trends and challenges.
Passionate about innovation, Marcus is currently developing a new platform, which will deliver insights into employment trends in never before seen detail.
Ms Margarita holds a degree as Agricultural Engineer. She has ten years of business development experience in China, Spain, and Germany, mostly to support the introduction of agricultural products from Latin America into new markets.
In Dubai since 2016, she has shifted her focus towards sustainability in energy and waste management of buildings, enhanced by certificates of ISO 50001 and ISO 9001 (including Lead auditor) and waste management certificate.
Now in her 3rd year with Enernouva, and close alignment with Enernouva´s Managing Director, Margarita is driving the further expansion and implementation of thermodynamic solar panel systems with customers (hotels, hospitals, admin buildings) in the entire UAE as a way to reduce costs and achieve the national going green goals of carbon footprint reduction.
As Dubai Business Women Council’s Business Development Manager, Nadine helps drive business success by adopting a ‘start up’ style of management that fosters innovation, takes advantage of new opportunities and interprets industry trends to maximize strategic objectives Encouraging entrepreneurship is an important part of the Council’s work in inspiring women to be the best they can be As such, she ensures that the Council is an environment in which women feel motivated to innovate, create and thrive
In 2021 Nadine Halabi was nominated as one of the 50 Most Influential Women in the Region under the list of Women of Influence in the Arab World 2021 by CEO Middle East The list was under the patronage of UN women and is both a celebration of the region’s female leaders and pioneers as well as a snapshot of the economic and social currents coursing through the contemporary Middle East.
Throughout her tenure at the Council, she managed to bring on board long lasting strategic partnerships with organizations and companies who share the same mission and vision, and who delivered tailor made content for exclusive workshops for the members of the Council with the main purpose of helping them develop their entrepreneurial skills.
Through her demonstrated intrapreneurial approach to business, Nadine is considered in a strong position to continue charting the course of helping working women in Dubai develop their skills and abilities while maintaining mentorship and accelerator programmes to continuously support the members of the Dubai Business Women Council as well as the entrepreneurs in Dubai.
Priscilla is a civil engineer with a passion for sustainable design thinking and holds the LEED AP, WELL AP and Estidama PQP credentials which she makes good use of working with Ramboll Middle East as a Sustainability Consultant. Her academic papers on sustainability have received recognition from the Institution of Civil Engineers at the UAE Regionals of the Emerging Engineers Award. As an enthusiastic sustainability professional, she intends to give back to our wonderful community and planet Earth.
Dr. Reem Sabouni is an Associate Professor at the ABET-accredited Abu Dhabi University (ADU) and has authored several publications in the fields of geotechnical and structural engineering. She is also the Coordinator of Student Enrollment and Success for the College of Engineering, ADU. Prior to joining ADU, Dr. Sabouni was Chair of the Civil Engineering Department and Director of University Laboratories at AHU University (also ABET-accredited). She is a member of several prominent engineering societies, including the ASCE, fib, and CSCE. Dr. Sabouni is currently the President of the ASCE-UAE Section. She is also a founding member of the fib-UAE Chapter and is its Chair of Women Engineers. Dr. Sabouni is the organizer and chair of the Women in Engineering Forum in its three rounds conducted in March 2018, March 2019 and October 2020.
Dr. Sabouni acquired her PhD and Master’s degrees in Civil Engineering from Western University in Canada. She was the first researcher in North America to conduct full-scale tests on circular precast concrete manholes in a controlled laboratory environment. These tests were conducted in the Large Scale Geotechnical Testing Facility at Western University and in collaboration with the Ontario Concrete Pipe Association.
Dr. Sabouni received several Canadian awards and research scholarships, including the Industrial NSERC Scholarship, the Ontario Graduate Scholarship, the University President Scholarship, and the prestigious Milos Novak Memorial. She had also received the Excellence Award from H.H. Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, for ranking first in the UAE University’s Class of 2002.
Rithika is a technical Designer working at Gensler, Dubai. She has graduated with a master’s in urban design & Architecture led by Pritzker winner – Architect Thom Mayne from University of California, Los Angeles. She has also worked with well renowned international design firms on various diverse residential and mixed-use projects to portray her concept & technical design skills. Having had the opportunity to work on sustainable projects since undergraduate school & professional journey she has pursued LEED BD+C certification to further continue focusing on sustainability involved design projects where she employs her creativity in the design process along with excellent grasp on the strategies that are necessary to execute problem solving human centric architecture & urban design.
As Emrill’s CFO and a part of the Executive Leadership Team driving the business strategy, Sam Emery is also responsible for the company’s overall financial management, from ensuring robust internal controls and driving the continuous improvement of the company’s finance and accounting processes and procedures to mitigating financial risks. Sam plays a fundamental role in Emrill’s ethos of effective cash management.
Sam is a qualified ACA accountant and a Fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) with over 12 years’ international experience. Sam has a business focus on achieving financial performance, continuous improvement, adding value and developing people.
Since 2014, Suheir has worked in the field of geotechnics as a geotechnical engineer in Atkins Middle East Dubai office. Suheir’s career was focused on soil-structure interaction; providing engineering design and solutions for tall tower foundations, temporary works and earth retaining structures as well as ground characterisation. She worked on different rail projects in the Middle East region such as Doha Metro Gold Line and Red Line South, designing high-standard engineering solutions for temporary works. She then moved to designing foundations for tall towers using 3D finite element analyses. She evolved in her role from a graduate engineer to an engineer managing project deliverables and mentoring younger graduates.
In her career Suheir has been granted the award of Woman in Engineering in 2016 at the Atkins Geotechnical Network. She was then named the winner of Next Generation Woman of the Year 2018 at The Big5 Construction Exhibition UAE and also received the award of Young Engineer of the year 2019 at Atkins Geotechnical Network.
Suheir currently holds the role of a Geotechnical Project Manager in WSP Canada since January 2020 and is excited to learn the differences in the engineering industry between the Middle East and North America and bring value to both platforms.
“Tara Tom is a civil engineer, graduated with academic excellence and works as a Graduate Sustainability Consultant for KEO International Consultants. Her current responsibilities are ensuring the environmental requirements of green certification systems, local legislation, and international best practice standards and to assist in the preparation of LEED and Green Certification requirements.
Tara experience includes projects ranging from villas, hotels, commercial spaces to retail shopping malls. During her early career, she monitored project costing and milestone budgeting along with large-scale estimation. She was involved in the procurement, and management of subcontractors during the construction phase of the project. Generated project-oriented design specifications and prepared bid packages, monthly and weekly progress reports, tracking sheets for materials and drawings. She went for site visits and worked closely with clients.
Tara Tom is known for her passion for Sustainability, her willingness to learn, and her desire to work in a dynamic deadline-driven environment.
She was a mentee in the program “Manipal Beyond Gender” which was published on women in construction forum (Case study: Her Tomorrow Begins Today | The Big 5) and is a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). Tara believes that we are more powerful when we empower each other.”
After gaining experience in the Australian market, Tina headed to the Middle East to grow her landscape knowledge and has been in the region for five years. She currently is a Senior Landscape Architect at Insite International Consultants, where she is based in the Dubai Studio and has recently completed her landscape chartership. Tina has worked on multiple projects in both Australia and the Gulf Region such as the UAE, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, KSA and Kuwait. The projects which she has been involved in include master planning, residential, commercial, educational, mixed use, retail, and hospitality developments. Tina is passionate about the important contributions women make to design, and acts as a role model to the next generation of landscape architects through her published articles in Landscape Middle East magazine. Tina was a part of the creative committee for the Australian Institute of Australia virtual conference week where she advocated for the Middle East urban and landscape design, organizing panels and discussions surrounding Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and the GCC to evoke interest and ideas across the globe. Additionally, being part Afghan Tina always felt a pull towards this part of the world and wanting to better society there. She recently joined a pro bono project with the Agha Khan Foundation in Afghanistan to utilize her landscape skills to assist in with the rebuilding of Kabul.
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