AmCham Kuwait hosts inspiring summit on sustainable diversity

The summit on “Inclusion Beyond Initiatives Towards Sustainability” convened influential leaders from various sectors including business, government, and academia, uniting them in Kuwait for insightful discussions and strategic collaboration

AmCham Kuwait, under the patronage of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development, hosted a landmark diversity and inclusion summit titled “Inclusion Beyond Initiatives Towards Sustainability.”

The summit brought together prominent leaders from the business world, policymakers, and thought leaders from across Kuwait. It aimed to address the imperative need for sustainable diversity and inclusion strategies in today’s rapidly evolving landscape.

Under the esteemed patronage of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development and led by Dr. Khaled Mahdi, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Planning & Development, in collaboration with the US embassy and the Union of Investment Companies, the summit marked a pivotal platform for fostering discussions and exchanging insights on sustainable inclusion practices.

Throughout the event, panelists delved into innovative strategies extending beyond basic initiatives, focusing on practical solutions tailored to Kuwait’s distinctive socio-economic landscape.

Dr. Arezou Harraf, Chair of AmCham Kuwait’s Women in Business Focus Group, inaugurated the summit by highlighting the critical importance of sustainable inclusion in the region’s quest for economic diversification and workforce retention. The meticulously curated agenda of the event encompassed various facets of sustainable inclusion and showcased keynote speeches, panel discussions, and interactive sessions led by prominent industry experts and leaders.

Key highlights of the summit included insightful presentations by renowned speakers such as Dr. Khaled Mahdi, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Planning & Development, alongside engaging panel discussions.

These discussions were moderated by distinguished professionals like Ms. Eman Al Awadhi, Group Senior VP of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations at KIPCO. The first panel titled “Creating a Culture of Inclusivity” featured a lineup of key experts including Eman Al Awadhi; Dr. Lubna Al-Kadi, Founder and Professor at the Women’s Research and Studies Center; Salma AlHajjaj, General Manager of Human Resources at Gulf Bank; Makram Raad, Country Manager of DHL Express; Najlaa Al Sager, Head of Talent Management at Group Human Resources, National Bank of Kuwait; Fadwa Darwish, Secretary General of Union Investment Companies (UIC); and Mona Dabbah, Chief Customer Officer at Sultan.

The second panel, titled “Making Sustainable Changes and Staying Inclusive,” showcased key experts including Mohammad Zayed, Regional Director for Azure Infrastructure Business at Microsoft; Dr. Ziad Nakat, Resident Representative at the World Bank; Dr. Manal Al Hasawi, Founder and Managing Partner of Think Tank Strategy Consulting; and Lulwah Al Munifi, HR Organizational Effectiveness Leader and Inclusion Facilitator. Eman Al Awadhi, Group Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications & Investor Relations, moderated the panel.

Moderated by Dr. Arezou Harraf, Vice-Chair of AmCham Kuwait and Chair of AmCham Kuwait’s Women in Business Focus Group, the third panel delved into the topic of ‘Measuring the Impact of Equitable Organizational, Legal, and Compensatory Practices’. The discussion featured key experts including H.E. Bessam Khadraoui, Deputy Ambassador at the Embassy of France; Ola Saab, Head of Corporate Commercial at Al Tamimi & Co – Kuwait; Noor W. Al-Naqeeb, Attorney at Dalal Al Mulla Law Firm; and Emma Morley, Resident Representative at UNDP.

Dr. Arezou Harraf concluded the summit by presenting a scalable, practical framework designed to assist both the private and public sectors in assessing benchmarks related to diversity and inclusion practices. This matrix serves as a tool for measuring the potential return on investment for organizations.

Dr. Harraf emphasized that entities utilizing this matrix and reporting their DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) benchmarks will receive a two-year badge from AmCham Kuwait. This initiative aims not only to assist organizations in tracking their diversity and inclusion efforts and outcomes but also supports Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting, marking a significant step towards integrating DEI metrics into broader corporate responsibility and sustainability efforts.

Dr. Harraf concluded the summit by expressing gratitude to all participants, partners, and sponsors for their invaluable contributions to the event’s success. Special recognition was given to event partners, particularly the US embassy, the Union of Investment Companies, and partner hotels, for their unwavering support in advancing crucial diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Dr. Harraf also acknowledged the Hotel DEI Partners involved in the Diversity & Inclusion Diwaniyas, which played a significant role in the summit’s success. This includes the Four Seasons Hotel, Jumeirah Messilah Beach Kuwait, Crowne Plaza Al-Thuraya City, Grand Hyatt Hotel Kuwait, and Waldorf Astoria Hotel, highlighting their invaluable support and collaboration in fostering an inclusive environment.

As the summit came to an end, participants left with fresh insights, actionable strategies, and a renewed dedication to promoting sustainable diversity and inclusion within their organizations and communities. AmCham Kuwait eagerly anticipates leveraging the momentum from this inaugural summit, fostering ongoing collaboration, and advancing further progress in the field of diversity and inclusion.

ABCK-AmCham Kuwait, a non-profit organization established in 1985, comprises Fortune 500 corporations, small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as distinguished business leaders and entrepreneurs from both American and Kuwaiti backgrounds. Serving as a stalwart advocate, ABCK-AmCham Kuwait has diligently represented American interests within the state of Kuwait.

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