November 10, 2018

Women in Leadership (WIL) has put together a day-long engagement session titled ‘Women of Excellence 2018’. With multiple keynotes, dialogues and panel discussions, the initiative aimed at instigating knowledge and skills among the audience, most of which were working women and female students. Women of Excellence was presented by Dolonchapa and was organized in association with Le Méridien Dhaka, which was also the venue of the event. Women of Excellence was organized by Corporate & Excellence.

The event was inaugurated by Nazia Andaleeb Preema, President, Women in Leadership; Najmus Ahmed Albab, CEO & Founder, Corporate & Excellence; and Sohana Rouf Chowdhury, Director, Rangs Group.

Women of Excellence brought together 17 eminent professionals who shared their insights on diverse topics. There were 4 keynote sessions, 2 presentation sessions, 2 panel discussions & 3 dialogue sessions. Experts talked on topics such as – self-discovery & purpose, personal branding & networking, personal excellence, emotional intelligence, communication & presentation skill, service excellence, innovation excellence and leading self, team & organization.

The ceremony also marked a MoU signing between WIL and SSD-Tech in order to facilitate virtual training for women across the country. Alongside, campus ambassadors of WIL were also officially introduced at the event.

Speaking on the significance of the occasion, Nazia Andaleeb Preema shared her valuable insights on the journey of Women in Leadership (WIL) and said, “Women have to stand up to believe in their passion. Through emotional intelligence it is really possible to achieve. Women need to own herself to be visible in meaningful way to make a difference in this journey of leadership which WIL is offering.”

Highlighting positive developments in women empowerment in the country, Mrs. Sohana Rouf Chowdhury, the person who has initiated country’s first ever privately owned women-only bus service ‘Dolonchapa’, spoke at the event. Sohana Rouf, who is the Director of Rangs Group stressed, “As a country we have made tremendous strides in increasing the avenues for women to participate in the workforce. The eagerness is there, the drive is there and all the signs of the trends that we see around us gives us hope that we will be able to actually see significant increase in representation of women in all walks of life in our lifetime.”

During the event, Ms. Sohana officially launched 2 more buses, making a total of 4 buses in operation. She also introduced the mobile app which will help the commuters to track the vehicles, get access to fare rates, and make emergency calls as and when required. She has articulated the fact that, Dolonchapa is not only a bus service but it is a platform. “We don’t want to be just a transportation company, but a social change driver. We have started off in the transportation sector but there’s immense opportunity through its already powerful social media followers. Dolonchapa is open to any interested entity so that they can partner up and join forces aligning with the same drive that started off this project,” she added.

Moreover, there were a special performance art by Nazia Andaleeb Preema and a musical performance by renowned Rabindra Sangeet artist Shama Rahman.

Renowned women leaders who presented keynotes were – Runa Khan, Founder & Executive Director, Friendship; Zara Jabeen Mahbub, SVP & Head of Communication & Service Quality, BRAC Bank Ltd.; Shwapna Bhowmick, Country Manager, Marks & Spencers, and Dr. Rubana Huq, Managing Director, Mohammadi Group.  

The panel discussion sessions were conducted on Emotional Intelligence and Service Excellence. In the Emotional Intelligence panel discussion session, important insights were provided to overcome spirit and work together cross-functionally. It’s been pointed out that women can be more connected to emotional intelligence as they are more empathetic human being than men. On the other hand, the session regarding Service Excellence focused on breaking the barrier of service by reducing fear. The panel talked about understanding the customer, proactively solving a problem, being confident in terms individual communication and having work flexibility with certain level of ethics. Moreover, the dialogue sessions covered Personal Branding & Networking, Communication & Presentation Skill, and Innovation Excellence.

The discussants were – Nazia Andaleeb Preema, Visual Artist; President, WIL; Director, Bangladesh Brand Forum and Founder, Bangladesh Creative Forum; Sohana Rouf Chowdhury, Director, Rangs Group; Ashraf Kaiser, Founder & MD, Benchmark Limited; Deneb Latif, Director, Magnum Management Consulting; Afreen Huda, Cluster HR Head, Reckitt Benckiser Bangladesh Ltd.; Sharmin Sultan, VP & Head of Talent Management, Robi Axiata Limited; Monalisa Shahreen, Deputy Commissioner, Taxes, People’s Republic of Bangladesh; Mahia Juned, Deputy Managing Director, Head of Operations & Head of Islamic Banking, The City Bank Ltd.; Farzeen K Chowdhury, Director, Paper Studio; Syed Tanvir Husain, CHRO, Grameenphone Ltd.; Samina D. Amin, CHRO, Rangs Group; Shariful Islam, Founder & Managing Director, Bangladesh Brand Forum, and Tina F. Jabeen, Policy Adviser, Startup Bangladesh.

Women of Excellence was an initiative of Women in Leadership (WIL) and presented by Dolonchapa; in association with Le Méridien Dhaka; organized by – C & E; TV Partner – Ekattor TV; Media Partner – The Daily Star; Digital Media Partner – Melonades; Radio Partner – Radio Today; and PR Partner- Masthead PR.

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