Women in Leadership (WIL) has honored the most inspiring female professionals of the country at the 5th edition of Inspiring Women Award. The grand award ceremony took place on 9th March, 2019 at Hotel Le Méridien Dhaka. The awards were given across 12 categories.
An initiative of Women in Leadership, the award was first given in the year of 2014. For the last 5 years, WIL has been encouraging professional women to pursue leadership in their career.
Speaking on the occasion, Nazia Andaleeb Preema, President, WIL said, “Women are intrinsically diverse in everything they do. It’s natural in them. That quality needs to be strategically formatted for professional success.” “Today’s women need to be courageous to be fearless. They need to be limitless to be passionate. They must become bold to be independent,” she added.
A total of 216 nominations were received for this year’s Inspiring Women Award. The underlying message of Inspiring Women’s Award is to officially recognize women’s efforts in the growth of the country; to empower women professionals and create role models in society (at both individual and the organizational levels).
Two jury panels, consisting of experts and renowned professionals selected the winners. Among the 14 awardees, 13 were women and one award was given to a female-supporting male individual. Alongside, special recognition was given to 12 women.
Khushi Kabir, Coordinator, Nijera Kori was honored with Lifetime Achievement Award. Inspiring Woman Spirit award was given to Nazia Jabeen, Founder, Sporsho Braille Prokashona.
The award for Inspiring Woman in Technology was given to Farhana A. Rahman, Senior Vice President, BASIS; Inspiring Woman in Sports to Mirona Khatun, Coach, Dhaka City Football Club; Inspiring Woman in Art & Culture to Sadaf Saaz, Director & Producer, Dhaka Lit Fest.
Award in the category of WOW-Man was given to Anindya Chowdhury, Director & CEO, Mentors Education Ltd. & Mentors Study Abroad. This category honors male individuals who created an impact on female empowerment.
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Before the award gala, the 4th Women Leadership Summit took place at the same place. The daylong summit consisted of 2 keynote sessions, 5 panel discussions, 3 insight sessions, and 2 breakout sessions. The theme for the summit was “Creative Leadership through Diversity, for Owning & Visibility”.
Eminent female and male professionals discussed the crucial issues of gender equality, women empowerment in the workplace and society. Topics for the panels discussions were – Phenomenon of Breaking Barriers, Driving Science & Innovation through Creative Leadership, Influencing Socio-Political structure through Women Leadership, Provoking Women Empowerment through Redefining Media Narrative, and Making the next Female CEOs. Insight sessions were on EMK Center & Youth Engagement, Understanding the Power of Acceptability, and Most Female Friendly Organizations. The breakout sessions were on Learning of Sexual Harassment Policy by BRAC and Realizing Co-existence – Living in a Woman’s Mind.
More than just a summit, the daylong engagement was deemed as a platform for sharing the burning issues that women are facing today. Both young and experienced females participated and shared their opinion on how society can be redesigned for a gender-balanced future.
A total of 26 eminent professionals from different sectors spoke at the summit. Keynote speakers were Sumana Shrestha, Management Consultant and Executive Coach from Nepal and H.E. Sidsel Bleken, Ambassador, Royal Norwegian Embassy Dhaka.
Women Leadership Summit & Inspiring Women Award 2019 were initiatives of Women in Leadership (WIL), Supported by Reckitt Benckiser Bangladesh and Organized by Bangladesh Brand Forum. Other partners were – Strategic Partners Bangladesh Creative Forum, Corporate & Excellence, Colours FM 101.6 & Grow N Excel; Partner – EMK Center, Foreign Investors’ Chamber of Commerce & Industry and MCCI; Event Partner – Le Méridien Dhaka; Lifestyle Partner – Advanced Development Technologies Ltd.; Technology Partner – Aamra Technologies; Media Partner – Dhaka Tribune & Ekattor TV and PR Partner – Backpage PR.