encourage applications by women in subjects where they are underrepresented

Canadian University Dubai students of Communication and Media Studies were tasked during the month of September to come up with new ideas on how to innovate and become successful entrepreneurs. As such, students were asked to wear the “Entrepreneur in the Making” cap, decorated with pink bows and designed to encourage young female students to consider entrepreneurship as an employment choice. The caps also celebrate female entrepreneurship and are meant to encourage young female students to consider their dreams and how to conceptualize them.

The labels on the caps were created in collaboration with the Ryerson University 3D printing lab and can be recreated via digital printing. When considering that everybody can be an entrepreneur – no matter the budget, Canadian University Dubai sought to form a partnership with Ryerson with a view to delivering Degrees in Creative Industries here in the UAE in the near future modeled on the already successful Creative Industries program at Ryerson. By introducing new programs, technologies and awareness campaigns the University will develop well-balanced youth who dream and act big. As part of the agreement with Ryerson, CUD will establish a Business Incubation Unit which will encourage and mentor budding entrepreneurs within the University.

To date, women entrepreneurs are still few in numbers however with the changes in perception and attitudes towards gender roles; women all across the UAE and the world are celebrating great success through their innovative thinking and problem-solving abilities. In line with this, students are tasked within the scope of their class activities, to examine their attitudes towards female entrepreneurship especially in UAE society. The results of this indicated a generally positive reaction throughout the country towards women entrepreneurs due to the country's unique culture however many deterrents still exist either due to a combination of lack of funding or knowledge.

Through this incubator, female entrepreneurs are afforded the opportunity to start off small and therefore not have to depend on external finance women gradually building their brand in a safe and secure environment. It is worth noting that one factor that might deter women from starting their own business is a lack of confidence stemming from the belief that the entrepreneurial life is a difficult and unsteady one. Formation of self-help groups where their peers would be able to help them was a good way to ease into it.

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Men and women from the student, academic and business communities joined the debate on violence against women at an event hosted by Canadian University Dubai (CUD) to coincide with an international day of recognition on the issue. The conference heard from speakers across a range of subjects relating to different forms and perspectives of abuse, and conveyed positive messages about how both men and women can act against this form of violence. Opening the debate, Dr. Louise Lambert, Assistant Professor at CUD, spoke about social responsibility in the context of abuse; emphasizing that people should consider violence that might be inflicted on those around them as well as themselves, whether they are known to them or not.

Youth Coach and Columnist at The National, Khaled Al Ameri, continued with his own insights from a male perspective, discussing his recent article entitled, "We all need to stand up when we see harassment." Khaled shared how learning how to respectfully treat women was an important feature of his childhood. CUD student Nada Mataar went on to speak about the problems of human trafficking and how people can fall victim to such activities, while Elizabeth Topolskaya spoke on the subject of financial abuse and busted myths about women's spending and saving habits, encouraging all ladies to have their own bank account and financial independence.

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Students from Canadian University Dubai (CUD) have heard from some of the region’s most inspiring women about how they made it to the top of their professions at the Arab Women in Leadership and Business Summit held recently in Dubai.

The five female student, who themselves have demonstrated their leadership qualities within the University community, heard from a diverse group of prominent business women, including Her Excellency Ameera Bin Karam, Chairperson of Sharjah Business Women Council; Her Excellency Maryam Al Suwaidi, Deputy CEO of the Licensing, Supervision & Enforcement Securities and Commodities Authority; and Nisreen Shocair, President of Virgin Megastore, Middle East.

Now in its second year, the event brought together existing and emerging leaders from the public and private sectors to discuss the obstacles and opportunities for women in society and to share their inspiring personal stories of success.

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Canadian University Dubai (CUD) Assistant Professor Jeanette Teh has revealed that 'double standards and gender stereotypes' are still significant barriers to women's progression in the workplace, in a recent article published by industry magazine, Gulf Business. The opinion piece, entitled "Held To Higher Standards: Why The Glass Ceiling Still Exists", is the latest in a series of commentaries by professor Teh to feature in the leading business publication. In it she discusses the recent research findings issued by American independent research organization, Pew Research Center, on the subject of 'Women in Leadership'.

"The findings were interesting," reveals professor Teh, "While the American public generally felt women were equally capable as leaders, women were held to a higher standard than men and these gender stereotypes will continue to prevent true equality." She continues, "While men were perceived to be stronger at risk-taking and negotiating profitable deals, women were seen by the majority as being more compassionate and organized. Female business leaders were also generally seen as better at compromising, being honest and ethical, mentoring, and providing fair pay than their male counterparts.

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Canadian University Dubai students have started a campaign called #SheforShe, which aims to not only draw attention to the popular global campaign #HeforShe, but also aims to highlight the need for women to support each other in order to achieve their goals for gender equality. The students, who are both male and female, decided to start the campaign as part of their Media Impact class with Dr. Franziska Apprich.

During a class discussion the students realized that there are large gaps when it comes to women helping women achieve their goals. “There’s a lot of negative energy between women,” explains student Ulla Al-Jabri. “In many ways we put each other down through judgement, competition, nasty comments, and we don’t support each other to achieve our goals. #HeforShe is great, but it we felt that it also needed to encompass women supporting women”.

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As part of CUD’s community engagement, we have teamed up with the LINK Organization. The LINK,’ is a non-profit UAE initiative providing an active community platform where women from different ages and backgrounds can find support to advance professionally and to share workplace challenges, After hosting the Induction Session, CUD has started its sixth cohort of the Programme.

Professors from the University including Ms. Orsi, Dr. Louise, Ms. Dima and Dr. Fran have offered their services as Mentors and are then matched up through the LINK organization who then allocates them to Mentees according to their needs. The LINK aims to empower women through learning and developmental initiatives, nurturing female talent and strengthening their leadership capacity. Ultimately, the LINK’s vision is to encourage and support women in different stages of their lives and careers.

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'Feel the fear and do it anyway' was the message to dozens of women seeking inspiration to take their first steps on the road to leadership at a recent workshop hosted by Canadian University Dubai in collaboration with coaching and consulting firm, Global Minds. Introducing the first step of a six-stage initiative that supports and empowers women to explore their full potential and become mindful leaders, Ms. Suraya Turk, Coach and Founder of Global Minds, encouraged the audience to challenge conventions, learn about themselves and take responsibility for their own destiny. Throughout the interactive session, Ms. Turk demonstrated how - having a purpose and a vision - the human mind could change direction, and even 'un-learn' certain notions that might ultimately be the barriers to progress and success. Citing examples of inspirational women across generations, including the late Benazir Bhutto, Malala Yousafzi, and Oprah Winfrey, Ms. Turk challenged the participants to overcome their doubts and fears and commit to a purpose, as the initial step on their pathway to leadership.

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Students, faculty and staff at Canadian University Dubai (CUD) have been celebrating the power of women and girls at TEDxDeiraWomen, an independently organized event sponsored by the University and hosted by Dubai Chamber. Under the theme ‘It’s About Time’, the gathering was held to coincide with the global TEDWomen conference that took place in San Francisco. TEDWomen is a three-day event that brings together a global community to discuss and celebrate the power of women and girls.

TEDxDeiraWomen is a gender-neutral initiative, encouraging both female and male participants to engage and to bring forward a balanced and open debate. The motivation behind the event was to provide a platform for those men and women who are making positive changes to share their experiences and give the audience an opportunity to learn as well as exchange ideas. Emcee for the day’s program of debat was Sustain Leadership co-founder, Hanane Benkhallouk.

The CUD delegation first heard from keynote speaker, Consul Gwendolyn ‘Wendy’ Green, from the United States Consulate General in Dubai. Proceedings continued with a sequence of thought-provoking talks by nine speakers, some of whom came in from as far as Tokyo, New York and London. Talks were split up into three sessions and topics under discussion included battling depression, living up to societal expectations, the impact of role models, changing mental perceptions, male privilege, relationships, healing childhood wounds and risk.

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Dr. Louise Lambert, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Ethics at Canadian University Dubai (CUD) advised people facing sexual harassment in the workplace to ‘speak up’ and report the matter to concerned authorities when they feel the ‘line has been crossed’. Speaking at a workshop on ‘Sexual Harassment at Workplace’ at the university on the eve of International Women’s Day, Dr. Lambert gave an overview of common examples of sexual harassment, common responses, ways of extricating oneself from a situation and the role of HR in handling such issues.

Focusing mainly on student-faculty cases of sexual harassment, she recommended taking a firm line from the start when contracted with ‘unwanted attention’ by way of emails, looks, phone calls, notes, gestures, touch or presence beyond the necessary. “It is important to speak up. If a student is inappropriate with faculty, the right approach is to demonstrate who the boss is.

If the harassment persists, it should be reported. It is also important to document and keep records of emails and other evidence, as such cases may escalate,” she said. Dr. Louise also underlined the role of HR in creating an environment in which victims will be heard and believed and the case resolved. This should be backed up by proper policies and complaint mechanisms, code of conduct and awareness programs. In some cases, disciplinary action should be taken to resolve particular cases. The audience, comprised of faculty and students, raised a number of pertinent issues particularly those prevailing in a university environment and recounted their experiences in facing cases of sexual harassment.

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Two students from Canadian University Dubai (CUD) have embarked on the exclusive Women@Dior Mentorship Program, a coveted professional development opportunity that aims to boost the skills of talented young women to prepare them for a career in creative leadership. The selection of Noura Itani and Leen Sharif among 200 students from ten international cities reflects the growing prominence of Dubai on the global creative industries landscape. This rising stature will receive a further boost with the upcoming launch of CUD’s suite of creative degree programs, developed and delivered in partnership with the world-renowned Faculty of Communication & Design at Ryerson University, Canada.

Alongside counterparts from cities including London, New York, Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong, the two CUD students have benefited from one-on-one career advice, guidance and mentoring from a dedicated Christian Dior employee, as well as enjoying a study visit to Dior’s global headquarters in Paris. Speaking about her experience, Noura said, “The Women@Dior Mentorship Program is more than just a typical mentoring scheme, it’s a fully-rounded personal and career development opportunity. It genuinely seeks to help young women, who have the talent and skills to become leaders in today’s world, to actually achieve their ambition and to unlock their full potential.

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Tec novation offers young women around the world the opportunity to learn the necessary skills to become tech entrepreneurs and leaders. Participants will develop a diverse set of skills including leadership, innovation and problem-solving skills. They will also acquire coding skills to ensure an increase in the number of women involved in the Tech Industry over the next few decades. Tec novation is available to girls aged from 10 to 18 who learn to identify a problem in their community and create a mobile app solution to address that problem. They will then learn how to communicate these ideas and translate them into a fully launched business. Regional Ambassadors, Karen Renao Owens and Dr. Hind Zantout carried out a training session for individuals who will be mentoring participants taking part in the initiative.

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