5.3.4 Does your university as a body encourage applications by women in subjects where they are underrepresented

April 7th, 2015: '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.

The workshop was the first in a series of three Women in Leadership events to be hosted by Canadian University Dubai in partnership with Global Minds. The three sessions aim to empower aspiring female leaders to learn about themselves, overcome barriers and personal limitations, and set out their aspirations for success. These make up only the first half of a six-stage leadership program developed by Ms. Turk to enhance the participation of women in leading roles and equip them with the leadership mindset.

As a former lawyer, Ms. Turk observed the inner challenges that held people back from success and achieving the results they desired. Wanting to empower people in a more profound way, she now develops and coaches women and entrepreneurs to lead and succeed.

Ms, Turk said, "Everyone has the ability and the resources within them to lead. We have all been gifted with the faculty of the mind and heart and when we take responsibility to bring these into alignment we can lead extraordinary lives. Leadership is a decision to take responsibility for directing your own life first and then inspiring and serving others in that direction. Becoming a leader is the most liberating and empowering decision a woman can make not only for herself but for humanity, because when she empowers herself to lead she empowers nations to lead."

The second and third workshops in the Women in Leadership series will be held at Canadian University Dubai on April 21st and May 19th. The events are open to every woman who desires to lead in her life and her career and wants to equip herself with the mindset, knowledge and skills to lead.

November 12, 2017, CUD: 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.

In the latest arrangement, Shirin Mehri has teamed up with Dr. Franziska Apprich who will act as her Business Mentor. Previous Mentees have included Florelle Cloarec with Ms. Orsi,

After successfully completing projects in educations in Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Tanzania and the United States, Shirin is looking to leave her mark in the Entrepreneurship Education Ecosystem in the UAE. Since completing her MSc in Management in Entrepreneurial Leadership from Babson College, she has immersed herself in the startup and entrepreneurial world of Dubai, working for some of the region’s fastest growing enterprises.

As Operations Manager at BizWorld UAE, she is responsible for overseeing and implementing workshops that aim to instill the entrepreneurial spirit in children in the UAE between the ages of 7 and 15 years.

Commenting on her involvement in the Mentorship programme Shirin stated that with the ever changing educational environment we are experiencing today, she aims to refine her project management skills and work closely with Dr. Fran on a project focusing on Educational Board Games that will engage female students in understanding entrepreneurship both in and out of the classroom.

Dr. Fran and Shirin will be working on an entrepreneurship board game called ‘The Entrepreneuse.’

The game will show the different steps in creating a new company from the licensing process through to becoming profitable (in an amusing way).The game will show how you need team spirit, empathy and kindness to succeed in business and building a successful team and company. Grades and degrees are only part of the game…and a bad grade can be compensated and balanced out with kindness points.

The initiative will be supported by the recently formed Business Incubator initiative in CUD, in cooperation with Ryerson University headed by Dr. Fran, Head of Learning Zones and Incubators

Dr. Fran stressed that supporting young women has always been close to her heart. She has published books on the subject and with the support of Communications students she has created the ‘she for she campaign.’

“I want to inspire Shirin and support her to reach her creative and entrepreneurial potential and become a strong and independent woman.”

Ms. Orsi Urban who brought the LINK Mentoring Initiative to the University said it was important that young women should have the opportunity to learn from female mentors in a structured, safe, encouraging and professional relationship.



Canadian University Dubai, in association with The Meera Kaul Foundation, has hosted the first ever all-women hackathon event to be held in the Emirate. The two-day event brought together female technology experts, entrepreneurs and businesswomen from across the region to take part in an intensive team-based competition to develop their knowledge of coding and come up with a viable business proposal, with the chance of winning USD5,000 in prize money. The event was organized as part of the Women in STEM 2015 initiative, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Maktoum Bin Juma Al Maktoum. The initiative, which also included a conference and awards ceremony as part of its program, aimed to promote, support and pay tribute to the role of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. CUD became an official partner of the event through its active role in promoting the advancement of women in society, having held its inaugural women’s conference in 2014. The University is also a leading provider of technology-based higher education. Opening the event, Dr. Franziska Apprich, Dean of the Schools of Liberals Arts & Sciences and Environment & Health Sciences at CUD, encouraged the participants to make the most of the opportunity to interact and learn from each other. She said, “This is the sort of opportunity that will help you long into the future. It is this kind of exposure that will set you apart when you look to develop your career. You don’t necessarily need to win the competition to be a winner; through taking part in this event you are winning an experience that will stay with you for life.” Participants went on to join in networking activities, form teams, and work on the development of a business plan and prototype to present to the judging panel. Throughout the event they had the opportunity to receive mentoring from Silicon Valley tech gurus, and meet with business angels and enterprise mentors.


Blackberry (Research in Motion) Chair Barbara Stymiest Receives Honorary Doctorate in Dubai

The Canadian businesswoman joined HH Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan at the Canadian University of Dubai’s milestone graduation ceremony in Dubai Barbara Stymiest, chair of Research in Motion’s board – the company behind Blackberry, received an honorary doctorate in letters from the Canadian University of Dubai. The Canadian, who was named one of Fortune magazine’s most powerful business women three times, has visited the UAE many times in the past as her brother and his family used to live in the Emirate. She arrived in the UAE to accept the degree as part of graduation proceedings held at Dubai World Trade Centre under the patronage of HH Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research. Addressing the hundreds of students gathered for the Canadian University of Dubai’s largest graduation thus far, Ms Stymiest said she was “humbled” by the honorary doctorate and, in her acceptance speech, went on to draw parallels between Dubai and Canada. “Superficially at least there would seem to be no two more different places than Canada and the United Arab Emirates, as different as cold and hot. But we may have more in common than we think,” she said, before listing examples, such as the fact that both are young, urban countries. In a nod to her links with Blackberry, Ms Stymiest urged today’s graduates to balance mobile communication technology with real human interaction. “I believe that no matter how wired we are, or how many emails, bbms or texts we send to each other, there is still a basic need for in-person human interaction,” she said. “I think all forms of connectedness have a place in the workforce and in society. And I think it’s this group here today who will figure out the right balance.

“You know what it feels like to be part of the buzz in this room, sitting amongst friends, and you also know how to discreetly tap out a message on your device to a friend who may not be a part of today’s festivities. Both modes of interaction are equally important.” Some 400 students graduated from the six-year-old university, marking a key milestone for the university as for the first time graduates of the schools of architecture and interior design and environment and health sciences alongside those who completed their studies in business and engineering. Each student was greeted on stage by HH Sheikh Nahyan, who congratulated them for their achievements. “Today’s graduation is a proud and emotional moment for all at the university – from the teaching staff through to the students, their relatives and friends,” said Mr Buti Saeed Al Ghandi, Chancellor of the Canadian University of Dubai. “As a university, our goal is to inspire our students to identify their goals and provide them with the necessary tools to achieve them. Today is a wonderful example of students who have transformed their lives and are now well equipped to begin the next leg of their life journey.” Some 3,000 people gathered to help their friends and relatives celebrate the culmination of their hard work. They joined a list of VIPs including members of the university’s board of trustees who flew in from Canada for the occasion, such as Aldea Landry, formerly a cabinet minister and deputy premier of New Brunswick, Canada, in the government of Premier Frank McKenna, and Terry Bird, the vice president of corporate development and emerging markets at McCain Foods Ltd. Preparations for the graduation began weeks in advance, with several graduation fairs held over weekends where excited students were fitted for their gowns and had their photographs taken. At the university’s inaugural graduation ceremony in 2011, some 200 students graduated from the schools of engineering, applied sciences and technology, business administration and MBA. “It is an honour to celebrate today with these brilliant and bright people as they take the next step on their journey,” said Professor Karim Chelli, Vice Chancellor and President of the Canadian University of Dubai. “Through the Canadian approach to education, we hope that these students will not only leave with a degree today but also skills that will be transferrable to both the workplace and the community – no matter where they choose to live. “


DUBAI, JUNE 27, 2017 - 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.”

They started by sending letters of thanks to women they consider to be role models and leaders in supporting other women. These role models include their own mothers, grandmothers, sisters and aunts, as well as more high profile women like Queen Rania and Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The students also decorated a scarf with #SheforShe and shared pictures of themselves wearing it to share on social media.

“We decided to use a scarf because it represented traditional values, but also brought in the message of gender equality, and the idea that you can have both,” said student Harshe Gehani. “I liked it so much I decided to take it home.”

To date #HeforShe, which was created by the United Nations, has garnered support from film stars like Emma Watson, and politicians like Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and boasts over 1,600,000 followers.

“I hope that the students manage to attract some attention to this campaign,” says Dr. Apprich. “Any kind of call to action to break down negative stereotypes is key to achieving real equality, and pushing a cultural shift towards women helping each other achieve their goals, and supporting each other, will also greatly help in the drive for gender equality.”

Anyone interested in participating in the #SheforShe campaign can promote the hashtag on social media and send thanks and congratulations to women around the world.