Female CEOs Advancement

Female CEOs Advancement

Doha, QatarDoha, Qatar
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

A project that identifies & empowers female talent at the highest levels of business. We support women to attain & retain executive positions while supporting companies in making these positions attractive to women. It's about identifying & leveraging individual strengths for the greater good.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

women were encouraged to lead alongside their male counterparts and become role models for the next generation?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Women are still grossly underrepresented on boards around the world, despite copious data that shows clearly that more gender equality leads to better results. This means a lack of female role models for the next generation. In many of the Gulf states, nationalisation programmes are struggling to recruit enough qualified nationals. Including (already educated) women would significantly increase the number of nationals in the workforce.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

By working with a combination of coaching & consulting, we address the problem on the institutional & the individual level. The first stage is research, interviewing women here in Qatar on how they got into leadership positions, what problems they faced & how they used strengths to succeed. Then we do 3 coaching sessions with each lady for her to better identify & leverage her strengths. After 6 week we conduct a 2nd interview to measure the impact. Our findings are collected for a web portal & book. In the 2nd stage, we consult companies on how to support women's growth & coach further.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

A female executive often feels tense & overwhelmed with the workload & responsibility of the job, plus feels she has to prove herself more than a man to get equal recognition - not to mention equal pay. Through the interview she becomes more aware of her unique strengths & talents. In the coaching she gets more insight into her strengths & how to use them in her job. Then she puts what she has just found out about herself into practice. After 6 weeks, we interview again to measure the impact. Now she can work more effectively AND we can use her experience to help other women/organisations.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

This project will affect women in leadership roles not only in the MENA region but also in other countries that are facing similar structural & societal challenges to women's advancement & empowerment. Only 3% of executives in Qatar were women in 2011, by 2016 the government is planning to increase that number by 30%, which means 4% of executives in Qatar will then be leaders. Studies show that companies with a minimum of 30% women on their boards are far more successful than their less gender diverse counterparts. We would like to help accelerate the process of reaching those 30% with our targeted initiative to attract, retain and leverage female talent. The online portal & book where we are planning to publish the results of our research should help companies, female CEOs, consultants & coaches to increase their impact & significantly improve the situation.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

We are asking the CEOs to pay if they find the coaching valuable. If not, it is free. For the publication of the book, we will seek either sponsorship/funding (as we have done for a previous book project "How Women Succeed"), start with an ebook version (low cost) or find a publisher that is interested. The online portal could have a subscription model, so journalists, market researchers and other interested parties can get access to our data.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The Qatar Business Women Association (QBWA) is planning on doing something for women on boards. So far plans have not been firmed up but I am part of the discussion. I am not aware of other initiatives targeting women in executive roles. The Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry has launched a programme called "Al Jiwana" which intends to get 1000 women into the workplace in 3 years. We have been asked to support this programme through our How Women Work activities. The Konrad Adenauer Stiftung is doing a few programmes with Qatar University, again they have asked for our support.

Founding Story

Working with women in Qatar through our How Women Work initiative over the past five years has given me many insights into the challenges and rewards of being a female executive in the region. Since I have the skills to coach and consult on these issues, I decided to create a win-win solution by empowering female executives to succeed, while learning from their experience and making that learning available to a wider audience. In the second step, we want to go further and empower companies here in Qatar and the wider Gulf Region to increase their success by facilitating female leadership and a culture of equal opportunities for men & women in their organisation.
About You
Tataowar Coaching & Consulting
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization
Organization Name

Tataowar Coaching & Consulting

Organization Country

, DW, Doha

Country where this project is creating social impact

, DW, Doha

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Year founded


Impact: What is the impact of the work to date?

By empowering women to make a difference in their own way, we create a snowball effect. The woman who benefits from our services then feels empowered to create her own social enterprise or CSR initiative, which in turn benefits others. Or she might feel called to become a mentor & support younger women in their growth.
Through our HWW initiative we have reached more than 700 women directly (around 57% have attended more than once) & we have a good following on both FB (>1000) & subscribers to the newsletter (close to 1000).
We regularly receive letters of gratitude & we are now producing a series of success stories for our 5-year anniversary, showcasing some examples of women who have made great progress as a consequence of attending HWW. The first video is on our FB page already & the first article: p.94/Nov issue of Qatar Today http://issuu.com/oryxmags/docs/qt_november_2013#embed.

Barriers: What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

Possible issues include: Access to the women executives - I am working on a deal with one of the most reputable local business women to gain that access. Time/funding constraints - I am working on putting the project under the sponsorship of an organisation for women's advancement and I am applying for the Ashoka award for the same reason. Local women not wanting too much exposure - we will publish the data anonymously for the most part and just use the names of a few women who agree to give the project credibility and gravitas.

Full Impact Potential: What are the main spread strategies moving forward? (Please consider geographic spread, policy reform, and independent replication/adoption of the idea or other mechanisms.)

In preparation I am getting the feedback of several pre-eminent women in the country to start off as optimally as possible. While working with the ladies, I will make small changes and adaptations to optimise the model. Once we've worked out the best model, I can start using my contacts in other GCC countries and then run the project there, again seeking out partnerships with individuals and organisations that can open doors and help with funding. I am a member of the MENA Business Women Network and have made personal contact with many of their board members. Also, through our "How Women Work" conferences we have built a reputation mainly in Qatar but also in the region, many have already asked us to bring the conference to their country.

Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

There are five potential sources of income:
1) Payment for successful coaching sessions with interviewees & follow-on jobs.
2) Sponsorship/award money
Mid term:
3) Data publication on online portal (subscription model)
4) Article series to be sold to regional publications
Long term:
5) Book publication
Furthermore, the data & experience we collect will help us to further improve our coaching & consulting offers to companies.

Founding Story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

It was more like pieces of a puzzle falling into place than an "Aha!" moment. First the How Women Work offers were created out of a personal need & experience. Then I met several fascinating business women through these conferences & found that, successful as they might be, they were still struggling with insecurities that can be addressed very effectively by coaching. I also read a story that was submitted to our How Women Succeed book by a lady who learned a lot for herself by interviewing others. Finally, I was begged by the C-suites of several companies to come in & "fix" their CEO/chairperson, as they were behaving erratically & thus undermining the success of the organisation. This gave me some insight into the challenges of leaders.

Partnerships: Tell us about your partnerships.

Through our long-standing How Women Work (HWW) Community (now in its fifth year), we have many contacts & partnerships in Doha. From the very beginning HWW has been under the patronage of the Qatar Business Women Association, with whom we have kept up good relations.
Because we have about 60 speakers a year at the conference, we also get to know a lot of great women in the community, as well as having good relations to the media.

Women Powering Work
Is your project targeted at solving any of the following challenges?

Training and education such as skills workshops, entrepreneurship courses, apprenticeship opportunities

Does your project utilize any of the strategies below?

Providing practical education or resources along with your main project, such as financial literacy, family planning, day-care, counseling, and more


How would you like to use the online portal where we will publish our findings? How can you see it being useful to others? Would you be willing to pay a small subscription fee in order to have access? US$ 10 to try it for a week, US$ 100 for a year?