Introducing the Woman of The Year Awards

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The Woman This Month team is proud to present the Woman of the Year Awards – a prestigious event dedicated to recognising and honouring the outstanding contributions of women in Bahrain across a spectrum of industries and sectors. With the inaugural ceremony set to take place in December, the awards will celebrate the achievements of women who have demonstrated exceptional innovation, leadership and impact in their respective fields.

The event will showcase the diverse talents and accomplishments of women who are shaping the Kingdom’s present and future. Alongside a special Lifetime Achievement Award, there will be 20 awards across five broad categories:

  • Engineering and Technical
  • Business and Financial
  • Artistic and Creative
  • Health, Hospitality, Education and Social
  • Lifestyle and Media

The awards process involves rigorous nomination and voting procedures, ensuring transparency and fairness in selecting the winners. The event culminates in a grand ceremony where the most influential women in various fields are honoured for their remarkable contributions.

The success and integrity of the Woman of the Year Awards are upheld by the distinguished members of the Awards Review Committee (ARC), a panel of esteemed professionals who bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the selection process.

Let’s meet the judges!

Ahlam Janahi
Ahlam’s dynamic presence and vibrant energy make her a well-known figure among Bahrain’s business community. As President and founding member of the Bahrain Businesswomen’s Society, founded in 2000, she leads a platform dedicated to supporting female entrepreneurs in Bahrain. With four decades of business experience, Ahlam has served on the boards of several key institutions, earning numerous awards for her contributions. She is currently the Managing Partner at My Bakery.

Her commitment to philanthropy further underscores her dedication to fostering a supportive and empowering environment for women in business. Her efforts have not only advanced the status of Bahraini women but have also inspired many to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams, solidifying her reputation as a role model and a transformative leader in the region.

Feryal Abdullah Nass
Feryal Nass is a leading figure in Bahrain’s business landscape, serving as the Founder and Chairwoman of the Bahrain Entrepreneurship Organisation (BEO). With a background in Business Administration from Bahrain University and currently pursuing a Master’s degree in political economics, Feryal brings a wealth of experience and passion to her role. She has over 20 years of experience in her family business and runs her own design firm specialising in interior design, joinery work and turnkey projects. Her dedication to supporting startups, particularly those led by women and youth, is evident in her extensive involvement in entrepreneurial initiatives.

Her involvement in the World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF), which has been instrumental in expanding the reach and impact of Bahraini startups, stems from a commitment to enhance opportunities for Bahraini entrepreneurs. Her passions include transforming the Bahraini startup ecosystem, fostering growth and encouraging innovation among aspiring entrepreneurs.

Hala Sulaiman
With 25 years of experience in strategic management and communication, Hala Sulaiman has founded multiple public and private sector startups. She is the Founder and Managing Director of Beyond Borders Consulting and the Co-Founder of AlRawi Media, an award-winning audiobook app specialising in Arabic books.

A member of the Bahrain Businesswomen Society Board and a founding member of the Bahrain Chapter of the Global Entrepreneur Network, Hala holds a BA in Mass Communications and Marketing from the University of Bahrain and an MBA at Strathclyde University. She has numerous certifications in public relations, marketing, HR management and leadership.

Previously, Hala was Tamkeen’s Director of Marketing and Communications, where she played a key role in positioning the organisation to empower Bahrain’s labour market and private sector. Hala has also worked in audio, visual and print media, serving as a correspondent for Bahrain Radio & Television Corporation, MBC FM, Arab News and Gulf Daily News.

Professor Riyad Y. Hamzah
Prof. Riyad Y. Hamzah is the current President of the Royal University for Women and a distinguished academic leader with an extensive background in higher education. He previously served as the President of the University of Bahrain and holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Houston, USA. A Professor of Biotechnology, Prof. Hamzah has significantly contributed to the development of Bahrain’s educational landscape.

As the Secretary General of the Higher Education Council in Bahrain, he established the national university accreditation system and launched both the National Higher Education Strategy and National Research Strategy. Prof. Hamzah played a pivotal role in the inception of the Arabian Gulf University, serving as Vice-President from 1994 to 2005. Prof. Hamzah was the Editor-in-Chief of the Arab Gulf Journal of Scientific Research and also a founding and Board of Trustees member of the Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED).

In recognition of his contributions, Prof. Hamzah was awarded the Medal of Highest Distinction – First Degree by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in 2011.

Seema Prem
Seema Prem is an accomplished engineer and the driving force behind FIA Technology Services, a company dedicated to financial inclusion in India and beyond. Seema has since become a Fintech pioneer with a passion for using technology to solve real-world problems.

Her concept of addressing financial exclusion after researching financial systems gained recognition at the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition, which inspired her to return to India and establish FIA as the CEO and Co-Founder. FIA’s mission is to provide unbanked and underbanked populations access to financial services through innovative solutions, operating about 35,000 banking centres. Recognised for her impactful work, Seema was recently interviewed by Melinda Gates and featured at the United Nations General Assembly for FIA’s social impact.

Visit the official Woman of the Year Awards website where you can nominate stellar women for various categories. Voting for shortlisted candidates will follow the nominations. www.womanoftheyearawards.com