Alisha Moopen is a trailblazer in the medical industry, constantly challenging the status quo as the Deputy Managing Director of Aster DM Healthcare. Moopen’s leadership has fast-tracked digital adoption in the organization, with the healthcare conglomerate becoming one of the first hospitals in the GCC to offer teleconsultation services when the Covid-19 pandemic hit.
Moopen has been focused on building the digital muscle of Aster for the past two years, resulting in the development of the myAster app. This app has touched over one million lives and has been downloaded over 352,000 times since its launch in July 2021, ranking as the number one free medical app in the UAE.
Moopen recognizes the critical role women play in the workplace, stating that “today’s women are tomorrow’s economic and social powerhouse.” She emphasizes the importance of recognizing and enabling women’s potential today to prevent any organization or country from being left behind in the race for progress. With almost 60 percent of Aster’s workforce being women, Moopen is proud to lead an organization that values and supports women’s contributions.
Years ago, a 17-year-old Salwa Samoui embarked on a daunting journey from her small Tunisian village to the capital city of Tunis. She was headed to the US to pursue a prestigious scholarship for further studies. It was the first time Samoui had ever flown on a plane. Today, as the CCO of Injazat, a UAE-based digital transformation leader, she advises high-level stakeholders on building smart cities.
Samoui acknowledges that leaving her country was a difficult decision, as it was unheard of in the Arab world for women to travel abroad alone for education. However, her father encouraged her to take the opportunity, saying, “If you don’t go, every day when you go to sleep you will wonder what it would have been if you had gone. If you go, even if you don’t like it, you can always come back.”
After earning degrees in industrial engineering and business administration, Samoui returned to Tunisia to start a career in IT. She founded her own start-up and worked for one of the country’s largest media houses before joining Microsoft, where she spent nearly two decades leading digital transformation in various fields.
Throughout her career, Samoui has often been the only woman in the room, and she recognizes the importance of women being represented in leadership roles. “We need to do it for our daughters, for other women, and for technology. We don’t want technology that doesn’t speak the voice of half the population,” she said. Samoui urges women to have confidence in taking a seat at the table and leading change in the tech industry.
Dr. Heba Chehade, a chemical engineering graduate from Canada, has always been a curious person. She moved to the Middle East after completing her degree to develop her skills and knowledge. As a problem-solver, Chehade was able to secure a position as the foresight lead at Dubai Future Foundation (DFF), where her job is to identify problems of the future and develop solutions for them.
According to Chehade, the most unique aspect of her job is that there is always a new problem to solve or a new future to imagine. She must always approach problems creatively, and the excitement and diversity of thinking involved in imagining the future is amazing.
Chehade believes that women are essential in the workplace. Women bring diverse perspectives and thoughts, and they can advocate for other females. However, she also emphasizes that women should not just be a number at the table but must engage and have the attitude to make a difference.