Bahrain International Federation of Business & Professional Women
اللإتحاد العالمي لصاحبات الأعمال و المهن البحرينية
"Leaders may emerge with vision, creativity and directions
but it is the quality of the supporting members, the width of
experience they contribute, the depth of their determination
and interest they bring, that allows an organisation to fulfil
its aims and become the powerhouse for the members’ own development."
- BPW-International Founder, Dr Lena Madesin Phillips
H.E. Shaikha Hind Bint Salman Al Khalifa
Of course, we, at the Bahrain International Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW-Bahrain) – which is part of the BPW International family – are familiar with the drive and the commitment required to do exactly that. Since BPW-Bahrain was founded in 2012, our 12-member board of directors has ensured that the pioneering spirit behind the creation of this initiative has inspired and enabled women – and men – in not just the Kingdom of Bahrain but across the region as a whole to fully realize the depth of their potential.
We have achieved this by leveraging the wealth of experience brought to the table by the outstanding women who serve on our board of directors. It is for this reason that we have been able to mentor those women, as well as men, who needed a guiding hand; show others how best to make the most of their potential and expertise and, in keeping with the times, we have provided assistance to those in the field of information technology (IT) by allowing them to benefit from incubators and by providing them with initial resources and funding. Our support extends, of course, beyond just the realm of IT: For example, we encourage and facilitate artists; jewellery entrepreneurs have benefited from our assistance – in short, BPW-Bahrain supports innovation and enterprise, no matter what the field or profession may be.
Across the world, people generally remain unaware of the important role that organizations such as BPW-International and BPW-Bahrain play in the development of societies, both by empowering women, along with men, and by giving them a coordinated voice and, also, by coming together to enhance each other’s professional prospects. We, at BPW-Bahrain, have been extremely lucky to have had the support of our strategic partners who have encouraged us throughout. As with all such initiatives, throughout the world, this has truly been a joint effort with all key sectors of Bahraini society.
It is for that very reason that BPW-Bahrain has been able to to work productively and creatively to try and meet the objectives listed in the international theme from 2017-2020 for BPW International, which is: Empowering Women to Realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Because of our focus and commitment to the cause, I am happy to report that we have been able to meet some of the 17 such goals listed. We hope to be able to achieve the rest soon.
I would like to end, finally, on a personal note. I have been asked many times by young girls; or women finishing their education or about to embark on their first jobs, about how best to go about their lives and careers. My reply has always been simple: Believe in yourself. Be confident. Once you have self-belief, there is no limit to what you can achieve.
I tell them, also, that I learnt all this from my mother, who remains my role model. A mother of seven, she was also a philanthropist, giving and helping to give to those in need because she believed passionately in what she was doing. The lessons I learned from her helped me immensely when I was a student in Beirut, living independently, becoming mature and learning the importance of, among other things, time-management.
To conclude: The very principles that lie at the foundation of organizations like BPW-Bahrain, and its parent association, are needed to be followed more than ever in a world that is struggling to cope with the ravages being wrought by COVID-19. Believe in science. Listen to medical advice and instructions. Stay home as much as possible. Avoid large gatherings. Wash your hands as often as you can. By working together, we can defeat this disease.”