The Business Year

Buthaina Al Ansari, Chairman Adviser, Just Real Estate (JRE) & Strategic Planning and Human Development Expert

QATAR - Economy

Buthaina Al Ansari

Chairman Adviser, Just Real Estate (JRE) & Strategic Planning and Human Development Expert

Bio

Buthaina Al Ansari holds an MBA in human resources, a master’s degree in strategic planning, and a doctorate in business administration. She brings with her a wealth of experience and an expansive career that stretches more than 13 years. Al-Ansari worked across the education, finance, and telecommunications sectors before joining one of Qatar’s leading real estate consultancies. Her experience prior to being appointed as chairman advisor of JRE saw her assume senior leadership roles within organizations such as Qatar Investment Authority and Ooredoo, among others.

With all its successes in advancing women's empowerment, Qatar is now looking at increasing the percentage of women in leadership positions and on boards.

Buthaina Al Ansari tells us how Qatar is now looking at increasing the percentage of women in leadership positions and on boards.

How have you been involved in the advancement of the role of women locally and in the GCC?

Regarding the story of Qatari women, I always refer to the changes that happened with Sheikha Moza, because she is the main source in matters related to women. She created an ecosystem wherein Qatari women could benefit from a strong infrastructure including education, and where they could create balance between social and working life. One could write countless books and papers on creating this balance, but it remains a challenge in reality. First of all, a good education sets you up for success throughout life. This was the slogan in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Education and experience will enable you work anywhere. Recently, KPMG Qatar published a report indicating that the employees required in the future will be totally different from what is needed today. Digitalization will replace many skills and abilities. In Europe and the US, there is a tendency to follow your passion, and the Middle East should follow suit. My view is that in your 20s you have to prepare yourself with skills and abilities, as passion will come later on. I am now a speaker and coach, which is my passion, but which rests upon my education. Companies must also prepare their infrastructure and staff to face the new challenge of digitalization. His Highness has announced the creation of the Committee for Artificial Intelligence as well as the National Cybersecurity Agency, which are working to anticipate what the market needs. And we need to keep training our children and the new generations to specialize in medicine, research, all things related to digitalization, and blockchain, because these are the new realities of the world. Many women are already involved in those fields, and we need to keep working for more to come.

What would be your advice in terms of education and professional development to any woman in Qatar seeking to make an impact through her work?

We need to empower women in different fields, both as employees and business owners. The country’s vision 2030 consists of four pillars to invest in human capital, which means providing education and health to both women and men. On the social development pillar, there is a subtitle for empowering women in health, education, entrepreneurship and politics. The Qatar Development Bank helps women and men establish their businesses, and the Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunication enables the right infrastructure to support women in e-commerce, for example. You can run your business while sitting in your house close to your family, and do not need to incur significant expense to create an e-commerce business. My advice to all women is to venture into this sector. Qataris currently spend a lot on international e-commerce, and there is considerable potential for a local e-commerce industry.

What tools are available in Qatar for women to be better prepared to make their projects a success?

Qatar Development Bank provides business support for all sort of entrepreneurs. It also secures capital for a prospective project with support provided on how to run a project, regardless of the service or product you provide. Many institutions in Qatar are offering conferences and workshops, and invite many speakers on entrepreneurship from around the world. There is a Qatari Women’s Forum headed by Sheikha Alfardan, who is doing an amazing job to provide women with networking opportunities and expose their business to other women and other countries. Qatari universities are working to develop specialized committees, for example for artificial intelligence. The Qatar foundation has a technology oasis, where you can develop any ideas related to technology. I am honored to be part of the science jury, this is the 13th season, and I am the first woman to be a juror. The topic addressed will be how to improve the community with technology so as to enhance innovation. 

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