The Business Year

Hayfa Al Abdulla Innovation Director, Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), part of Qatar Foundation Research, Development, and Innovation

QATAR - Economy

Hayfa Al Abdulla

Innovation Director, Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), part of Qatar Foundation Research, Development, and Innovation

Bio

Hayfa Al Abdullah is Innovation Director at Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP). She has gained extensive experience in management, ICT, and tech-based entrepreneurship while working at QSTP, Qatar Petroleum, and Qatar University. She is a board member at Qatar Mobility Innovation Center (QMIC), an innovation center focused on smart mobility systems, and is also a business writer and blogger. She earned a bachelor of computer sciences and an MBA from Qatar University. She is a certified project management professional, business analyst, and incubation manager.

Hayfa Al Abdulla is Innovation Director of Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), part of Qatar Foundation Research, Development, and Innovation.

Hayfa Al Abdulla is Innovation Director of Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), part of Qatar Foundation Research, Development, and Innovation.

How has the growing interest of young women in new technologies influenced the development of innovative projects in the country?

In Qatar’s universities, we have a high percentage of women studying STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) topics, which is fantastic to see. QSTP runs the Arab Innovation Academy (AIA) bootcamp every year for students across the MENA region, to equip them with tech entrepreneurship skills, which are essential for the eventual commercialization of innovative projects. Interestingly, around 50% of the participants every year are women, and we consistently see a high level of interest, especially from women, to be educated in entrepreneurship and technology development. At QSTP, we realize the importance of the confidence of our younger generations, including women, because creating a technology start-up is not easy, particularly in traditionally male-dominated industries. We provide an environment that instills those essential skills, builds up their courage to try out new ideas and network with other young innovators to get inspired. At AIA, we immerse the participants in real-life scenarios where they created their start-ups in just 10 days. They work with a diverse group of people coming from different academic backgrounds, mindset, nationalities, and skillsets. This experience pushes students to shape their idea, develop a prototype and pitch it to real investors. It has been encouraging to see great examples of ideas from women who have actively participated in this program.

What is your advice to other women in Qatar interested in growing in managerial positions?

Having confidence in yourself is key. Even when women are highly educated, they continue to doubt themselves, e specially in leadership roles. Instead, they should be more confident and not be afraid to take the leap. We should build on and use the community around us and not take on everything on our own. To make a good leader, you must learn how to leverage the support of others. I believe that knowing how to interact with people is a talent that most women have and it can be nurtured with the right confidence. The same formula applies to the entrepreneurial path: have a clear vision, surround yourself with the right people and the right team, and believe in yourself. 6

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

You may also be interested in...

Elias Bou Maroun Acting CEO, QDVP (Mawaqif Qatar)

QATAR - Real Estate & Construction

Elias Bou Maroun

Interview

Acting CEO, QDVP (Mawaqif Qatar)

Nasser Al Ansari Chairman, Just Real Estate (JRE)

QATAR - Real Estate & Construction

Nasser Al Ansari

Interview

Chairman, Just Real Estate (JRE)

Omar Bahgat Vice President & Regional Manager, Engineering Consultants Group (ECG)

QATAR - Real Estate & Construction

Omar Bahgat

Interview

Vice President & Regional Manager, Engineering Consultants Group (ECG)

View All interviews