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Keynote Speaker

Topic: “Widening Opportunities for Management Assistants in a global environment”

Mrs Haifa Fahoum Al Kaylani, Founder Chairman, Arab International Women’s Forum is well known in international government and business circles as a high-impact change agent focusing on leadership in cultural and gender issues. An economist and graduate of the American University of Beirut and Oxford University, she brings a wide range of skills and experience to her personal mission of encouraging greater cultural understanding between Arab and international communities, supporting a strong role for women in that process.

Mrs Al Kaylani holds senior roles in several cultural, commercial and educational UK and international organisations. These include: Board Member, The Women's Leadership Board at Harvard Kennedy School; Advisory Board Member, The Middle East Institute, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London; Advisory Board Member, The Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World, Lebanese American University, Beirut; Board Director, EastWest Institute, and Board Member The Arab British Chamber of Commerce in London.

Mrs Al Kaylani serves on The Commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance. Mrs Al Kaylani became the first Honorary Member, the Euro Mediterranean Association for Cooperation and Development (2012) and serves as a Freeman of the City of London.

Mrs Al Kaylani private sector advisory roles include Director, Bridgeway Consulting (RAKUAE) Limited, Advisory Board Member, Hydromineinc. Advisory Board Member, Hildon Limited Non Executive Director Winmark Global.

The EUMA (European Management Assistants) conference is truly a positive demonstration of the global will to help and empower managers. What is so unique about this event is its global reach, welcoming participants from more than 25 countries and from diverse backgrounds.

The speech will address the core theme of Managing change in organizations, with an emphasis on the issues of Transparency, Corporate responsibility and Accountability in order for managers to address the fast changing corporate landscape, and avoid further consequences to the recent multiplication of corporate scandals as well as the aftermath of the global commercial crisis. It will be underlined that managers increasingly have to deal with employees losing motivation, not being passionate enough about their jobs. Some employees even have to juggle between multiple jobs or have to accommodate a tight schedule, balancing their personal and professional lives. All of this can lead to a loss in motivation, and subsequently to a loss in productivity, which affects the organisation as a whole as well as its workers. It will also underscore how EUMA can help managers deal better with such conundrums, and how it has set up a number of excellent programmes in the region that have greatly enhanced the quality and level of skills among young management assistants and employees with a focus on basic business and communication skills, as well as career guidance and soft skills training including negotiation and teamwork.

Change is almost impossible without a relative degree of acceptance from the individuals within the organisation. It remains important to maintain people as the center of the organization, as they are responsible for the perpetration or failure of change. The speech will thus conclude on the importance of EUMA playing a role in shaping behaviours of managers and management assistants across Europe and in the world. With threats such as the recent financial crisis that hit the world as a whole in 2008, there are certainly challenges that are unique to the region and which require us to think innovatively, framing our approach within the reality and context of the region.

Finally, will be advocated the idea that anything constructed can be re-constructed, which gives great room for innovation and creativity. And managers indeed are the messengers of innovation and change, embodying the new models of leadership and entrepreneurship; they have to be motivated in order to motivate, and motivate in turn by their actions future generations.