By: ME POV editorial team

It has been over 45 years since Helen Reddy famously sang “I am woman, hear me roar.” Now women from all industries, from the movie studios in Hollywood to the boardrooms of the Arab world, have done just that. And the world has had no choice but to stand up and listen.

But as any woman would tell you, she could not fulfil her true potential without the right partner. Sometimes this partner is the person you live with, sometimes it is your mentor, and sometimes it is your workplace, or even anyone in a position to offer you support.

We are proud, in this 25th issue, to be covering Deloitte’s own champions of women’s rights and gender equality. In a special insert, Rana Salhab, David Sproul and Emma Codd, recipients of the 2017 Financial Times’ HERoes award for champions of women in business, weigh in on what it takes to empower women in the workplace: the differences in the Middle East and Europe, and gender pay gap.

There is no doubt that changes in the cultural landscape will eventually affect changes in the workplace. That is precisely what Ghassan Turqieh says in his article Agile in the public sector in which he posits that change in the public sector is not a choice, but a necessity. “Leaders need to consider modernizing their approach to managing the day-to-day business,” he says. “Moreover, particularly in Saudi Arabia, women are becoming increasingly involved, heavily encouraged and expected to participate in the workforce. These dynamics will inevitably drive public sector leaders to modernize, embrace changes and deploy appropriate talent solutions, not only to maintain a motivated workforce internally but also to address their citizens’ needs,” he continues.

Ziad Haddad and Naji Zoghbi, take the other viewpoint when it comes to Business Continuity Management i.e. the ability of an organization to maintain essential functions during, and after a disaster has occurred, seeing it not only as a necessity but as a system that, “when properly implemented […] not only affects strategy but also protects all the processes of high value to the organization.” Read more on the subject in their article Business continuity: a different perspective.

But sometimes what is called for is not continuity, rather, disruption. E-commerce has drastically changed the global retail market say Sachin Bhanvari and Anish Mehta

in their article, Going digital: the next frontier for middle east retail. “But this megatrend,” they say, “which has transformed the dynamics of consumer behavior and business models in retail, remains untapped in the Middle East and offers huge potential for industry players.”

Who says disruption, says fintech, and who says fintech, says cryptocurrency. In the first of our two enlightening articles on this digital evolution, Rajeev Patel and Uthman Al-Basri caution that “failure to address it early, can trounce even the most dominant of companies […] The use of blockchain technology has enabled the rapid ascent of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin into public discourse, igniting a frenzy of interest while creating fundamental challenges to regulators and money markets.” In their article on fintech, they warn readers not to “remain analogue in a digital world.”

From their side, Nipun Srivastava and Saad Qureshi counsel that cryptocurrencies are still “highly volatile.” In their article Regulating cryptocurrencies, they outline some of the challenges regarding the adoption of cryptocurrencies and some of the ways forward in regulating them.

In my own article charting the last eight years and celebrating our 25th issue, I mention that some of our perennial features include the construction and property sector in Dubai and this issue is no exception. Martin Cooper, in his article The development of Dubai’s affordable housing sector, addresses some of the challenges facing this vital yet troubled sector.

We are very proud to have come this far with you, dear reader, and hope that you have been enjoying reading our magazine as much as we have enjoyed producing it. Here’s to the next 25!

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