About us

The project is led by Linzi J Kemp, who earlier discovered an alarming gap between the abundance of women in college and absence of women in business in the GCC.

Realizing that the higher the corporate ladder went, the lower the number of women present, Kemp, joined by colleagues Norita Ahmad and Linda McLoughlin, began a search for the few female leaders in the Gulf.

A question was formed: Can we apply leadership theory to support professional women up the ranks? From there, the foundation was laid out for the first intensive and extensive study into the lives of professional women in the Middle East, with hopes to uncover the mystery behind the gender-gap, and to inspire more young women to persevere against the barriers in pursuit of their dreams.

About W&L Website

Center for Women & Leadership: Theory to Practice is a research-backed initiative, created with two goals in mind: first, to craft role models out of professional women residing in the Arab Gulf countries; and second, to provide a stepping stone for academics and students interested in the topic of leadership in the Middle East.

The website hopes to build a platform for women in the Gulf to share their stories of ambition and accomplishment through a series of face-to-face interviews. Their lives reveal recurrent themes across that invite exploration of the relationship between a woman’s culture and her professional occupation in the private and public Middle Eastern sectors.

Ultimately, WILTP plans to compile a public database of individual case studies chronicling the achievements of women across the Gulf– a first-of-its-kind living archive.

Introduction to WIL

Our Team

Linda McLoughlin
Linda McLoughlin holds a Master of Business Studies from the Smurfit Business School at University College Dublin, Ireland. She is a Professional Certified Coach accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF) and has served on the Board of Directors of the Irish Chapter as well as on the ICF Global Education Committee. She is licensed to administer a range of psychometric and 360 diagnostic and feedback instruments. She is a qualified educator and expert in executive education, women’s leadership and career development and has consulted internationally in the field of change and strategy on behalf of the EU and bilateral aid programs to support public sector modernization.
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Linzi Kemp
Linzi J. Kemp earned a PhD in Organizational Behavior from Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. She has held teaching and administrative positions in universities in the UK, USA, UAE, KSA and the PRC. Dr. Kemp has also spent many years in management and sales in public and private organizations. Her areas of research and teaching interest are leadership (focused on women in business leadership), organizational behavior (cross cultural issues) and teamwork.
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Norita Ahmad
Dr. Norita Ahmad is an Associate Professor of MIS at American University of Sharjah, UAE. She received her PhD in Decision Science Engineering Systems from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). Her research interest includes performance measurement in comparative methodologies, decision analysis, and technology adoption in business and education. She presented research internationally and published in a variety of scholarly journals such as International Journal of Information Technology & Decision Making, Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing, European Business Review and Journal of Business Ethics.
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Judi Dairawan

Judi Dairawan is a Business Management student at American University of Sharjah (AUS). She works as a Teaching Assistant for Dr. Norita Ahmad at AUS where she takes part in managing the Women in Leadership website. She interned at The Citizens Foundation aiming to provide education to unprivileged girls in Pakistan. She is currently working as a Research Assistant for Dr. David A. Palmer in The University of Hong Kong on the CRF BRINFAITH project that examines the flow of medical resources between China and Arab countries.