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.

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.
View member page
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.
View member page
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.
View member page
Dr. Lucia Pappalardo
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Dr. Prof. Lucia Pappalardo is a faculty at the department of Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences of the American University of Sharjah (AUS). She obtained a “Laurea” in Chemistry at Universita’ di Napoli “Federico II”, Italy, and a PhD in Biophysics at Syracuse University, NY, USA. Before joining AUS she worked as Research Associate and Fellow at the Scripps Research Institute, Max Planck Institute, CNR, Stockholm University and Syddansk University. Her research interests are broad, they span from pure applied chemistry to environmental remediation problems to science education and to coaching in science. She has published articles on analysis of three-dimensional structures of biologically active molecules by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), on metabolomics applied to veterinary field of species present in UAE and abroad, on the removal and recovery of pollutants from wastewaters, on chemistry education. She started a collaboration program with Princeton University on metabolomics studies by NMR. Her teaching interests are physical chemistry, general chemistry and biophysics/biochemistry. She is also passionate for arts and believes into the importance of spreading knowledge in arts and sciences to all.