Well-committed CEOs Received Gender Equality Award at 2nd Edition of Women Professionals Summit-2023

Local Media

At the concluding session of the second annual Women Professionals Summit-2023 (WPS), powered by the Top 50 Women Forum, the well-committed CEOs to equality in workplaces received the Gender Equality Award for helping their corporates in creating a gender-friendly workplace to further develop better organizations.

The session entitled ‘’Road-Map to Equality’’ was attended by the CEOs as keynote speakers and awardees, including Mr. Mohamed Shelbaya, CEO, PepsiCo North Africa, Mr. Hisham El-Khazindar, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Qalaa Holdings, Eng. Khaled Kacem, Chairman, Shell Egypt, and Dr. Hatem Al-Wardani, CEO, AstraZeneca Egypt.

Mrs. Dina Abd-El Fattah, Founder & President of the Top 50 Forum, Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, and H.E. Ambassador Christian Berger, Head of the European Union Delegation to Egypt, presented this year’s Gender Equality Awards to the winning CEOs.

After receiving their awards, the honorees showcased their case studies and in-depth vision of achieving gender equality and supporting working women in pursuing personal and professional targets; while outlining their principles, objectives, and actions to achieve gender equality and diversity as an employer.

Furthermore, the session participants emphasized that their corporates supported the state’s relentless efforts and vision to attract more investments, localize the industry, and deepen local production. They have also pledged to push their companies towards expanding their local production footprints in Egypt during the coming period. In addition, they promised to increase the representation of women in managerial positions, noting that there are several focal points to support and empower women in the governing bodies of enterprises

In the same context, Mohammed Shalbaya, Mohamed Shelbaya, CEO of PepsiCo North Africa, revealed that his company has been able to write its own success story regarding the empowerment of women to reach leadership positions over the past four years, explaining that it successfully increased the representation of women in managerial positions by about 28% compared to 4% in 2018.


Shalbaya further noted that the total number of employees in Pepsico amounted to about 14,000 nationwide, while the women cadres in managerial positions share recorded about 40% compared to 14% in 2018.

Moreover, Shalbaya pointed out that PepsiCo had tasked itself with achieving gender equality and supporting women to reach their goals, whether as employees or partners, as part of his firm’s positive strategy.

The past period had seen the launch of several important initiatives aimed at supporting and integrating women into the vibrant Egyptian workforce He further affirmed.

In addition, he shed light on his company’s most recent initiative named  “She Works Wonders’’ in cooperation with PepsiCo Foundation and INJAZ Egypt to launch a women’s empowerment program in Egypt.

The program targeted fresh graduates and senior university-age females to qualify them for male-dominated jobs and increase female representation, with a specific focus on the Sales & Supply Chain fields. Some 30 women out of a total of 50 participants have recently been appointed to the initiative’s final phase, he added.

On the other hand, Hisham El-Khazindar, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Qalaa Holdings, confirmed that 25 percent of his company’s board of directors is composed of women, which reflects his conglomerate’s orientation to support and empower women in society.

Thus, Qalaa Holdings follows three main criteria in selecting and supporting women to take up managerial positions; the first of which is the education to create a balanced environment for women with no gender discrimination in terms of capabilities and equality, he explained.

Furthermore, El-Khazindar stressed that empowering women in the workplace has an economic return as it leads to improving the performance of companies, attracting investments, and supporting the government’s efforts to enhance women’s economic empowerment and bridge the gender gap.

On his part, Hatem Al-Wardani, AstraZeneca Egypt CEO, noted that his company has worked during the past three years to increase the representation of women in its teamwork which rose from 10% to 38% at the level of the board of directors and from 10 to 35% among the managers.

Al-Wardani added that his company plans to raise the percentage of women employees during the coming periods to 50%, noting that a new program launched to increase and develop women’s competence. He added that AstraZeneca embraces a work-from-home strategy for women, which contributed to improving its performance and enhancing its work environment.

He said that AstraZeneca Egypt participated in several women-related initiatives launched by H.E the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi such as the Egyptian Women’s Health Initiative launched to promote the health of Egyptian women to early detect breast cancer; raise awareness on reproductive health; induce family planning; promote health. He added that his firm has a current capital investment of around $60 million, which is expected to increase over the coming three years.

Moreover, Astrazeneca Egypt aims at increasing its manufacturing footprint by 50 percent over the next three years which consequently contributes to supporting the

government’s efforts towards localizing the pharmaceutical industry, per Egypt’s Vision 2030.

He also revealed that AstraZeneca Egypt plans, during the current year, to introduce nine new drugs to the Egyptian Pharma industry which will be a breakthrough in providing a better quality of life and new hope for Egyptian patients during the current year.

Al-Wardani concluded that his company’s priorities are aligned with Egypt’s national agenda, ensuring that it works hand-in-hand with the Egyptian government to tackle challenges within the healthcare sector, effectively playing its part in contributing to a robust healthcare ecosystem, and uninterrupted access to innovative medicines for patients.

The second annual Women Professionals Summit-2023 was held at the Nile Ritz Carlton on the 12th of March 2023 under the title ‘’Empower Women to Empower Egypt’’  and under the auspices of Egyptian Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly.

The one-day event included inspiring keynotes, dynamic breakout sessions, and collaborative networking opportunities. In addition, it hosted the 8th edition of the Top 50 Women Forum Annual Award Ceremony.

The Summit hosted interactive sessions and panel discussions that included women empowerment specialists and sustainability consultants to share insights about women’s success stories, leadership, future planning, the influence of role models, and the importance of self-affirmation to develop the next generation of women leaders.

It is worth mentioning that the Top 50 Women Forum cooperated with both the National Council for Women (NCW) and the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development to organize the second annual Women Professionals Summit (WPS).


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Top 50 Women Forum is the first platform in Egypt to work exclusively on empowering women professionals, with the purpose of strengthening their contribution development & decision-making processes.

Top 50 Women Forum is the first platform in Egypt to work exclusively on empowering women professionals, with the purpose of strengthening their contribution development & decision-making processes.