10 Jul 2019

Female Driven Panel discusses Opportunities and Challenges Facing Women in the 4IR at the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS)

YEKATERINBURG, Russia, 10 July 2019 – The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and the digitalisation of operational practices is having a profound effect on the manufacturing industry, but some say it is also affecting women’s inclusion in the digital economy and new technological environment. A Female driven panel of thought leaders from global organisations discussed the challenges and opportunities facing the female workforce at a panel session at the second edition of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS) in the Russian City of Yekaterinburg.

The panel discussed the multifaceted policy challenges that are blocking women’s full inclusion in this emerging technological environment. The debate also focused on how the private sector, governments and civil society can pave the way for women to participate in global networking platforms and knowledge hubs providing access to international markets, investments and modern high-tech industries.

Fatou Haidara, Managing Director of UNIDO Policy and Programme Support believes that, in order to achieve the UN’s sustainable development goals, women’s participation is vital considering that they are half the world’s population. Fatou shared figures suggesting that if the gender gap is closed, it can boost world GDP by US$ 10-17 Trillion. It must be done at both a micro and macro level, she suggested. “If we grow along the current path it will take 200 years to achieve gender equality and I don’t think anyone here is prepare to wait that long,” she said.

The panel included Fatou Haidara, Managing Director of United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO); Gulnaz Kadyrova, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Russian Federation; Salma Nims, Secretary General of Jordanian National Commission for Women (JNCW); Veronika Peshkova, Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO); and Ismail Ali Abdulla, CEO of Strata Manufacturing, and the only male on the panel, and was moderated by Selma Prodanovic, Founder and CEO of 1 Million Start-Ups.

Ismail Ali Abdulla, CEO of Strata Manufacturing indicated that Strata was founded to diversify the economy and transform traditional manufacturing into knowledge-export and innovation through the sustained investment in high tech sectors such as aerospace. Ismail added that this vision set by the leadership was built on the premise of inclusion without distinguishing between men and women. “We are proud that females represent the majority of our workforce, as they are leading in one of the most exciting and dynamic industries in the world. Strata has become a true UAE success story, since its establishment in 2010. The company remains the only company in the Gulf that manufactures aircraft components for the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers, such as Airbus and Boeing.”, he said

The panel discussion concluded with a call for comprehensive collaboration,  and stressed that greater female participation and bridging the gender divide must come from cohesiveness of the private and public sectors, as well as governments.

A joint initiative of the United Arab Emirates and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, GMIS is the world’s first cross-industry and cross-functional platform that unites manufacturers, governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), technologists, and investors to build a roadmap towards investing in capabilities, fostering innovation and developing the skills needed to position the manufacturing sector at the forefront of global economic growth and a key driver to advance the 17 SDGs.


Note to Editors
PR Contacts:
Reethu Thachil
Communications Manager
M Three Marcomms LLC

Press Office for:
Global Manufacturing & Industrialisation Summit
Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity
+971 55 35 00715 /

About GMIS:
The Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS) was established in 2015 to build bridges between manufacturers, governments and NGOs, technologists, and investors in harnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s (4IR) transformation of manufacturing, to enable the regeneration of the global economy. A joint initiative by the United Arab Emirates and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), GMIS is a platform that presents the manufacturing sector with an opportunity to contribute towards global good, and that is committed to bringing benefit to all. As the world’s first cross-industry initiative, GMIS offers a platform for leaders to engage on the issue of the future of manufacturing, highlighting the need for greater investment in capabilities to foster innovation and drive skills development on a global scale. Uniting key stakeholders – including world leaders, industry CEOs, and specialist researchers and academics – GMIS has placed manufacturing at the heart of economic transformation and government policy-making, promoting it as a tool for global cooperation and collaboration.

The first edition of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit was held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, at the Paris Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi in March 2017. It brought together over 3,000 leaders from government, business, and civil society from over 40 countries to advance manufacturing and industrial development globally, and to identify key trends and opportunities across 6 themes.

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