Tristar’s women-led symposium urges male action

Speakers and stakeholders reinforce UN’s ‘HeForShe’ movement

The speakers, panelists and host of 2nd Tristar International Women's Day with Group CEO Eugene Mayne and his wife Joan

Dubai, UAE; March 11, 2024: Tristar held its annual International Women’s Day event on March 8 at the Kempinski Boulevard Dubai, with 150 external stakeholders promoting the UN’s ‘HeForShe’ movement. The second edition of the symposium, led by eminent women from across the UAE, highlighted the crucial roles that men can and must play in the professional and personal development of women.

As a signatory of the UN Women Empowerment Principles, and an avid upholder of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Tristar is keen on increasing support to women and their cruciality, especially with context to SDG 5 on promoting gender equality. In his opening address, founder and CEO of Tristar Group, Eugene Mayne spoke of the need for men and boys to be educated and enlightened about their roles in achieving this. “Men and boys must take greater responsibility for change, and begin questioning the dynamics of their actions, words and even thoughts, before they fully engage as gender advocates.”

He also emphasised how the group has long upheld interwoven concepts like equal opportunities, schooling for girls, female empowerment, financial literacy, work-life balance, and community initiatives, now known as Diversity. Equity. Inclusivity (DEI). “Tristar’s goal is to incorporate more facets and aspects of DEI across our global operations on a regular, frequent, and dedicated basis,” he stated.

Keynote speaker Dr. Mariam Almatrooshi, Criminal Radiologist and Head of Dubai Police Athletic Council, the first lady to hold this position in the Middle East, spoke of male allyship and the importance of including women in every field and sector. Citing her personal experiences, she highlighted her journey through a male-dominated profession, and the help of men in her life, while encouraging the audience to chase their dreams no matter what the obstacles.

The second keynote speaker, author Julie Lewis, gave an inspiring speech on ‘Investing in Women’,  emphasising the need for women to invest in themselves before anything or anyone else. “Women need to develop and believe in themselves because support from men is secondary. Become your own cheerleaders,” she urged. 

At the panel discussion, ‘Accelerating Gender Equality through Economic Empowerment’, four influential women from key professional sectors shared their insights:  Tatiana Antonelli Abella – Founder and Managing Director of Goumbook, Sara Chatila – UN Communications and Advocacy Manager, Regina Arambur – Shell Customer Operations Manager, and Surabhi Shenoy – Business Growth Specialist.

Discussing various issues affecting women in the workplace, they spoke about confidence and self-branding, underlining how women get less renumeration than their male counterparts with the same set of skills. The panel concurred that women need to rid themselves of inferiority complexes, start presenting themselves as professionals, and rightfully take their seats at different tables. “It is time women stopped describing themselves as passionate, start presenting themselves as experts, and demand the renumeration they deserve,” said Abella on the high-powered panel’s behalf. 

The panelists also observed how essential it is to develop and implement accountability mechanisms to protect women’s rights and ensure that women’s voices are amplified in all spaces of decision-making. They accentuated the fact that there is no such thing as a male dominated sector: Women can fit in to, and excel in any sector that they chose to.

Tristar stands on the message that achieving gender equality is highly dependent on reversing the beliefs, practices, institutions, and structures that drive inequality. As Mayne summarised it: “The HeForShe movement relies greatly on men and women engaging together to achieve equality and gender parity.  Since women have struggled for so long, men must do so much more, to simply catch up.”

The event was hosted by Brandy Scott, co-host of the Business Breakfast Show on Dubai Eye 103.8 FM, and attended by a full house of Tristar’s women staff, customers, corporate partners, and other external stakeholders.


Contributed by

Tristar Group