Business Women’s Network Spotlight: Jordan
Here at The Way Women Work, we collaborate with, amplify and support Business and Professional Women’s networks all over the world. We will spotlight these organizations on a regular basis and share their great work in advancing the business’s and careers of women in their countries. Learn more about these organizations here.
One of our recent connections is with the Business Professional Women – Amman (BPW-A) organization in Jordan. Since 1976, BPW-A has worked to increase women’s economic participation in Jordan through education, leadership, and job-linked training.
We reached out to Mrs. Tharwat Jaber, BPW-A’s Executive Director who joined theorganization this past February after 15 years in private business and the non-profit sector in Switzerland, Cyprus and Jordan. Under the very able leadership of Mrs. Haifa Najjar, BPW-A’s board president, the board and Mrs. Tharwat, the organization is expanding its programming and adding new members.
Mrs. Tharwat sees some encouraging and notable trends for business women in Jordan:
“First, women in leadership positions in institutions, government and organizations is increasing. Second, women starting their own business is increasing in all sectors and at all levels, in small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and large companies. Lastly, women’s salaries are increasing relative to their male counterparts.”
An example of a business woman who has benefited from her BPW-A membership is Ms. Sulaf Mubaideen. Ms. Sulaf successfully launched her business through the BPW-A business incubator. The business incubator, which operates within BPW-A premises, was established to support members and help them launch their businesses through use of BPW-A facilities in order to save rental costs and get access to business, legal, financial counseling and mentoring.BPW-A also works to promote and ensure the recognition of its members like Ms. Abeer Qumsieh, who won the BPWI Power to Make a Difference – Excellent Professional Leader Award; and Mrs. Abeer Qumsieh, founder and director of Better Business, a specialized Jordanian consultancy firm focused on building a vibrant service cultures.Amongst its most significant contributions is the impact BPW-A has made in affecting Jordanian laws governing women in business.
“As part of its core objectives and through an advocacy campaign, BPW-A was able to affect change to the laws at Greater Amman Municipality related to professional women working from home. Now, women can register as individual experts working from their homes.” said Mrs Tharwat. “The law previously only allowed artisan women to work from their homes. Other professionals working from their homes were not previously recognized and could not apply for social security and be part of the overall economic system. The change in the law is currently in pilot stage for the Amman area and after evaluation of its success will be replicated in other parts of the country.
BPW-A strives to communicate the productive and independent role of women in Arab and Islamic Society, and to be a vital contributor to the prosperity of Jordanian business and professional society. One of BPW-A’s goals is to see female professionals move beyond barriers and utilize their unique energies, talents, and capabilities to make a difference. They believe women’s collective energies create unlimited potential, and that gender partnership creates greater overall productivity.