A woman discussing about work in meeting room

Who Says Leadership Is Reserved for Men?

Be seen, heard, and understood in a man’s world.

I will never forget the day I was thrown out of a client’s office for being ‘just a silly girl’. After all, what do women know about the property market? I was a bright and enthusiastic young woman in my 20s, selling software in London. I had just landed a meeting with a corporate real estate company, and I was excited to go and pitch my offering. I walked in to meet an older man who looked confused, refused to shake my hand, and looked behind me as he asked if I was alone and where the “sales guy” was. As I proceeded with my sales pitch, he became infuriated, stood up, and barked at me to get out!

There I was, standing in the pouring rain, crying and ashamed with an overriding feeling that I was not good enough. That experience deeply affected my confidence. Role models and authority figures can have a huge impact on us. We can carry the damage they inflict for many years, and it can be especially detrimental for a young woman carving out her career. That is why I wanted to ensure that no other young woman should have to experience bias and sexism to this extent. That experience, amongst many, has been one of the key drivers for me in creating WILD – Women in Leadership Deliver.

WILD is a platform for all women, both current and future leaders, to come together and share their knowledge and expertise. I work closely with women to find and use their voices, and I hear the same challenges over and over. Women at work in male-dominated sectors face the ‘double bind’, especially in meetings. Women get overlooked, discredited, and talked over. If they do speak up, they face being criticised in appraisals for being aggressive, bossy, or over-emotional. This stops women from speaking up at all and leaves them questioning, ‘What’s the point?’ 

One key tip to overcome this problem is the amplification method. If a woman goes to speak in a meeting, other women at the meeting address her by name, repeat her idea, and show support for the ideas presented. Other colleagues (male counterpartsincluded) then further build upon her idea. She feels that she is able to be heard and that her ideas are valid. It may seem like a small thing, but little biases can build up and lead to a huge discrepancy when it comes to gender inequality.

A business does not benefit from diversity if a woman is simply included, and not able to contribute effectively. Women can feel scared to speak up and feel that their ideas are not valid. Imposter syndrome and thoughts like ‘I’m not good enough’ or‘I’m not smart enough’ can start to set in. This results in feeling powerless, inadequate, and frustrated to say the least. It leads to you holding yourself back and not bringing your whole self to the workplace.

Whilst stereotypes are endemic – particularly the ‘think leader, think man’ stereotype – women can often be their own worst enemy. I frequently get asked on panels and podcasts, “What holds women back the most?” My response? Themselves! Women have been taught to picture themselves in a quiet space. There is subconscious confusion about the role we must play due to generational influence. Are we supposed to be the nurturer, the caregiver, the mother, and the homemaker? Or are we supposed to be a go-getter, a strong career-focused leader? We can be both.

We can bring together the powerful combination of both masculine and feminine energy with an understanding that it’s okay to be a nurturer and a go-getter at the same time. Women possess much power to inspire and influence. As a matter of fact, women make great leaders. It’s not that we are better than men, or men are better than women. It’s just that we have a different skill set – a complementary skill set.

Women are known to have high emotional intelligence and lead with empathy. Empathy is a key quality of a great leader. Thus, the solution is clear – leadership is not just for men, it’s for ALL of us together, side by side. I often say that we need to get out of our own way as we cansometimes get wrapped up in our feelings of not being good enough. We live in a society of comparison and a world of perfectionism due to social media. In reality, true satisfaction comes from building inner confidence so that we can contribute with conviction and without doubt.

Here are three powerful tips to become a leader in a male-dominated environment:

1. Get good at leadership skills, especially when it comes to presenting with confidence. 

We have all been in poor presentations and great ones. The great ones are memorable, and it drives credibility and respect. Being able to present well will take you far in your career and naturally demonstrates leadership.

2. Build your own women’s network. 

This can start with just three or four women. Include women from the company you work for and even external stakeholders, such as clients or potential clients. We crave community and belonging – especially in the UAE, where most of us are expats – so create a space for women to be heard. This can help you network and build bonds. You can become the leader and get to put essential skills into practice. I started with four women when I worked for a company, which then grew to 15. As a result, I was able to forge solid relationships to do business and make friends along the way. 

3. Put your hand up. 

If you don’t ask, you won’t get it. Never be afraid to ask for a promotion or pay rise and the steps needed to get you there. Using your voice will make you feel empowered. Your boss will also respect you. Leaders don’t shy away, they put their hand up. The world needs women to speak up and speak out. It’s time to claim your personal power, own and use your voice, and become the leader you have always dreamed of being so that you can smash the glass ceiling.

I am launching an exclusive group coaching programme called Speak UP, Speak OUT, which starts on the November 6. Thispowerful programme will feature with other women from the WILD tribe, ensuring that you learn the skills to own and use your voice, present with impact, shine with confidence, and step up as a leader ready for an amazing 2022.

Learn more about Emma Burdett and her work empowering women through WILD @emmaeburdett.


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Remote Work: Empowering UAE Women

Make this trend work for you.

Ladies, it’s time to say goodbye to stressful commutes to the office and hello to more flexible career options! The rise of remote work across geographies and occupations has been noted the world over. Initially a necessary product of the Covid-19 pandemic, the remote working trend is here to stay providing greater autonomy and, the bonus for women, an opportunity to balance work and life better. The result? A happier and more diverse workforce – basically, a game changer.

A Women’s Career Cycle

The traditional 9-to-5 grind simply didn’t work for working women with personal responsibilities such as family and children, creating a dynamic where 50% to 80% of women drop out of the workforce to have families, with only 20% ever returning back to work once their children are older. And, when women return to the workforce after a significant absence, they aren’t easily able to return to the same career level and face the reality of starting at a few pay grade levels lower than when they left. For women who do return to work, they often struggle to balance their careers with family life, social obligations, and personal interests. But with the rise of remote work, women now have more flexibility to work from the comfort of their own homes, on modified schedules, and without the stress and hassle of commuting to and from a physical office.

Benefits of Remote Working

Companies have recognised the benefits of having a remote workforce. Not only does it save on office space and overhead costs, but it also allows businesses to tap into a larger pool of talent, regardless of location. But it’s not just the employers who benefit from remote work.

Women, in particular, have found that it gives them the flexibility they need to manage their work and personal lives more effectively. A Harvard Business Review study found that women who remote work from home are often more productive and satisfied than those who work in an office. They also have more time to take care of their families, pursue hobbies, and engage in other activities that are important to them.

Of course, remote work isn’t without its challenges. Here, we share some easy-to-implement tips to make the remote working experience a more positive and fulfilling one for any woman.

Top Tips for Remote Work 

Set healthy boundaries: It’s important to have clear and healthy boundaries for yourself and others you work with, particularly in a remote working situation. Simple hacks like designating a workspace that’s just for work, communicating clear working hours to colleagues and family members and sticking to them, and establishing work routines at home that you’d typically observe at the office, are all ways to create a healthy remote working experience.

Connect with your team: Working remotely can be isolating and drastically reduce social interactions that come so easily in an office environment. Frequent communication via email, instant messaging or video conferencing is, therefore, quite important.

Take breaks: Take short, frequent breaks to stretch and recharge during the workday. Breaks help keep you motivated when working from home. And don’t forget to incorporate some self-care during breaks or after working hours!

Pursue hobbies: Remote work gives you back time that you’d otherwise spend commuting. Looked at from a different perspective, it also gives you the freedom to schedule new hobbies, pursue interests and explore passions with all that extra time saved, without sacrificing your career. This also creates that healthy separation between ‘work’ and ‘life’ even when the physical separation between the two no longer exists.

With these tips, you’ll save yourself from burnout!

The Fun in Remote Work

Set your space: Create a workspace that inspires creativity and productivity (hint: no, you can’t use your bed).

Tech like a boss: Invest in the best equipment and high-speed WiFi (no more video call freeze frames or angry laptops – or their owners – throwing a tantrum).

Move it, shake it: We’ve already emphasised the importance of taking breaks to shake off stagnant energy – dance breaks are highly encouraged (bonus points if you bust a move on a conference call).

Coffee, tea & me: If coffee isn’t your jam, keep your mug filled with our natural and organic teas. A sip here, a sip there and you are having the break we’ve already mentioned. Yes, it’s so important to take breaks that we’ve mentioned it 3 times!

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Remote Work Essentials


Energised Essential Oil

AED 75.00


Green Tea Energy Drink

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Rose Quartz Crystal Water Bottle

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The Good Mood Cookie

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The Energy Cookie

AED 90.00


The Brownie Bossbabe

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Lavender & Eucalyptus Candle

AED 100.00


Ylang Ylang Pure Essential Oil

AED 70.00


Aroma Diffuser

AED 70.00

So if you’re a woman who is looking to take control of your career and your life, consider exploring the world of remote work. Doing so may help add the flexibility, autonomy, and balance you’ve been craving for so long in your professional life. You might just find that it’s the perfect fit for you!

The Gaggler team is passionate about finding and sharing great products with our readers. We take pride in researching and testing products to find the best of the best, and we only recommend things that we love and think you will, too.


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