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Visionary Voices

A Diversity & Inclusion podcast series

Introducing to you Visionary Voices – a podcast series that celebrates women in business and law in the Middle East and their vision for the future generations.

As the Middle East market continues to grow, we are committed to providing equal opportunities for everyone to reach their full potential regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender, in and out of the workplace. Inspired by the theme for International Women’s Day 2022, we are launching Visionary Voices to celebrate the theme #BreakTheBias – a call to action for all to challenge gender bias, discrimination and stereotyping wherever it arises.

Tune in and to listen to successful and inspiring women as they tell us about their career journeys, advice to aspiring girls and on how they #BreakTheBias.

For more information on diversity and inclusion initiatives at Linklaters, please visit our Diversity and Inclusion page.

Spotify Our Visionary Voices episodes are available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Watch the recap video to hear snippets of some of our favorite episodes

Visionary Voice #1

In this introductory episode, energy and infrastructure associate, Deepika Sriram speaks with Sameera Kimatrai. Sameera shares her career journey into the world of FinTech and corporate life, whilst juggling her duties as a mother to three young girls. She is a Linklaters alumna and senior legal counsel and global head of licensing for a licensed and trusted crypto asset exchange start-up in the Middle East called Rain.

Visionary Voice #2 - Part 1

In part one of the second episode, energy and infrastructure associate Deepika Sriram speaks to Swati Mandava, senior vice president of legal and regulatory at Brookfield Asset Management Inc. Swati shares her experience of working in different jurisdictions, as well as reflects on how specific character traits of women are perceived differently to men and a collective responsibility to question when we spot biases.

Visionary Voice #2 - Part 2

In part two of episode two, energy and infrastructure associate Deepika Sriram continues her conversation with Swati Mandava, senior vice president of legal and regulatory at Brookfield Asset Management Inc. Swati encourages women to put themselves first and advocates for limited gendered language to achieve an inclusive workplace.

Visionary Voice #3

In episode three, we hear from another successful woman, Afshan Akhtar. She is a chief legal counsel at Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco), and a passionate advocate to bring wider societal change in her #BreakingTheBias journey. Afshan shares how she encountered age and gender bias and how she overcame them by strengthening relationships. She also emphasises the importance of mentorship and forming allies.

Visionary Voice #4

In episode four, Brooke Lindsay, acting general counsel at e& (formerly known as Etisalat), speaks about championing women in the workplace. Brooke talks to corporate managing associate Claire Neil, through her journey of challenging gender bias and creating diverse teams, and shares her perspective on whether women can “have it all” in both their professional and personal lives.

Visionary Voice #5

In episode five, corporate managing associate Patrick Sutton-Mattocks speaks with Pia Stucke senior legal counsel at DP World. Pia shared her experience returning to work after becoming a mother and noticing the shift in people’s perceptions, and how it differed across regions. She also talks about the importance of seeking a mentor and ally, and sometimes, how the best allies can come from unlikely places.

Visionary Voice #6

In episode six, our capital markets counsel Dalia Nammari, discusses the importance of creating a workplace where individuals not only feel welcome, but respected, heard, seen and valued. Reflecting upon the challenges, victories and defeats she has encountered to achieve success in her field of expertise, Dalia talks about calling out bias, so that anti-bias becomes the ‘new normal’ and not something organisations need to train employees on.

Visionary Voice #7

In episode seven, we hear from our banking partner, and multiple D&I award winner, Reem Al Sayegh, who talks about the importance of having a ‘yes mindset’ when women initiate conversations about returning to work from maternity leave. Mum, daughter, employer, coach – there are multiple hats that women wear every day, together with the various emotions that accompany them. Reem shares that feeling fearful is one of the many emotions that can take over – her advice: “Embrace it and you will fly”.

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