In the push towards equality in the GCC, FemmeNiche is born

Appetite Creative Solutions is based across 3 countries UK, Madrid and Dubai. I love all three, and all three are quite distinctively different. Dubai is arguably the most interesting, a fantastic place, a cosmopolitan and a world-leading international business center.

A city which was dessert 47 years ago is now an amazing landscape of beach and breathtaking industry buildings. You can easily book a meeting room for five people, or a convention center for a thousand. Strong employment figures, rising per capita income and a strategic diversification of markets have made it one of the world’s top metropolitan economies and the business opportunities are fantastic. We are also seeing a great change there and across the GCC in terms of equality, which is what FemmeNiche is now set up to assist.

Though there is great change happening in the GCC – with the biggest recent changes of course being the latest driving licenses being issued in Saudi and women now able to invest in construction – it has become clear to me that we have not always been supporting each other. I never used to see female speakers at the events I attended, though I saw some fantastic and inspiring speakers (as well as some dull and sleep-inducing ones) all of them were men. On organizing my own events I found that it was so much harder to find women speakers, and when I did, it was far more common that they would cancel. Why? in this visionary place, why was this happening?

It seemed on talking to women around me, the key reasons for this – largely amongst other reasons – boiled down to self worth and confidence. What we mustn’t forget is that doing new things is scary, for both sexes. Like everyone else, these speakers and entrepreneurs and humanitarians and explorers needed support (despite the abundance of manvice on offer). And so, FemmeNiche was born.

FemmeNiche Logo

This isn’t a man haters club, in fact anyone can be involved, this isn’t a suffragette campaign, in its essence, it’s a support group. Aimed at inspiring and supporting everyone and anyone to realise their potential, through shared stories and experiences and interactive events.

What makes FemmeNiche special, is the people who support it. People such as Karen Storey, the founder and Managing Partner of The Storey Group, Pegah Ghaemi, whose films have enjoyed success at many festivals including Rotterdam, Cannes, and Slamdance, or Mashal Waqar, Co-founder of ‘The Tempest’, a woman’s social network that has teams of women in more than 24 countries, and millions of monthly followers.

Pegah Ghaemi and Mashal Waqar

Pegah Ghaemi and Mashal Waqar speaking at the FemmeNiche Launch Party, March 2018.

I could continue to name more inspiring women, but the point is we need to band together, while not excluding ourselves – every person in the world sometimes needs a little encouragement, and that’s what we are here to both provide and receive.

FemmeNiche is aimed at spreading awareness of the fact that success and ambition are not gender, class or background exclusive.