top of page

Raemona 40 over FORTY - Week Three 2023

Welcome to week three and our next 10 influential impact makers - all women who happen to be 40 or above and game changers in their chosen field. With age and experience on their side, we are proud to present to you a trailblazing group from the world of business, health, finance, art, tech, food, sustainability and leadership.

Impact is the key this week, with ambitious ladies who are building upon existing visions and navigating business with societal and market needs in a post-pandemic UAE. Never staying still, agility and perseverance are these women’s weapons of choice.

We’ll be sharing our 40 over FORTY every Monday in March 2023 and we can’t wait to reveal the final 10 ladies on the list next week, but for now, meet this third group of 10 amazing women.

1. Carol Glynn FCA

Educated in Ireland and with 19 years of industry experience as a chartered accountant, Carol brings her passion to supporting women through empowering their finances. Advising women of the UAE as a financial wellness coach and mentor, Carol is an authority on all things money with her visionary thinking and up-to-the-minute coaching providing financial freedom to women of all backgrounds and fields.

Via her bespoke programmes, individual coaching and a very active public profile, Carol is now teaching finance, rather than practising it. With the aim to help women take control, enjoy their own money and make it work for them (either on a personal level or through business activity), Carol’s one-to-one and group Conscious Finance Coaching, helps remove the fear around money and aids women to understand (and how to work on) financial management.

From the gender pay gap, to life expectancy and post-pandemic societal change, empowering women to take their places within the workforce and leadership is as important as ever. Carol’s work in helping women take full control of their fiscal positions and opportunities is the next step in aiding both current and next generations into building secure futures for themselves and their families.

Instagram handle: @consciousfinancecoaching

2. Dr. Fiona Rennie

Perimenopause and Menopause Expert

Family Medicine Specialist

Dr Fiona Rennie graduated from medical school in New Zealand and then practised medicine in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom. Working up to 1999 as a GP-Obstetrician in Wellington New Zealand, she delivered up to 80 babies each year as well as practising family medicine. Moving to Australia to practise general, aviation and diving medicine for the Royal Australian Navy, Dr Fiona moved to Dubai in 2005 to take up a position with Emirates Airline as a General Practitioner and Aviation Medical Specialist.

Since 2016 , after leaving Emirates, Dr Fiona has become an integral part of many families' general health and wellbeing across several clinics in the UAE. Now based at Genesis Healthcare Centre in Dubai, she is a driving force in educating the community in perimenopause and menopause issues, and is the most recommended and sought-after specialist in the field.

Helping countless ladies with appropriate support, treatment and management plans for their own individual journeys, Dr Fiona’s popularity comes from the direct empathy, care and help she provides her patients. Her social media profiles provide her practical and expert knowledge on the media ‘hot topics’ - and unveils the myths surrounding menopause treatments, particularly around HRT, and her belief in body identical hormones to treat symptoms.

Instagram handle: @menopause_doc_dubai

3. Katy Holmes

General Manager, British Business Group

From a 20+ year career in marketing and communications, Katy has worked in international trade, with global financial institutions, agencies and government entities across her career before coming to Dubai in 2012.

Joining the British Business Group (BBG), Dubai and Northern Emirates in 2019 as Marketing Manager, Katy’s years of experience across the corporate field and global trade have promoted the revered business group across the world.

Since its inception 35 years ago, the BBG has championed the interests of the Dubai-based British business community and curates and hosts more than 60 events a year including knowledge-sharing business briefings, structured networking, C-suite roundtables and embassy-based events. Becoming General Manager in 2021, Katy works to support the growth of BBG members and stakeholders. Under Katy’s tenure, the BBG is experiencing its highest volume of new members as UK companies are looking for working relationships in the UAE with a partner that understands the market and acts as an ecosystem for connecting business people.

Cultivating this support has been vital as UK companies have been attracted to the UAE due to the positive handling of the Covid 19 pandemic locally, and a desire for businesses to expand beyond Europe post Brexit. Katy is passionate about working with female business owners and championing women in the workplace and has recently held specific events that address issues faced by women in careers and business.

Instagram handle: @bbgonline

Entrepreneur, Author & Coach

Meher Mirchandani is one of Dubai’s first locally-based fashion pioneers. From 2002, and for 15 years, as one half of Meher & Riddhima, the fashion house was known to amalgamate luxury, style, individuality and femininity across all of its designs.

Meher is now the Director of Manrre Logistics Fund and Managing Director of Palmon Group - alongside which she is an author, healer, coach and mother to her twin daughters.

As one of the ‘Forbes Top Indian Leaders’ and a transformative coach, Meher recognises that culture is the cornerstone of an organisation and is responsible for creating and building a growth mindset at Palmon and Manrre that empowers leaders to build strong and motivated teams.

After joining the family business, Palmon Group, in 2013, Meher began her own expedition of self awareness and a journey of small steps and decisions to radically transform the quality of her personal and professional life. Becoming certified in healing therapies and skills that would help, Meher authored a book on personal development and now works with individuals on their own personal transformations.

Instagram handle: @meher_mirchandani

5. Wemmy De Maaker

Founder & Managing Director at Mawaheb from Beautiful People

After a career in social work in her native Netherlands, Wemmy De Maaker founded Mawaheb as a creative space for People of Determination (POD) 18 years and over. Mawaheb is an outlet where its pupils can hone their artistic expression and develop life skills to realise their full potential.

The original storefront operated for 10 years in the historic Al Fahidi neighbourhood before shutting down in 2020 due to the pandemic. This didn’t stop the team, who continued to host live online sessions to engage with visitors during the lockdown. In early 2022, a new location opened in Al Quoz for Mawaheb, with an innovative community studio reopening – with more space and stories to offer its visitors.

The community cafe and studio is a haven for POD who want to reach their highest potential through art and support in the development of necessary life skills, regardless of their ability. It was also the first cafe in the United Arab Emirates to employ POD. Beyond art, Mawaheb also helps students navigate social environments and equip them with daily life necessities such as learning how to use the metro, make friends and maintain important relationships.

Through Mawaheb, Wemmy aims to bring awareness to POD explaining: “the more we get in touch with these beautiful people, the more we can learn to accept and celebrate the diversity of humanity.”

Instagram handle: mawahebdubai

6. Halima Jumani

Kibsons Online Home Delivery Service

Halima Jumani is part of the founding family of Kibsons Online Home Delivery Service, which focuses on distributing fresh, healthy food directly from market to door. Recognized for its quality, transparency and support towards the community, ordering from Kibsons is an integral part of everyday life for thousands of UAE residents.

With an unwavering focus on sustainability, Kibsons has recently introduced its ‘behind the scenes’ tours of its production facility to mark its 7th anniversary. Kibsons is now responsible for reducing the company's carbon footprint by achieving a 50% reduction in electricity use.

The Kibsons new water recycling plant is on track to recycle more than 75% of the water used to keep the demanding cold storage facility up and running and saving 1,000,000 gallons of water annually. Alongside this, 100% organic waste is composted. Kibsons organic waste composting plant converts their biodegradable waste material into high-quality organic compost and contributes to reducing their carbon footprint towards landfills wherever possible - producing half a ton of recycled compost per month. Lastly, 90% of plastic and paper is recycled by Kibsons and more than 90% of all plastic at the Kibsons facility is recycled.

Halima is a huge advocate for CSR and charity initiatives, having raised over USD$100,000 for Gulf for Good and Red Cross Lebanon and continues to support and build awareness via her ongoing philanthropic efforts.

Instagram handle: @halimajumani

7. Emmanuelle Sawko

Founder, Comptoir 102 and Co-Founder, Wild & The Moon

After living in Paris and New York, where she was working in advertising, ‘Emma’ followed her husband to Dubai and quickly wanted to start her own business. She missed New York, the city she was born in, as well as the Parisian art de vivre, the cool shops and cafés. This is how Comptoir 102’s story started - with a laid-back villa nestled in a gorgeous garden in the heart of Jumeirah 1, Dubai. Selling furniture, art, fashion and jewellery alongside a small healthy café, Comptoir 102 quickly became the place to eat, drink and be healthy. Designed to reflect the way she lived, dressed and ate, ‘Comptoir’ as it is affectionately known by its regulars was a true reflection of Emma’s sophisticated, yet simple style.

The concept was completely new to Dubai (and was so well-received) it was soon offering health talks, cooking classes and longer operating hours. The realisation that people were more passionate about healthy food and wellbeing than originally thought (and since it was impossible to get a table at Comptoir) Wild & The Moon, a 100% plant-based food concept, was born.

Now with 8 spots in Paris, alongside the Dubai venue, Emma’s plans for Wild & The Moon include working on how to reduce the carbon footprint even further, making our and the planet’s health an absolute priority. During the Covid crisis, Emma took the opportunity to further refine the concept and better define business priorities. In addition to being 100% plant-based, organic, seasonal and plastic free, Emma now wants to favour local agriculture and the small producers in the area.

Instagram handle: @emmasawko

8. Genny Ghanimeh

Founder/CEO at Mind Cloud Tribe, Mind Cloud Academy

Genny has an M.A. in Civil Engineering, a B.S in Physics, an MBA from London Business School (UK) and Business Coaching Certificate from Universal Coach Institute.

Following her passions for the microfinance and online industries, and after a life-altering trek in Kilimanjaro, Genny founded Pi Slice in March 2013. In addition to this, Genny negotiated a partnership agreement with MicroWorld from the Group PlanetFinance to build and administer the first crowd-lending platform for microfinance in MENA.

This journey led to Genny founding Mind Cloud Academy, the first entrepreneurship academy that teaches a program of 10 certified courses under the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA). The program ends with a demo day of the investment deck to a panel of regional venture capitalists and investors.

Founding Mind Cloud Tribe came as a natural progression. An online platform of tutorials, tools, tool-builders for business plans and investment, alongside a market-place for experts and tutorials. Mind Cloud Tribe’s vision is to allow anyone, anywhere, to overcome any barriers and challenges and to be able to fulfil their dreams and step into their vision.

Along Mind Cloud, Genny is a founding member of the EMIR Mentorship Program at London Business School and a recognized Business Coach with a track record of 30+ founders, CEOs and entrepreneurs. She is mostly passionate about helping others find their ‘real inner why’, while equipping them with resilience, self-belief and other resources to thrive.

Genny is a recognized voice, and a dedicated contributor to outlets including Entrepreneur Magazine, Executive Magazine, Philanthropy Age and Pi Slice Blog, writing about innovation, entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, impact investing, CSR and microfinance. Genny also organised and launched CEO Talks interviews in partnership with Impact Hub and In5 Dubai, and is a regular speaker at events such as the Global CSR Congress And with WEF.

Instagram handle: @gennyghanimeh

9. Sonal Vara-Parmar

Founder & CEO IAM Entertainment

Remember Beyonce in Dubai? Just a few short weeks ago, and really, you couldn’t miss it. Not just in the UAE but globally. Who makes that happen? Sonal Vara-Parmar, that’s who.

Sonal is the CEO of IAM Entertainment, alongside her Managing Partner, Ash Parmar, which credits itself as a home-grown, Dubai-based company, founded with the mission to create, evolve and transform the cultural and commercial gap between the Middle East and the West. Facilitating cross-border collaborations for artist-led enterprises, they are the conduit creating cultural shifts in the Middle East across live, TV and film productions, endorsements and brand expansion through powerful storytelling and immersive experiences.

Sonal was born and raised in Zambia, Africa and is of South-Asian heritage. Entertainment was a natural path for her to follow after her earlier experience working at the secret A-List hideaway, The Hempel Hotel in London. As the ‘gatekeeper’ of the hotel, the likes of Elton John, Amy Winehouse, 50 Cent, Usher, Black Eyed Peas and Victoria Beckham would come through the doors with unreleased material and products, asking Sonal to curate showcases for them.

Fast forward to today, and in 2021 and 2022 alone, IAM included live shows with Mariah Carey and live-streamed performances with Alicia Keys and Black Eyed Peas, alongside a top-tier client roster. IAM has partnered on video commercials with influential Hollywood figures including Kevin Hart, Coldplay, Tony Robbins, Ciara, Leona Lewis, Hilary Swank, Nicolas Cage, Adrien Brody, Eva Longoria and Steve Harvey, as well as a slew of A-List Bollywood talent.

Instagram handle: @iamanagementinternational

10. H. E Hala Badri

Director General, Dubai Culture & Arts Authority

Her Excellency, Hala Badri is the Director General of the Culture and Arts Authority (DCAA) in Dubai. Her extensive experience, dedication and professional leadership led His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to issue a decree declaring her appointment in 2019.

Prior to her appointment to DCAA, she was Executive Vice President of Brand and Communications of du, the second largest telecommunications company in the UAE.

Under her leadership, Du was the first Emirati organisation to use Twitter to solve customer complaints.

With a diverse experience in the oil and gas, entrepreneurship, sustainability, communications and media fields, she has also had many noted achievements across several sectors - ranging from supporting the process of transformation of companies to the creation of brands, the advancement of social responsibility and the strengthening of corporate experiences.

Her Excellency Hala Badri currently serves on several boards of directors, including: Dubai Future Council on Media; International Media Investment Group; The Galilee Center for Child Culture; Dubai Women’s Establishment; Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA).

Importantly, Her Excellency Hala Badri has also played a pivotal role in the contribution toward inspiring and motivating women in the UAE to pursue their aspirations and achieve their dreams. Her Excellency Hala Badri holds an Executive Master in E-Business from Zayed University and a Higher Diploma in Communication Technology (Journalism) from the Higher Colleges of Technology.

bottom of page