AWS Advances Inclusion and Diversity in STEM Through New Initiatives


Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced the launch of two groundbreaking programs at the “TheNewSySTEM: Reshaping the Tech Landscape” event held in Dubai this week. The first program, Qudwatech, aims to support young Emirati women in various stages of their STEM careers. Additionally, AWS signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Dubai Business Women Council (DBWC) to introduce a second program, focusing on mid- to senior-level women in technology.

The first program, known as Qudwatech, is a free 12-week initiative designed to nurture women in technology at any stage of their career. This program connects participants with an AWS mentor, guiding them through professional development opportunities with the end goal of challenging, motivating, inspiring, and empowering those looking to venture into the tech field or gain practical insights.

As stipulated in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with DBWC, the second program targets mid- to senior-level women in technology. This program, which extends over a one-year period and starts in 2024, aims to facilitate comprehensive training, mentorship, and upskilling opportunities while promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the tech workplace.

The exclusive launch event, was attended by Safaa Khanfar, Head of Strategic Partnerships and Suppliers Management at Emirates Group IT, Amna Al Redha, Head of Aviation at X Lab, Tanuja Randery, Managing Director and Vice President of AWS, EMEA, and Nadine Halabi, Business Development Manager at DBWC, marks a significant milestone in advancing women in technology.

Nadine Halabi of DBWC said, “DBWC is entrusted with a vital mission to enhance gender parity in the UAE by encouraging women to play an active role in building the country and stimulating sustainable development through education, training, and networking opportunities for UAE-based businesswomen. We’re delighted to see entities such as AWS take such a proactive role in reshaping the regional tech landscape, and look forward to a long, successful partnership.”

Tanuja Randery, Vice President of AWS, EMEA emphasized, “ The Memorandum of Understanding that AWS has signed represents a pivotal step in advancing gender diversity and inclusion in the tech landscape. The partnership with DBWC enables us to launch targeted programs that empower women at different career stages in technology. It’s a cornerstone of our global strategy to drive innovation and diversify the tech industry. We’re not just creating opportunities; we’re actively participating in the reshaping of the industry for a better, more inclusive future in every country where we operate.”

As part of the program with the Dubai Business Women Council, AWS will provide in-person ‘Culture of Innovation’ sessions and Cloud Practitioner Essentials (CPE) training, granting participants deep insights into Amazon’s unique culture and the fundamentals of cloud services.

AWS has a longstanding commitment to gender diversity and equal opportunities, striving to create inclusive spaces for women to excel in technology. These initiatives are aligned with the UAE’s strong commitment to gender inclusion and diversity, which is notably reflected in the high percentage of women among STEM graduates in the MENA region.

Prarthana Mary

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