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Donna Sultan at AB Leadership Summit 2023

The Arabian Business Leadership Summit 2023 began on Wednesday, with some of the most influential business leaders in the region in attendance at the Armani Hotel in Dubai.

Speaking at the summit, Donna Sultan, President and CEO of KEO International Consultants said that she very rarely accepts speaking engagements because she is often asked about women’s leadership but rejects the concept of male versus female categories.

“What always gets to me is the woman CEO of the Year. I have never seen a male CEO of the Year category,” Sultan said and the audience clapped in unison.

Sultan delved into her remarkable journey to the top, shedding light on the challenges faced in a male-dominated industry and the Middle East. As she took the stage, she playfully acknowledged the vacuum that emerged when the talent of men seemingly declined, leading to her rise in the ranks.

“By speaking today it’s my hope that by telling my story I can influence the conversation, a story of a daughter of immigrants to the United States with nothing more than their dreams that ended up being president and CEO of one of the largest consulting firms in the region,” Sultan said.

“If you don’t bring gender bias in the room, it won’t be there,” she added.


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