After huge achievements in women’s rights throughout two centuries, empowering all women and girls is still at the heart of the agenda for worldwide sustainable development. In celebration of International Women’s Day 2017, we’d like to present some exceptional and inspirational women from across the world that Delivered. has interviewed in the past couple of years.  Who else could be better role models than women who lead in their respective fields and have achieved a lot?  Follow their fascinating interviews and learn about the secrets of their success through the hyperlinks!

Lubna Olayan

We had an inspiring discussion with one of Saudi Arabia’s most powerful businesswomen Lubna Olayan about her country’s challenges and opportunities. “Our youthful population is both our biggest challenge and potentially our greatest strength,” she said, adding that developing talent will be the key to the Saudi Arabia’s long-term success. To work on giving equal opportunities to everyone, Lubna Olayan is involved in Alfanair – the Arab world’s first venture philanthropy organization which helps social purpose organizations serving women and children in poor communities become financially sustainable and self-reliant.

Hafsat Abiola

When Hafsat Abiola was eight years old, she told her sister that she was “going to marry a diplomat and travel the world.” Later, it occurred to her that she could instead become a diplomat herself. Not a  bad idea – today she is an influential human rights, civil rights, and democracy activist and the founder of the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND), which seeks to strengthen civil society and promote democracy in Nigeria.


Ayesha Khanna

Entrepreneur Ayesha Khanna has always been fascinated and excited by transformative technological innovation. Today she advises governments and companies on smart cities, future skills, fintech, and other emerging industries. She’s also keen on giving something back to society. In 2014 she founded 21C GIRLS, a non-profit organization that delivers free coding classes to girls in Singapore, and in 2015 she launched an education hub called The Keys Global, which partners students with leading companies to apply skills in coding, robotics, 3D printing and other new technologies.

Dame Ellen MacArthur

In 2005, Dame Ellen MacArthur became the fastest person to circumnavigate the globe singlehanded and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. Most recently she set her sights on new goal – promoting and accelerating transition to the Circular Economy, in which products are made to be re-made.

Salma Hareb

Salma Hareb, CEO of Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), is the first woman to be appointed CEO of a free zone in the Arab world. Her key to success?  She doesn’t believe there is a difference between genders: “What I bring is my passion and the belief that we have what it takes to achieve No. 1. Women can do anything they set their minds to. It’s the amount of work and determination that makes the difference, not gender.”

Meribel Sinikalda 

Published: March 2017

Images: Thinkstock,DHL, Lubna Olayan, Hafsat Abiola, Ayesha Khanna, Dame Ellen MacArthur, Salma Hareb