Doha, 8 March 2023 - Qatar’s FIFA World Cup™ was a whopping success for the country and region.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2023, we caught up with some of the incredible women from the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy who contributed to the tournament.
Here, they discuss their pride in delivering the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East and Arab world – and offer their advice to women interested in working in sport and mega events.
Huda Al Emadi, City Integration Senior Manager
“To be part of the biggest project in Qatar’s history is the greatest achievement of my life. During the lead-up to the tournament, I worked with project leads and stakeholders to plan daily operations and activities. It involved a lot of decision making and issue resolution. During the World Cup, I was the senior manager of the Main Operations Centre, which was responsible for monitoring and handling issues 24/7.
“My advice to women is to take advantage of any opportunity to be part of an upcoming event. Whether it is working in the sector itself or simply sharing ideas, don’t be afraid to express your opinion.”
Ann Jangsell Williams, Government Relations Specialist
“During the World Cup, our team assisted the Hayya programme, helping to organise visas for workforce, contractors and others. I am proud to say we successfully responded to an enormous number of requests while keeping a great attitude.
“In the spirit of International Women’s Day, my advice to other women is to always be fearless, brave, honest and kind. Take that leap of faith and try out your wings. Life is very short – don’t hesitate on your dreams, go chase them and fulfil anything you want to try.”
Noha El Chaarani, Media Specialist
“Simply being a part of this remarkable project in a country I consider my home is a huge accomplishment. I have learned new skills and developed wide-ranging experience. I was fresh out of university when I joined in 2018 and it is fair to say this project has positively shaped me both personally and professionally.
“My advice to women who want to work in this field is simply to pursue it. Whatever functional area you are interested in – whether it is media operations, guest management, crisis management, events or volunteering – there is nothing holding you back. If in doubt about where to start, just ask. Mega events offer the experience of a lifetime. Word of warning – it’s stressful. But it’s also incredible.”
Amira Aldakroury, FIFA Fan Festival™ Senior Operations Specialist
“Being part of such a monumental event has been an incredible experience and brought me immense pride and joy. Through this experience, I have gained a deeper understanding of event planning, logistics and execution, and how they come together to create a memorable event. It’s made me very keen to work in events in future as I have seen firsthand the impact that a well-planned event can have on the attendees and the industry as a whole.
“My advice to women is to prioritise your professional development as the events industry requires a wide range of skills – communication, design, strategy, organisation and more. It is essential to develop and hone your own skillset effectively. It is also important to build a strong network. Attend sports events and connect with professionals in the same field through social media. By actively engaging and putting yourself out there, you can increase your chances of succeeding in the industry.”
Hagir El Bakri, Digital Media Coordinator
“One of our team’s most significant achievements was the execution of a comprehensive social media strategy which achieved more than 1 billion video views and 158 million engagements during the World Cup. I am incredibly proud to have played a part in delivering these numbers.
“My advice to women is to be confident and assertive in pursuing your goals. Share ideas and do not feel intimidated to take on leadership roles. Even if you don’t have experience in the sports industry, it is likely you will have transferable skills that can be valuable. Delivering a mega event requires dedication, hard work and perseverance. With the right mindset and approach, women can succeed and thrive in this exciting and rewarding field.”
Catherine Chebil, Ceremonies Operations Senior Specialist
“I was tasked to manage the delivery of the third place awards ceremony at Khalifa International Stadium and the delivery of the ‘Welcome to Qatar’ project. I also work to ensure that the overall ceremonies division operations is continuous in order to deliver its other projects, including the Opening and Closing Ceremonies by fulfilling its budgeting, procurement, contract management, staffing and stakeholder management requirements.
“My advice is if you have the passion for it, pursue it. I am a full time working mother but that has not stopped me from growing in the organisation and having the drive to be part of the biggest sporting event. As women we must always believe that we have the power to achieve things in whatever industry or path in life we choose to take.”