‘Drive Defines Her’ shines a spotlight on successful businesswomen in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, by sharing their inspirational stories, while encouraging others to pursue careers in male-dominated professions. The campaign is centred around Porsche’s commitment to supporting female leadership within the organisation and beyond.
The video series starts at Porsche’s regional office in Dubai, with Shurooq Zainal’s recent appointment as Legal & Compliance Director for the MEA Region. Born and raised in Dubai, she is the organisation’s first female Emirati in the Director team and was previously selected to mentor Emirati students and graduates at the UAE Ministry of Youth Affairs’ Youth Hub, where she shared her experiences of working in the private sector. Commenting on her participation in the new campaign, Shurooq reflects: “I’ve always been driven to do things differently, to not follow the traditional path for Emirati women but to create a new one for myself. I want to encourage more women to push the limits of their abilities in order to change their perception.”
The second female Porsche employee to be portrayed is German-born Aileen Fahr, who joined Porsche Middle East and Africa FZE in 2020 and holds a senior position in the regional sales team – an area of the business that has been typically male-dominated. She credits her first career in an emergency unit at a hospital as a defining chapter in her life and one that shaped her into the empowering female she is today. Speaking from her experience she says: “The key to empowerment is to see the value in yourself. It is a gift that, as women, we should not hold on to, but pass on freely.”
Nayla Al Khaja
Representing the UAE is Nayla Al Khaja, the first female film director and producer in the UAE, whose project was accepted by Cannes Film Festival and marked the first one by an Emirati. Her drive to succeed and the sacrifices she has made along the way, motivate her to tell her stories through film. She believes she is now in a fortunate position where people look to her as a role model; a responsibility she relishes as she works to inspire the next generation of female Arab filmmakers. “Being part of this campaign has been an unforgettable experience. To work alongside other driven females has been extremely motivating and something I will never forget. Knowing that I can encourage other young women out there to break out of their comfort zone and overcome their fears, is very important to me.”
Adwa Al Dakheel
Also teaming up with Porsche is Saudi Arabia’s Adwa Al Dakheel. One of the most prominent young entrepreneurs in Saudi, the 28-year-old acquired a long list of impressive achievements during her 13-year career to-date. From Forex trader to author, musician, pilot, squash champion and jewellery designer, she is redefining what it means to be a young Saudi woman.
Lastly, Hend Almatrouk, a Kuwaiti architect and owner of the urban design firm Studio Toggle, joins the line-up of female heroes in the campaign. She has quickly forged a reputation as a true trailblazer in the world of architecture and was handed the ‘Young Architect of the Year’ trophy at the Middle East Architect Awards. “Design is powerful: it can change perceptions and it can inspire. I want to get my story out there with the aim of empowering the next generation of young female architects – not just in the Middle East but across the world.”
The passion that runs through the veins of the wider Porsche family can clearly be seen in the Middle East – and it looks like #DriveDefinesHer will keep it that way.