Canon Central and North Africa launches ‘Women who Empower’ program in line with #ChooseToChallenge campaign on International Women’s Day


‘Women who Empower’ program launched on International Women’s Day to educate, engage, and celebrate women in the Middle East, Central and North Africa and Turkey (META) region

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Canon Central & North Africa (CCNA) has launched today on International Women’s Day (IWD) 2021 its latest program ‘Women who Empower’, coinciding with this year’s IWD theme #ChooseToChallenge. The theme encourages women to choose to challenge gender bias and inequality and celebrate women’s achievements as well.

The year-long program is kicking off with a social media campaign which invites women in the creative industries in the Middle East, Central and North Africa and Turkey (META) to be a part of an initiative that enables them to bring forward their creative works, along with the challenges that they face in taking their initiative and be given the opportunity to take their projects forward.

Participants can share a photo or record a one-minute video that showcases their original work with a caption describing the challenges they face in building their creative brand. Participants must upload them on their social media pages while tagging @CanonCNA and including #ChooseToChallenge, #Womenwhoempower and #CanonCNA hashtags.

Mai Youssef, Corporate Communications and Marketing Services Director of Canon Middle East, Central and North Africa and Turkey (META) said: “In celebration of the International Women’s Day and in support of this year’s campaign themed #ChooseToChallenge, CCNA shares the same view of encouraging women to speak about their challenges as well as celebrate their achievements. There are countless unknown artists and creative designers who deserve to be recognized and be supported in the challenges they face as they work to create something unique for the world to see. We hope to give them a chance and voice through this campaign.”

The ‘Women who Empower’ program seeks to support women by offering them Canon’s direct support to build their brand and reach wider audiences in their respective creative fields. It will be rolled out in three phases that include education, engagement, and celebration.  

The campaign has four pillars which attracted the support of pioneering women in their fields who would mentor the participants and judge the entries; Tasneem Alsultan, a Saudi photographer, artist and Canon ambassador is representing the ‘Women with a Vision’ pillar, while painter and artist Gehan Fawzi is the ambassador for ‘Women with a Passion’. Art director and fine arts and fashion photographer and Canon Ambassador Menna Hossam is the flag bearer for ‘Women with a Story’ and a lifestyle editor and journalist take the stand for ‘Women with a Voice’. Under each pillar, women who have submitted their photos or videos will be reviewed and one woman will be chosen to be featured every month, prior to receiving support from Canon to help them build their audience reach in their respective fields.

The company will also build on ‘She Rise’ programme dedicated to women within the company, which was launched in 2020 as part of its continuing commitment to empower and advance its women employees. The multi-stage program is designed to provide mentoring, training, and feedback sessions, and involves 10 to 15 young women from across the organization. The program is being implemented in three modules this year, workplace habits, the value of resilience, and unconscious bias.

These programmes are crucial in bringing greater gender equality to workplace leadership positions and are aimed at helping women develop deeper personal insights and clearer action plans on how they plan to take forward their progress into their own communities.

Canon values empowering women in the workplace through several initiatives such as providing support to working parents, maternity leave policies that exceed the mandated laws of the country it operates in, and flexible working hours, among others. Canon has maternity leave policies of 112 calendar days since the early 2000s and this year, the company has further extended paternity leaves to 15 days. The company also encourages women to return to work following a career break, allowing them to get back to the roles they have left and take their career forward.

Canon which has more than 50% of women occupying leadership roles in the Middle East and Africa HQ, has been building women empowerment programs for many years driven by the company’s corporate philosophy ‘Kyosei,’ which means living and working together for the common good, and under the respect for humanity pillar.

About Canon Central and North Africa:
Canon Central and North Africa (CCNA) is a division within Canon Middle East FZ LLC (CME), a subsidiary of Canon Europe. The formation of CCNA in 2015 was a strategic step that aimed to enhance Canon’s business within the Africa region – by strengthening Canon’s in-country presence and focus. CCNA also demonstrates Canon’s commitment to operating closer to its customers and meeting their demands in the rapidly evolving African market.

Canon has been represented in the African continent for more than 15 years through distributors and partners that have successfully built a solid customer base in the region. CCNA ensures the provision of high quality, technologically advanced products that meet the requirements of Africa’s rapidly evolving marketplace. With over 100 employees, CCNA manages sales and marketing activities across 44 countries in Africa.

Canon’s corporate philosophy is Kyosei – ‘living and working together for the common good’. CCNA pursues sustainable business growth, focusing on reducing its own environmental impact and supporting customers to reduce theirs using Canon’s products, solutions and services. At Canon, we are pioneers, constantly redefining the world of imaging for the greater good. Through our technology and our spirit of innovation, we push the bounds of what is possible – helping us to see our world in ways we never have before. We help bring creativity to life, one image at a time. Because when we can see our world, we can transform it for the better.