On Thursday the 27th of April, we proudly hosted our first FABWA event of 2017.


In case you’re not yet in the loop, our very own FABWA stands for French-Australian Business Women’s Association. This association provides a space of support for international businesswomen with cross-cultural endeavours.

This quarter’s topic explored “how to be a successful businesswoman in the Arabic region”. Who better to present this interesting topic than Arab Region Cultural Guide & Social Impact Entrepreneur, Fiona Hill? With her wealth of knowledge, Fiona opened up the topic and investigated broad cultural themes.

We took to the Hall & Wilcox office in Collins Street, Melbourne to see our FABWA event spark a fascinating talk. The audience was comprised of men and women from a range of cultural backgrounds. Despite the diversity in the audience, everyone was engaged in Fiona’s discussion. Fiona’s all-embracing approach meant everybody was able to relate to the subject at hand.

Fiona recounted her own experience as a young (and at times, naïve) Australian woman entering the Arab region. As a result, Fiona provided wonderful tips and insights into navigating this experience, such as learning from a faux pas.

“‘Faux pas’ is an interesting expression, as it refers to the idea of ‘stumbling’, and when you misstep, you readjust yourself and calibrate,” said Fiona. “As you all know (you’re all in business), it’s one of the best things that can happen, because it makes you recognise that it was a bit of a problem, [and thereby highlights]…the need to readjust.”

Of course, Fiona dedicated some of her discussion to being a woman in cross-cultural business. She drew on the benefit of having an innate tendency to form connections with other women. At large, she discussed her perception of “empathy” as a way to better understand a new culture (in a way that’s mutually beneficial).

“There are all sorts of ways to be successful…[but] from where I stand, I see empathy as a major sublimation of your own ego.”

At large, Fiona’s story was empowering and engaging with some intriguing insights. Moreover, this captivating talk was delivered in the most humble way.

Thank you to everyone who came and a special thanks to our principal sponsor Hall & Wilcox for hosting this event. Also, thank you to Pain et Chocolat for supplying the catering and delicious French delicacies.

About the Author:

Jacqueline Harding is passionate about sharing information, news and stories in a user-friendly way to educate and uplift people from all across the globe.