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Dr Lucy Bolton

Dr Lucy Bolton

Dr Lucy Bolton, Assistant Professor at Heriot-Watt University Dubai, is the Global Director of Studies for Business Psychology at HWU and leads the MSc Business Psychology programmes at Heriot Watt University Dubai. Being a Chartered Occupational Psychologist (BPS/HCPC) and a Certified Coach (AC), Lucy lectures on courses in Coaching Psychology, Organisational Change, Diversity and Research Methods at the postgraduate level. Lucy supervises MSc dissertations on various Business Psychology and Coaching in the workplace topics. Lucy is a trained Occupational Test User (TUA / TUP) with the BPS, certified in Trait, TEIQue and NEO-PR-R, and also being trained to deliver psychometric training. Lucy’s research interests include coaching, work values, careers, change management, workplace design and AI, having worked with many global organisations to conduct her research e.g., Rolls-Royce, Bentley Motors, M&S, the NHS, REED-NCFE and the UK Government Office of Science. Lucy has published in global academic journals (e.g., Ergonomics, Design Science, Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice) and presented her research at various international conferences including the British Psychological Society's Division of Occupational Psychology (DOP), Academy of Management (AOM), European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology (EAWOP), Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (AHFE), MEPA (Middle East Psychological Association), and IPCD.

> Empowering female managers in the Digital Era: Overcoming barriers, harnessing opportunities

> Embracing the digital transformation in Business Psychology: A path to innovation and impact

> Empowering female managers in the Digital Era: Overcoming barriers, harnessing opportunities

The rapid advancement of digital technologies has brought both opportunities and challenges for female managers in the Middle East, including the UAE. This panel discussion seeks to address the multifaceted barriers and opportunities that arise in the digital era and explore strategies to empower and support the career advancement of women in leadership roles.

Barriers and Challenges in the Digital Era:
The panel will delve into the unique barriers that women face in the digital era, including the digital gender divide, biases in algorithmic decision-making, online harassment, work-life integration challenges, and digital skills gaps. The discussion will analyze the intersectionality of these barriers and their impact on women's career progression.

Support Mechanisms in the Digital Landscape:
The panel will explore the digital support mechanisms and initiatives designed to foster the development of female managers. This includes virtual mentoring programs, online leadership development courses, digital networking platforms, and remote work policies. The discussion will highlight successful digital initiatives and their impact on supporting and empowering women in the workplace.

Strategies for Empowerment in the Digital Era:
Building upon the identified barriers and digital support mechanisms, the panel will propose strategies to empower female managers in the digital era. This may include advocating for digital literacy and upskilling programs, promoting inclusive digital workplaces, leveraging digital platforms for networking and visibility, and harnessing digital tools for remote collaboration and flexible work arrangements.

Key Issues for Debate:
The panel discussion will encourage thought-provoking debate on several key issues, such as the impact of digital transformation on gender equality, the role of digital leadership in fostering inclusive workplaces, the ethical implications of AI-driven decision-making, and the potential for digital solutions to address work-life integration challenges.

This panel discussion aims to explore the unique challenges and opportunities faced by female managers in the digital era and propose strategies to empower and support their career advancement. By embracing digital technologies and fostering an inclusive digital culture, organizations can create an environment where women can thrive and succeed in leadership roles in the UAE and the wider Middle East region.

Keywords: female managers, UAE, Middle East, barriers, support mechanisms, digital era, digital transformation, gender equality, diversity, female empowerment, digital leadership, workplace challenges.

> Embracing the digital transformation in Business Psychology: A path to innovation and impact

Business Psychology is a growing area of psychology in the Middle East region. This is both exciting and potentially challenging. With Business Psychology not being regulated in the region yet, there is a potential risk of those who call themselves ‘Business Psychologists’ or ‘Business Psychology Consultants’, representing a variety of levels across psychological practices. As a group of BPS registered Business Psychologists, this is a growing concern for us as professionals as we believe that when working with clients, all Business Psychologists must follow the same code of ethics, incorporate duty of care and ensure client-centred support.
Through digital collaboration and innovation, interdisciplinary partnerships will be encouraged to address complex organizational challenges in the digital age. The panel discussion will explore training opportunities that equip professionals with the necessary skills and competencies to navigate the digital landscape effectively, ensuring the delivery of comprehensive and up-to-date solutions.

Embracing the digital transformation in Business Psychology has the potential to make a profound impact on organizations and individuals. By embracing digital advancements, professionals can drive innovation and positive change. This panel discussion aims to inspire attendees to explore the possibilities, collaborate, and shape the future of Business Psychology in the Middle East.

We are creating a Society for all those who are interested in Business Psychology within the GCC region. This Society will enable psychologists working with organisations to access knowledge, experience and the latest best practice guidelines, as well as network and explore potential opportunities for collaboration on a number of projects, including understanding the pitfalls and opportunities around increased technology use in organisations.Our members will have access to discounted CPD events and will have the opportunity to showcase their work in the form of case studies or research papers through such events. This amazing community of practice will create a strong baseline for the future of Business Psychology in the Middle East.

The aim of this panel is to discuss the importance of professional development and cohesion for Business Psychologists in the region with a focus on the digital impact on organisations, leaders, teams and individual employees. Business Psychology plays a vital role in the Middle East and we will discuss the need for this service for organisations in supporting multicultural workforces, leadership development, employee wellbeing and engagement, change management (with rapid economic growth), and attracting and retaining talent. By sharing psychological insights, and integrating them into digital strategies, organisations in the Middle East can create a competitive advantage and drive sustainable growth in the region within a changing digital landscape.
The Society will also be opened to those non psychologists , who are interested in psychology at work. We will share with you the latest research, solutions and best practices in the area of leadership, wellbeing, assessments /recruitment/ talent development, ergonomics, coaching and many others. Our CPD events will be open to all members and will enhance your knowledge and skills in order to create strong and effective individuals, teams and organizations during the new digital era.

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