After completing a degree in architecture at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA), Marilyn joined Keeward in 2009 where she discovered a passion for the web and the various areas of expertise needed to work in the digital world. She spent 9 years at Keeward (a digital production company), where she managed a team of 60 people across 3 continents with a broad cross-section of profiles, from project managers to consultants, and developers to communicators. She has been instrumental in developing methodologies specific to the management of digital projects. Her expertise lies in user experience design, the development and growth of startups and SMEs, and online marketing. Since 2013, Marilyn has taught Masters classes in Web Science and Digital Economy at the Faculty of Economics (USJ), as well as Digital Marketing, Design Thinking, & Strategy at ESA. In December 2017, she graduated from INSEAD with an Executive MBA. She joined EMAAR as part of the chairman’s office in September 2018, and has been the Acting CMO for the Properties & Corporate division since November 2018.
Marilyn participated in several activities with We Initiative:
- As an expert in her field, Marilyn presented a training for SMEs looking to launch their e-commerce. This Business Power Session taught the audience key information allowing the take the right decision when it comes to launching their ecommerce website: how to Know Your Customer: An Overview of The Local and Regional E-Commerce & Digital Markets, Are SMEs Ready for E-commerce, Pure players Vs. Own E-commerce Vs. Online Distribution and What It Takes to Run Your Own E-Commerce: Teams, Funds, Markets.
- Ms. Zakhour took "A Step towards Equality" by participating in the first conference of it’s kind in the MENA region, covering topics related to the Pay Gap, the Financing Gap and the Corporate Representation Gap. She discussed along with other panelists "How expensive is your bill as a Woman?" According to a study by McKinsey and the IFC, there is about a US$1.5 trillion credit gap for formal small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) globally. Goldman Sachs estimates there is a US$285 billion credit gap when it comes to women-owned SMEs in particular. Despite many advantages and acquired rights, Lebanese women continue to face discrimination at numerous levels, keeping gender equality in Lebanon an elusive objective. Building on the women entrepreneurs’ experience, how should we address the legal and regulatory barriers? What can we change in the business practices in the financial services sector? How can we help women help themselves?
- Marilyn also runs a podcast with Mrs. Rhea Chedid, Who Runs the World, a series of conversations that explores what it means to be a female leader working and living in the Arab world. Each episode of this podcast focuses on one woman’s story. The guests share the challenges and victories of their journey, and how they navigate the complexity of the workplace. Whether they realize it or not, each of these women, in her own way, is a role model for young women and girls in the Middle East and beyond.