Dr. Zeina Zeidan is a business leader and academic, she is also a chair member of the board of directors at Royal Financials, a renowned financial corporation in Lebanon and the MENA region.
Having earned a Ph.D. from Aix-Marseille University with double major Master’s degree in finance and audit, Dr. Zeidan trained at IUP of Management and New Technologies, University of Panthéon – Assas, and at HEC Montreal.
Acting as an independent board member at Lafarge Holcim Liban S.A.L., Dr. Zeidan also teaches International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and auditing at university level. She was as well Chair of the Audit Department at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK). An academic book she wrote is now a textbook assigned for college courses in Lebanon and she regularly contributes articles to popular magazines about finance, audit, and other field-specific topics.
Dr. Zeidan collaborated with We Initiative and BLC Bank at the "A Step Towards Equality", first conference in the MENA region discussing the Pay Gap, the Financing Gap and the Corporate Representation Gap.
Her keynote speech discussed specifically Issues of Gender and Diversity, Justice and Productivity. The main points being that Gender cannot and should not define or impact the salary of an employee, the promotion of an executive, the role of a person in an organization or the credibility of an entrepreneur. Inequality in pay, access to finance and corporate representation are very different topics, relating to issues of redistribution and market justice (pay gap), credibility, individual performance and social stigmatization (access to finance) and unequal opportunities.
As the first woman to rise as the chairperson of a leading financial corporation in Lebanon, she has proven her dedication to improving corporate governance and women’s leadership. A good communicator and public speaker, she has successfully participated at international and local conferences, including the United Nation’s 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women. Additionally, she mentors and advises women entrepreneurs, startups and SMEs in general.
“There will always be pay gaps as long as there are different priorities in life, but if they are based on gender discrimination, then it is a problem. It is challenging to determine which is due to unfair systems and which an existential difference between humans is.”
Throughout her rich career, she attended many international IFRS conferences and professional trainings. Receiving numerous certificates and awards, she was recently certified for completing a Masterclass in Business Angels and received a training of the trainer certification from IFC.