Female Entrepreneurs To Know: Emma Burdett, CEO Of WILD

4 min read

Passionate about instilling confidence, motivation and desire for success throughout the Middle East’s female community, Emma Burdett’s empowerment platform, WILD, is taking the region by storm

A wise person once said, there is no force more powerful than a woman determined to rise. From Joan of Arc and Mother Theresa to Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole, the history books are full of inspirational women who fought for the right to vote, made countless scientific breakthroughs and raised whole generations. Yet still, more often than not, we need reminders of just how brave and powerful the female voice can be. While the ultimate in gender equality might be when we don’t have to talk about gender at all, the problem is we’re still a long way off that. To get there will involve positive action to drive cultural and social change — and that’s where Emma Burdett comes in. Here, Emma explains how she empowers her network of strong, determined and passionate women through her platform, WILD, equipping them with the tools to succeed in business and beyond.

Having largely worked in male-dominated sectors, Emma Burdett has faced her fair share of bias, discrimination and bullying. “I was even thrown out of a client’s office in London in my early days for being what they called ‘just a silly girl’,” the entrepreneur tells MOJEH. “I was asked: ‘what do women know about real estate?’” Sadly Emma later went on to suffer from a mental breakdown but, determined not to let the haters grind her down, she eventually found her calling with WILD after creating a smaller women’s network in 2016, and is now on a path to change the narrative and help ensure fewer women have to go through the same nightmare she did. “After going through many challenges, I knew I could use the experience to support other women,” she explains. “I also personally mentor women who want to create social impact side hustles or businesses. This sets my soul on fire.”

“My intention has always been to support women to rise as leaders in the pursuit of gender equality,” explains Emma. Photographed at A2z D3 Dubai. Jacket, Isabel Marant at Bloomingdale’s Middle East; shoes, Gianvitto Rossi

Whether you are a young female just starting out or an influencer at the top of your game, WILD, short for Women In Leadership Deliver, fosters a vibrant network where women can come together, feel a sense of belonging and participate in networking events and panel discussions around diversity, equality and inclusion. “My intention has always been to support women to rise as leaders in the pursuit of gender equality,” explains Emma. “Women are notoriously bad at making ourselves a priority, so we want to supply them with everything they need to rise in the workplace, all the while creating balanced success.”

The newly-launched WILD Women Collective holds immersive events around everything from wellness and self-leadership mastery to teaching all-important skills such as presenting with impact and how to negotiate for results. “Our events are such a vibe and the community consists of such a diverse mix of women,” she says. “I want every woman to leave our events motivated, inspired and ready to take on the world.” Even more impressive, WILD is also the first and only women’s network to launch in Saudi Arabia, and will launch in Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Oman later in the year to trail-blaze equality across the whole of the Middle East: “It’s a one-of-a-kind movement I am proud to pioneer.” Unlike our other entrepreneurs, Emma has a love/hate relationship with International Women’s Day: “What are we doing about women on the other 364 days of the year?” she asks. “There needs to be a cultural shift. Companies often have a huge budget for an annual golf day where men can network and invite clients, for example, yet when it comes to IWD there is zero budget at all.” That said, she has been booked for several private events on and around the day, and will be holding a VIP members’ event on money matters too. “Financial awareness and wellbeing for women is an important topic for us,” she says. “My vision is to touch so many lives across the Middle East region, with women rising as leaders. I am just getting started and there is so much more to come.” Learn more

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  • Photographed by Ausra Osipaviciute
  • Words by Naomi Chadderton
  • Styled by Kelly Baldwin