Annabel Harper

Author, Women’s Leadership Development in Middle East, speaker, executive Leadership Coach, former BBC, ITN & C4N journalist

Annabel Harper is an author, international Executive Leadership Coach and speaker. She is a Middle East specialist and her best-selling book “Shujaa’ah: Bold Leadership for Women of the Middle East” was a finalist in the 2021 Business Book Awards.

'Shujaa'ah' means 'bold' in Arabic and Annabel believes that women in the Middle East have more opportunity now than ever before to claim their rightful place as leaders in organisations by being bold.  

In her lively and engaging talks, Annabel explains how women can create a clear path towards their leadership aims courageously and boldly.  Drawing on her academic research for her MA in Middle Eastern Studies and her book, Annabel explores what can help women move forward, how to overcome barriers including unconscious bias and take control of their careers.

She also challenges organisations to do more to create a culture of diversity and gender equity and offers a framework to address the business imperative to remove gender bias in the workplace and the need for men to be part of the dialogue in order to create organisations which have diversity and gender equity as part of their DNA.

Annabel has delivered talks for the Women’s International Network, London Business School, Abu Dhabi Ministry of Education, National Leadership Institute of Kuwait, Emirates Literature Foundation and International Women’s Day. Topics include building confidence, eliminating gender and unconscious bias, developing women leaders and managing change in a volatile world.

In her leadership development work, Annabel has coached high potential and senior women and men in global and multi-culture organisations across a wide range of industries such as financial services, pharma, FMCG and government.  Clients include Nestlé, BBC, London Business School, Abu Dhabi Government, Dubai Government and JTI.  During the pandemic, Annabel has been providing pro bono coaching to senior front line leaders in the NHS.

As well as her MA in Middle Eastern Studies, Annabel has a MA in Coaching and Mentoring Practice and a Diploma in the Neuroscience of Leadership.  She is a tutor on the Diploma in Coaching at Cambridge University.

In her earlier career, Annabel was a journalist at ITN, Channel Four News and the BBC.  She spent time in Northern Ireland during the difficult years of the Troubles and being a journalist helped her develop a deep understanding about the importance of listening, communicating and respect which continues to inform her work.

Annabel believes in challenging herself from time to time as well as her clients.  She is embarking on an all-women trip to the Norwegian Arctic Circle in April 2022 which will involve sledging with huskies and trekking for several days in freezing temperatures.

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