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More firms join pledge to accelerate gender balance in UAE private sector

Mona Al Marri, Hanan Ahli  along with  government officials and representatives from DP World, Kearney, KPMG, Coca-Cola, Danone and VFS Global, during the pledge signing ceremony in Dubai. — Supplied photo
Mona Al Marri, Hanan Ahli along with government officials and representatives from DP World, Kearney, KPMG, Coca-Cola, Danone and VFS Global, during the pledge signing ceremony in Dubai. — Supplied photo

The pledge consists of four main pillars: equal pay, employment and promotion on the basis of gender equality including senior leadership positions, integrating gender balance in the companies’ policies and programmes, and transparency.



by

A Staff Reporter

Published: Sat 19 Mar 2022, 11:57 PM

Last updated: Sun 20 Mar 2022, 12:00 AM

The UAE Gender Balance Council announced that six additional local and multinational companies have joined the SDG 5 Pledge to Accelerate Gender Balance in the UAE Private Sector.

The pledge was signed during a ceremony attended by Mona Al Marri, Vice-President of the UAE Gender Balance Council and Chairperson of the Global Council on SDG 5 (Gender Equality); Hanan Ahli, acting director of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre as well as a government officials and representatives from DP World, Kearney, KPMG, Coca-Cola, Danone and VFS Global.

The pledge encourages stronger and more sustainable gender balance at the company level, with an emphasis on increasing the representation of women in leadership positions to 30 per cent by 2025 through policy, programme, and strategic actions . In January 2022, 17 private sector companies signed the Pledge, now bringing the total number of companies to 23.

Pillars and pledges

The pledge consists of four main pillars: equal pay, employment and promotion on the basis of gender equality including senior leadership positions, integrating gender balance in the companies’ policies and programs, and transparency.

It incorporates a number of initiatives and policies that ensure the achievement of these pillars, including taking the necessary measures to ensure equal pay for equal work for both men and women in the workplace, creating equal opportunities for high-paid positions for both genders, continuing to ensure objectivity in considering candidates from both genders for senior positions, taking effective measures to eliminate unconscious bias in recruitment processes and investing in skills building initiatives and mentorship programmes.

This pledge is the result of the tireless efforts of the UAE’s Private Sector Advisory Council on SDGs in collaboration with the UAE’s National Committee on SDGs, as well as the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre and the UAE Gender Balance Council over the past two years. In 2019, a focus group was organised for the government and private sectors to exchange ideas on how to promote gender balance and sustainable development in the UAE, and to highlight the importance of ensuring the equal participation of women in leadership positions in the private sector.

National priority

Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, President of Dubai Women Establishment, and wife of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, stated that women’s participation in decision-making roles is encouraged across all sectors, and has called on more companies to join this important Pledge.

Sheikha Manal also commended the private sector companies for joining this voluntary initiative, which reflects the unique partnership between the government and private sector in the UAE to achieve the national goals and a future vision by the wise leadership that will enable the country to be an international role model and a leading global economy in the next fifty years.

Prosperity and sustainability

Sheikha Manal added that the private sector is a partner in strengthening the UAE economy, and its support for government efforts to achieve sustainable development goals is important. This is achieved through its effective implementation of sustainable values in its business operations, as well as its important role in providing work opportunities and its impact on the development of both the individual and society.

“This is a step that reflects the unwavering support and commitment of the private sector to the country’s directions and strategic objectives in achieving sustainable development goals, which in turn contributes to achieving global prosperity,” she added.

Al Marri welcomed companies that joined the pledge and stated that it is a significant step in achieving gender balance in the country as it complements the progress made in both the public and private sectors. Al Marri praised the company’s quick actions which enabled the pledge to be signed in record time, and is the result of several years of joint work between government and private sector institutions with the aim of inspiring innovative techniques to increase the effective role of women in leadership roles in the UAE private sector.

She added: “This is a collective effort that we will work on together to gradually promote gender balance, from middle management to the highest levels of leadership. There are real gender gaps in leadership positions globally, with women occupying only 22 per cent of leadership positions, and 25 per cent in healthcare specifically.”

Al Marri stressed that gender balance is a priority for the UAE government and the private sector is an important partner in achieving all 17 sustainable development goals, particularly the fifth goal, adding: “Together, we have set an inspiring goal that will become a model for both the region and the world. The UAE Gender Balance Council looks forward to working with the private sector to enable the UAE to become the most prosperous country and ready to take on the future.”

— business@khaleejtimes.com


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