Pearl Initiative, NAMA call for businesses to foster gender diversity in Gulf workplaces

SHARJAH, The Pearl Initiative and NAMA Women Advancement Establishment recently organised a series of one-day workshops to discuss ways in which businesses in the Gulf region should support female employees for organisational success.

Titled, Making the Business Case for Diversity, the workshops were held at the Executive Office of H.H. Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi in Sharjah, UAE, and the Movenpick Hotel and Resort Al Bida’a in Kuwait, in the presence of industry leaders, experts in the field of diversity training, consulting, HR professionals, and employees, representing all sectors of the region’s economy.

The first session of the one-day workshop touched on the landscape of gender diversity in the Gulf Region, where diversity in businesses was assessed across the region and globally.

The second session focused on building inclusive businesses and employees. It also featured experts on diversity and inclusion from PwC Kuwait, who introduced the policies and structures implemented by the organisation to implement and entrench inclusion for all employees.

Reem BinKaram, Director of NAMA, said, Women have the talent, drive and knowledge, and it is imperative to create awareness amongst organisations of the tremendous benefits derived from fostering a culture of inclusion. Creating equity and removing bias in executive decisions and policies can open the floodgates for women to enter and advance in leadership positions, empowering them to contribute substantially to the business.

Yasmine Omari, Executive Director of the Pearl Initiative, said, The potential benefits of inclusivity in business are overwhelmingly compelling, especially when exploring the influence of gender. However, a direct analysis of the opinions and experiences of women in the workforce, as evidenced from our 2019 survey, point to the fact that there is still a long way to go for businesses to support women employees, their careers, and their ambitions. The survey also revealed that gaps exist in the implementation of policies and procedures that could facilitate women’s career successes.

International consultant, Dr. Melissa Langworthy, a feminist economist whose work focuses on building better options for women in the contemporary Gulf Region through economic empowerment and entrepreneurship facilitated the workshops.

Women thrive when they work in an ecosystem that values their diverse talents and maximises their opportunities, said Dr. Langworthy, adding, Gulf businesses equipped with diversity and inclusion strategies tailored to the regional economy can amplify this value within their workplaces and communities.

Source: Emirates News Agency