The ADGM Gender Equality Initiative


The UAE Government’s Vision 2021, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), outlines goals to enhance gender equality across the workplace, promoting the involvement of women and girls as a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. In line with this important initiative, ADGM launched its own gender equality initiative (GEI) in October 2019.


Gender equality programmes

Since its inception in 2015, ADGM has taken active strides in recruiting a talented pool of women professionals and graduate entrants who today make up close to half of its total workforce. This GEI aims to promote diversity of talents across all work functions including senior management and leadership roles.

ADGM's GEI identifies clear objectives to reduce unconscious gender bias in the hiring process, promotes the UN Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs), and encourages registered entities to follow the guidelines of these WEPs. The GEI is based on three programmes:

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ADGM Chairman 

"Gender equality is the basis of a strong and progressive society. Sheikh Zayed, the father of our nation and a visionary, established the foundations for a gender-equal society and we aim to continue building on his legacy and accelerate progress in this direction.

We believe that providing a more balanced, better skilled and happier workforce is essential for the growth of an organisation and society at large. ADGM's commitment to gender equality is both the right thing to do and has been proven to be good for business globally."

His Excellency Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi
Chairman of ADGM

Leading by example

Since launching the GEI, ADGM has actively been reviewing its policies, procedures and training programmes, to further enhance and promote gender equality throughout the organisation. This review has included important areas such as:

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Salary reviews

A full salary review was carried out in 2019 to ensure equal pay for all employees across grades within ADGM. The salary of all staff is periodically reviewed to ensure that there is no discrepancy in gender pay.
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Hiring policy and interview training

A competency based interview skills training is being rolled out to increase objectivity in the hiring process.
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Succession planning

A project is underway to ensure that gender balance is taken into consideration for all ADGM’s succession planning strategies.
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Parental leave

The parental leave policy was recently updated to include 5 days of paternity leave for all male employees. This is in line with recently announced federal legislative changes. This is being reviewed constantly to look at ways to enhance this further.
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Unconscious bias training

A programme of unconscious bias training for all staff is underway. This programme is helping employees recognise their unconscious biases in order to manage them effectively and ensure they don’t influence any decision making or behaviours.
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Flexible and agile working

As a result of COVID-19, ADGM has responded rapidly to the evolving needs of its staff during the pandemic by developing a flexible and agile workforce to suit individual’s needs and working preferences.

Working collaboratively

In 2019, the UAE advanced 23 positions on the UNDP Gender Equality Index and became its highest-ranking Arab country.

ADGM has quickly garnered positive industry support for the GEI and continues to collaborate with like-minded entities to enhance gender equality in the workplace.

To carry out its goals, ADGM has partnered with WiSER, Aurora50, the Authority of Social Contribution - Ma'an, the US Embassy in the UAE, 30% Club, the CFA Institute, Hub71, UN Women, the French Business Group, Aurora50 and the UAE Federal Statistics and Competitiveness Authority.

Championing effective change

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Roundtable on gender equality and entrepreneurship

In November 2019, ADGM and the US Embassy Abu Dhabi brought together over 50 entrepreneurs, investors, government, corporations, not-for-profit organisations and accelerators to discuss gender equality and entrepreneurship.
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Gender equality working group

As one of the key findings from the roundtable organised by ADGM and the US Embassy, the white paper called for the formation of a gender equality working group. The working group will be having its first meeting in October 2020.
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Webinar series

ADGM launched a series of webinars on gender equality aspects as part of its gender equality initiative. The webinar series provided an opportunity for sharing and discussing different approaches and possibilities.
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ADGM Sustainable Finance Platform

The platform will present key Sustainable Finance data and trends related to environmental, social and governance disclosure including gender equality in the workplace.