ADGM launches programme to foster Gender Equality in the workplaceADGM 07/10/2019
Abu Dhabi Global Market, the award-winning International Financial Centre in Abu Dhabi, has launched a Gender Equality Initiative, to strengthen gender equality across all job functions and levels in the workplace. This is in line with the UAE government’s Vision 2021 of enhancing gender equality in the workplace and the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). ADGM’s Gender Equality Initiative also aligns with the UAE’s global efforts in advocating for ‘gender markers’ and other measures to promote involvement of women and girls in the UN system.
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 gender equality initiative aims to increase and maintain a sustainable representation of women across all work functions including senior management and leadership roles.
H.E. Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State (UAE) and Chairman of ADGM, said: “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. One of the goals under Vision 2021 is to achieve Gender Balance which includes committing to and oversight of gender balance, engage personnel towards gender balance and implement gender balance in leadership positions, among others.
The UAE has a commendable record when it comes to gender equality at entry-level, but the proportion of women in senior and leadership roles remains an area for greater improvement, with women filling in only 17 per cent of all senior positions. 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. ”
ADGM’s “Gender Equality Initiative” revolves around three programmes:
1. Leading by Example:
- Defining clear and measurable gender equality objectives to support the progression of women into senior roles. This includes succession planning and educational programmes to tackle unconscious gender bias during the hiring process.
- Working in line with the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) to promote gender equality within its International Financial Centre and encourage its registered entities to sign the WEPs to drive change for gender equality.
2. Working Collaboratively:
- Committing to identifying and sharing potential impediments and best practices.
- Working closely with key associations in order to develop a collaborative approach through road shows and engaging with women directly.
- Reaching out to women entrepreneurs as part of its efforts to build an entrepreneurship ecosystem in Abu Dhabi and improve access to finance for women.
- Collaborating with other leading entities such as 30% Club, WiSER (MASDAR) and the UAE Federal Statistics and Competitiveness Authority to find areas for mutual cooperation and collaboration.
3. Championing Effective Change:
- Promoting gender-lens impact investing through supporting fund initiatives that provide financial support to projects with products and services aimed at addressing gender issues or promote gender equality or financial or education services in UAE priority sectors.
- Through its ADGM Academy, developing and promoting women’s leadership programme and scholarships together with CFA Institute.
“We are delighted to see the traction created by the ongoing dialogue on gender balance in the UAE,” said HE Abdulla Lootah, Vice Chairman of the National Committee on Sustainable Development Goals and member of the UAE Gender Balance Council. “Translating the dialogue from words to actions is what we aspire for by organizations seeking to enhance their gender balance standing. We look forward to the positive outcomes of this innovative initiative by ADGM and how it can impact the enhancement of workplace environment and inclusivity in both public and private institutions in the UAE.”
Dr Lamya Nawaf Fawwaz, Executive Director of Brand and Strategic Initiatives at Masdar said: “Gender equality is a key component of WiSER’s three core pillars of education, engagement and empowerment of women, who we aim to position as drivers of change and innovation across a range of sectors, including sustainability and business. We are proud to support ADGM’s Gender Equality Initiative as part of the UAE’s Vision 2021, which includes gender balance in leadership positions.”
Commenting on the ‘Gender Equality Initiative’ , William Tohmé, CFA, Regional Head of MENA for CFA Institute , said: “At CFA Institute, we believe diversity and inclusion are essential for the health of the investment industry because research shows that diverse perspectives improve outcomes for investors. We are honoured to be part of the ADGM’s ‘Gender Equality Initiative’, where we will help design and implement a leadership programme supporting the growth of women into senior management roles through career planning, education, and scholarships for CFA Program participation.”
As a business led initiative, the 30% Club MENA is working with member firms to influence change starting from the very top as we collectively seek to boost the number of women in executive positions across the region in a sustainable way. ADGM’s program to allow for greater gender balance at the work place is the kind of work and commitment we seek from our member firms. We are excited about supporting ADGM’s initiative across the three programs. Said Raeda AL Sarayreh 30% Club MENA Steering Committee Chair.
“Empowering Women is not about fighting for women’s rights, but more about the women exerting their right to contribute to success in business as well as social and economic evolution. They are 50 percent of the society, so they have a major role in all aspects “, stated Mireille Nader head of the Women Empowerment Committee of the French Business Group.
ADGM’s ‘Gender Equality Initiative’ is supported by WiSER (Masdar), The 30% Club MENA - that campaigns for greater representation of women on boards and in C-suite globally with a minimum target of 30%, CFA Institute - the global association of investment professionals, Hub71, the US Embassy in the UAE, UN Women, French Business Group and the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority – that established the "Gender Equality Lab" and oversees the UN’s SDG implementation for the UAE.
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