US Embassy and ADGM publish White Paper on Gender Equality

ADGM 23/02/2020
Abu Dhabi Global Market

The Embassy of the United States in the United Arab Emirates and Abu Dhabi Global Market, the award-winning International Financial Centre in Abu Dhabi, announced the results of a co-authored white paper entitled, “Gender Equality and Entrepreneurship,” examining the key challenges facing entrepreneurs within the UAE’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, while suggesting possible further actions. The purpose of the White Paper is to serve as a tool to drive effective change in addressing the key challenges and maximizing the existing opportunities in the entrepreneurial ecosystem to favor gender equality.

In November 2019, the Embassy and ADGM brought together over 50 entrepreneurs, investors, government, corporations, not-for-profit organizations and accelerators to discuss improving the operating environment for small businesses. Discussion focused on access to capital, markets and talent in entrepreneurship, and highlighted how improved coordination of existing initiatives could further advance gender equality in entrepreneurship.

The resulting white paper details these three themes of access to capital, markets and talent, and suggests actions to address related issues identified. Namely, the information gap, structural issues affecting gender equality in entrepreneurship, and prevailing unconscious gender bias.

Both organizations are united in their call for the formation of a working group made up of private and public institutions, both local and international, to serve as a platform for cooperation, aimed at driving effective change in addressing the challenges identified.

H.E. Ahmed Al Sayegh, Minister of State (UAE) and Chairman of ADGM said, “The UAE is at the forefront and remains an active advocate of gender equality across all levels of various industries. As an International Financial Centre in Abu Dhabi, ADGM believes that gender parity is essential to the competitiveness, growth and sustainability of organisations and economies across the global. ADGM has taken robust strides to engage and recruit women graduates and professionals, who are half of the world’s total talent capital, to be part of its community in building a stronger, more dynamic and progressive future for Abu Dhabi and the UAE. We will do what it takes to maintain an inclusive, balanced and purposeful work force to serve the long term needs and development of our country.”

Ambassador of the United States to the United Arab Emirates John Rakolta Jr. said, “This initiative is timely and necessary. The United Arab Emirates has been a leader in the region for promoting women’s empowerment and employment. We hope other nations in the region will follow their example. Economies cannot thrive without the full participation of their entire population.”

The UAE is ranked as a leading country in gender equality in the region, according to the World Economic Forum’s 2018 Global Gender Gap report. Through a series of public and private sector initiatives, women are playing an increasingly stronger role in business. There is a need to improve the connectivity between the many female-focused business groups and networks operating across a myriad of industries. This is necessary in order to assist these business-owners to turn their business ideas into successful companies across many sectors.

The full White Paper is available here:


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