Regional ‘first’ collaboration explores gender parity’s role in inclusive organizational success

Dubai Business Women and educationalists team Up With UN developers to drive gender-balanced leadership debate for innovation and change.
(L to R): Dr. Payyazhi Jayashree, Richard Soundardjee, Andrew Mortim.

Dubai (UAE) March 9th, 2017: Dubai Business Women Council (DBWC), the UAE’s leading platform for the personal and professional development of women in the emirate, has teamed up with the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to explore business strategies to increase female workforce engagement as part of thriving, sustainable economies.

In a best practices forum held today, organizations from a cross-section of Dubai’s business sectors offered valuable success insights in to how the region’s private and public sectors have transformed prevailing gender parity issues into rewarding business solutions. Panelists included speakers from Societe Generale Dubai; Philips Middle East & Turkey; Barclays Plc; Emirates NBD and Dow Chemical.

Here’s a short video on the session’s highlights: https://youtu.be/8Q_7rZLghjc 

The forum was seen as a milestone in the UAE’s drive to lead the region in improving gender balance. “The UAE is a nation committed to providing equal opportunities to enable women to play a lead role in contributing to the country’s development. It is only when the contributions of both men and women are valued equally that we can achieve a brighter future, full of ideas with input from people across society. DBWC provides a valuable platform to stimulate proactive thinking that will facilitate greater action towards achieving gender parity in the workplace”, commented Her Excellency Dr. Raja Al Gurg, President, DBWC.

As people worldwide yesterday celebrated the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, forum speakers and panelists encouraged society to be bold in accelerating change for women in their business strategies.

UOWD’s Associate Dean (Education) in the Faculty of Business and Principal Investigator for the UOWD-DBWC Women and Leadership research project, Dr. Payyazhi Jayashree, said women have an instrumental leadership role in the UAE’s labor market.  “We are currently working to develop a framework that outlines the factors which influence workplace engagement of women in the UAE and their achievement of leadership roles. The opportunity to engage the wider business community in discussion around the key themes of our joint research project, through the on-going DBWC-UOWD Women and Leadership Seminar Series (showcasing the success stories of Women Leaders in the UAE), and Best Practices Forums such as the one organized today – a collaborative event between UNDP, DBWC and UAE is a big step forward in positively influencing the journey from theory to public policy and practice – not only within the UAE but across GCC region as a whole.”

While the forum shed light on the UAE’s proven success in inclusive organizational cultures, it pointed to severe gender inequality and pay gap within the international labor market. “Gender equality is a human right, and the world cannot afford to not get talent from fifty per cent of its population”, commented Frode Mauring, United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator & UNDP Resident Representative.

“UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 includes ensuring women’s full and effective participation in leadership at all levels of decision making in political, economic and public life. Women are strong, capable leaders and we all have something to learn from their values,” he continued.

From focusing on the cultural values that empower women, to advocating gender parity, and highlighting the importance of women’s empowerment in national progress, the forum called on business and society to challenge gender distinctions in every-day life.

About Dubai Business Women Council (DBWC):

Established in 2002, under the umbrella of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Dubai Business Women Council is the UAE’s leading platform for the personal and professional development of women in the Emirate of Dubai.

In 2017, DBWC is celebrating 15 years of pioneering a fresh approach to enhancing positive change towards a more gender-balanced society.

Providing strategic education, training and networking opportunities to aid the holistic development and aspirations of UAE-based women is at the heart of the DBWC’s mission to inspire women to be productive members of the society and economy.

DBWC’s tailored workshops and training sessions are hosted exclusively for its members and provide information about the latest knowledge, skills and best practices for women entrepreneurs and leaders. For more information about the DBWC and how to join its community of visionary and influential trailblazing women, visit www.dbwc.ae

Log on to the Council’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/dbwc.uae/ – or the DBWC Twitter page https://twitter.com/DBWC_UAE

About the University of Wollongong in Dubai

 The University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) is one of the UAE’s oldest and most prestigious universities. Established in 1993 by the University of Wollongong in Australia – currently ranked amongst the leading universities in the world – UOW in Dubai represents a pioneering Australian initiative in the Gulf region. The University has more than 4,200 students and supports a network of more than 9,000 alumni.

About the United Nations Development Programme

UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in nearly 170 countries and territories, UNDP offers global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.

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