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15 American companies sign 30% women executives pledge

15 American companies sign GBC's SDG 5 pledge in November - image courtesy Dubai Media Office

Fifteen American companies operating in the UAE have pledged to put women in 30 percent of their local leadership positions by 2025.

Some 24 major local and international private-sector companies in the UAE have already signed the UAE Gender Balance Council pledge this year.

The pledge is known as the SDG 5 Pledge to Accelerate Women’s Leadership in the UAE Private Sector. The UAE has aligned its vision to the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDGs): SDG 5 is gender equality.

The 15 companies that signed the pledge in November are:

  1. Emerson
  2. Accenture
  3. L3Harris
  4. Mediclinic Middle East
  5. Fragomen
  6. Boeing
  7. Oshkosh Defense
  8. Lockheed Martin
  9. Raytheon
  10. EVAP Investment
  11. Viatris
  12. Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi
  13. Andaz Capital Gate Abu Dhabi
  14. Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi
  15. NYU Abu Dhabi

Actions in the pledge involve:

  • Fostering a culture that encourages all employees to achieve their full potential
  • Ensuring equal pay and fair compensation
  • Promoting gender-equitable recruitment and promotion
  • Making gender balance ‘mainstream’ through company policies and programmes
  • Being transparent about progress with the other companies involved in the pledge and with the government.

The new tranche of 15 companies are all members of AmCham Abu Dhabi.

UAE-based private sector companies that signed the GBC's SDG 5 pledge on 8 December 2022
Companies that signed the GBC SDG 5 pledge on 8 December 2022
UAE-based private sector companies that signed the GBC's SDG 5 pledge on 17 March 2022
Companies that signed the GBC SDG 5 pledge on 17 March 2022
UAE-based private sector companies that signed the GBC's SDG 5 pledge on 18 January 2022
Companies that signed the GBC SDG 5 pledge on 18 January 2022

‘Milestone moment’

HH Sheikha Manal bint Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, president of the UAE Gender Balance Council, president of Dubai Women Establishment and wife of HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Court, said: “Through the willingness of the companies to sign the SDG 5 Pledge to Accelerate Women’s Leadership in the UAE Private Sector, the UAE will be able to utilise this important public-private partnership to bridge the gaps in gender balance.”

HE Mona Al Marri, vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, added, “This is a milestone moment. Some of the largest American companies in the UAE, in strategically important sectors, are publicly committing to meeting the 30% target. I commend you for prioritising this within your organisations and for recognising the numerous benefits of more equitable leadership ranks.”

Growing your women as leaders

“Mid-level women need opportunities, and access to the type of experience they will need higher up,” Aurora50 co-founder Diana Wilde says. “Then, on top of this access, we need to encourage women to step forward, to inspire and educate them to take on those roles.”

One of the biggest issues for mid-level women, she says, is getting access to key executive skills such as profit and loss (P&L) or budget experience, which are ‘musts’ for executive roles. It is also important to start women early, to create a lengthy C-suite pipeline, she adds.

Find out more about Aurora50’s accelerator for internal management, AIM. The region’s only in-house accelerator, it helps organisations create a strong pipeline of high-potential women leaders who align their growth to company strategy.

Table: Full list of companies to sign the GBC’s SDG 5 pledge

CompanyLocal/ internationalDate announced
Andaz Capital Gate Abu DhabiInternational23-Nov-22
Danone NutriciaInternational17-Mar-22
DP WorldLocal17-Mar-22
Dubai HoldingLocal18-Jan-22
Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC)Local18-Jan-22
EVAP InvestmentInternational23-Nov-22
General MillsInternational18-Jan-22
General MotorsInternational18-Jan-22
Grand Hyatt Abu DhabiInternational23-Nov-22
Lockheed MartinInternational23-Nov-22
Majid Al Futtaim HoldingLocal18-Jan-22
Mediclinic Middle EastInternational23-Nov-22
Mondelez InternationalInternational18-Jan-22
NYU Abu DhabiInternational23-Nov-22
Oshkosh DefenseInternational23-Nov-22
Park Hyatt Abu DhabiInternational23-Nov-22
Schneider ElectricInternational18-Jan-22
Standard Chartered BankInternational18-Jan-22
The Coca-Cola CompanyInternational17-Mar-22
VFS GlobalInternational17-Mar-22

(One company has yet to be named.)

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