Eight new businesses have signed the UAE Gender Balance Council’s SDG 5 pledge. It takes the total number of private-sector companies to have signed to 64.
The pledge is voluntary. It commits the companies to putting women in 30 percent of leadership roles by 2025.
The pledge – known as the ‘SDG 5 Pledge to Accelerate Women’s Leadership in the UAE Private Sector’ – began with 18 companies at the beginning of 2022.
New companies that signed in the fifth wave in May were:
- Arabian Ethicals
- BSH Home Appliances Middle East
- Emirates NBD
- PwC Middle East.
Mona Ghanem Al Marri, Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council and Chairperson of the Global Council on Sustainable Development Goal 5 (Gender Equality), said during the signing that gender balance is a “priority” for the UAE government.
“The private sector is an indispensable partner in achieving parity across the economy and society,” she added.
“The power of partnerships and dialogue should not be under-estimated. And together, we can build a more prosperous, thriving, and future-ready UAE for us all.”
The pledge aligns to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 5 – gender equality.
It is the result of more than five years of work by the UAE to prioritise the UN’s 17 SDGs by 2030. The UAE Gender Balance Council has been heavily involved.
The four pillars of the pledge are:
- 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 other pledging companies and with the government.
Growing women employees 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. And find out more about NOORA, Aurora50’s network for women.