DUBAI, 6th December, 2022 (WAM)– Fifteen American companies, that are members of AmCham Abu Dhabi, in the UAE private sector have signed a pledge to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG 5) to advance gender equality in the UAE’s workforce by focusing efforts on increasing the representation of women in leadership roles to ensure their full and effective participation at the highest levels of decision-making. The SDG 5 Pledge to Accelerate Women’s Leadership in the UAE Private Sector is an important public-private partnership. It is an initiative that has quickly become a milestone project for the UAE Government.
The pledge was signed on the 23rd of November during a ceremony hosted by the UAE Gender Balance Council (UAE GBC) in cooperation with the AmCham Abu Dhabi. The ceremony was attended by Shamsa Saleh, Secretary-General of the UAE GBC; Liz Beneski, Chief Executive Director AmCham Abu Dhabi, VADM (Ret.) Bob Harward, Chairman of the Board, AmCham Abu Dhabi, and Board members of AmCham Abu Dhabi; Christina Struller, Lina Lampkin, Courtney Sader, Rula Dajani as well as representatives from each of the 15 American companies in the UAE Private Sector.
Companies that signed the pledge are all members of AmCham Abu Dhabi, they include: Emerson, Accenture, L3Harris, Mediclinic Middle East, Fragomen, Boeing, Oshkosh Defense, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, EVAP Investment LLC, Viatris, Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi, Andaz Capital Gate Abu Dhabi, Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi, and NYU Abu Dhabi.
The companies have expressed their commitment to accelerating the achievement of SDG 5, and the signatories have expressed their pride in being part of an initiative that contributes to the UAE’s global competitiveness, reduces gender gaps, and achieves the UAE leadership’s future vision.
The signatories emphasised their commitment to working with the UAE GBC to accomplish this goal, and show their resolve to increase the share and representation of women in leadership positions by fostering a culture that encourages all employees to achieve their full potential. They are committed to taking key actions before 2025 to strengthen gender balance in leadership positions by: ensuring equal pay and fair compensation practices; promoting gender equitable recruitment and promotion; mainstreaming gender balance through policies and programs; and being transparent about progress with fellow signatories and government.
H.H. Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, President of Dubai Women Establishment, wife of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Court, commended the willingness of the companies in the UAE Private sector for their determination to support the UAE’s commitment and continuous pursuit to achieve the sustainable development goals. She stressed the private sector’s pivotal role in supporting the government’s efforts to enhance gender balance in the UAE to achieve economic prosperity, social stability and sustainable growth.
H.H. Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said: “The UAE has always prioritised and has always strived to achieve gender balance by encouraging and providing women with opportunities to succeed. As our founding father, Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan once said; “The woman is half of the society; any country which pursues development should not leave her in poverty or illiteracy”, which is why through this pledge we aim to continue to take the necessary steps towards gender balance, to ensure women’s active participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic, and public life.”
H.H. Sheikha Manal bint Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum also said: “Our wise leadership has a progressive vision for the UAE to be a global leader in gender balance, and 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.” HH Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum stresses that the Council will continue its efforts to achieve the crucial vision of the UAE Gender Balance Strategy that aims to position the country as a global model for gender balance.
Mona Al Marri, Vice President of the UAE GBC, emphasizes that the gender balance agenda is a priority for the UAE government, and the private sector is an indispensable partner in achieving parity across the economy and society. She highlighted that the power of partnerships should not be underestimated. HE Mona Al Marri said: “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.”
Mona Al Marri also said: “Your dedication to meaningfully and sustainably advancing gender equality is important for us. Thank you for being valued collaborators with the UAE government.”
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