Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the international financial center in Abu Dhabi, has launched a Gender Equality Initiative, to strengthen gender equality across all job functions and levels in the workplace.
This is in line with the UAE government’s Vision 2021 of enhancing gender equality in the workplace and the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). ADGM’s Gender Equality Initiative also aligns with the UAE’s global efforts in advocating for ‘gender markers’ and other measures to promote involvement of women and girls in the UN system.
“Gender equality is the basis of a strong and progressive society. Sheikh Zayed, the father of our nation and a visionary, established the foundations for a gender-equal society and we aim to continue building on his legacy and accelerate progress in this direction. One of the goals under Vision 2021 is to achieve Gender Balance which includes committing to and oversight of gender balance, engage personnel towards gender balance and implement gender balance in leadership positions, among others,” said Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State (UAE) and Chairman of ADGM.
The Minister pointed out that while the UAE has a commendable record when it comes to gender equality at entry-level, the proportion of women in senior and leadership roles remains an area for greater improvement, with women filling in only 17 percent of all senior positions.
He said, “We believe that providing a more balanced, better skilled and happier workforce is essential for the growth of an organization and society at large. ADGM’s commitment to gender-equality is both the right thing to do and has been proven to be good for business globally.”
ADGM’s Gender Equality Initiative revolves around three programs:
#1. Leading By Example:
Defining clear and measurable gender equality objectives to support the progression of women into senior roles. This includes succession planning and educational programs to tackle unconscious gender bias during the hiring process.
Working in line with the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) to promote gender equality within its International Financial Centre and encourage its registered entities to sign the WEPs to drive change for gender equality.
#2. Working Collaboratively:
Committing to identifying and sharing potential impediments and best practices.
Working closely with key associations in order to develop a collaborative approach through road shows and engaging with women directly.
Reaching out to women entrepreneurs as part of its efforts to build an entrepreneurship ecosystem in Abu Dhabi and improve access to finance for women.
Collaborating with other entities such as 30% Club, WiSER (MASDAR) and the UAE Federal Statistics and Competitiveness Authority to find areas for mutual cooperation and collaboration.
#3. Championing Effective Change:
Promoting gender-lens impact investing through supporting fund initiatives that provide financial support to projects with products and services aimed at addressing gender issues or promote gender equality or financial or education services in UAE priority sectors.
Through its ADGM Academy, developing and promoting women’s leadership program and scholarships together with CFA Institute.
“We are delighted to see the traction created by the ongoing dialogue on gender balance in the UAE. Translating the dialogue from words to actions is what we aspire for by organizations seeking to enhance their gender balance standing. We look forward to the positive outcomes of this innovative initiative by ADGM and how it can impact the enhancement of workplace environment and inclusivity in both public and private institutions in the UAE,” said Abdulla Lootah, Vice Chairman of the National Committee on Sustainable Development Goals and member of the UAE Gender Balance Council.
ADGM’s ‘Gender Equality Initiative’ is supported by WiSER (Masdar), The 30% Club MENA – that campaigns for greater representation of women on boards and in C-suite globally with a minimum target of 30%, CFA Institute – the global association of investment professionals, Hub71, the US Embassy in the UAE, UN Women, French Business Group and the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority – that established the ‘Gender Equality Lab’ and oversees the UN’s SDG implementation for the UAE.