Standing up for Gender Equality Boosts Business Competitiveness for Gulf Organisations

Women are making leaps and bounds in their careers across the Arabian Gulf, taking on C-suite roles and establishing mentorship and coaching programmes. As the region advances its investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and Smart Cities, organisations are enhancing their commitment to standing up for gender equality and supporting the goals of government-led national visions.

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“Gender-equal workplaces can boost business competitiveness for Arabian Gulf organisations, especially in the sustainability sector,” said Hanan Darwish, Cluster President – Gulf and Pakistan, Schneider Electric, the leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation. “Standing up for diverse and inclusive workplaces can deliver business benefits, such as higher levels of innovation, customer orientation, and employee engagement, and lower turnover rates.”

As part of the French Business Council of Dubai’s gala dinner “Embrace Diversity,” and on the back of the recent International Women’s Day, Schneider Electric, is celebrating its longstanding commitment to Diversity and Inclusion. The company is exchanging best practices with Gulf organisations to support a more gender equal world, to engage our leaders and employees on our next steps to foster gender equality.

International Women’s Day at Schneider Electric This Year

At Schneider Electric, diversity and inclusion is an integral part of who we are and what differentiates us. Our ambition is to provide equal opportunities to everyone, everywhere, and to ensure all employees feel uniquely valued and safe to contribute their best. This is how we drive innovation, engagement, and high performance.

Every year, International Women’s Day, on 8 March, is an opportunity to celebrate our most recent achievements for gender equality. We are also engaging our leaders and employees in constructive discussions on how we can continue to advance gender equality within the company.

Events are being rolled out worldwide to focus on how to build a more inclusive culture. In many of our sites – including our global hubs -- all of our employees and leaders are mobilised on the key steps in our journey to improve gender equality: broadening the cooperation and support of male colleagues for gender equality. Research has shown that diversity does notwork without inclusion, everyone at Schneider Electric is included in the gender equality conversation.

Schneider Electric Starts the Year as a Proud Member of the 2018 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index

Our recent inclusion in the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index recognises our numerous initiatives to drive positive change, and monitor progress towards a gender equal company and gender equal world. Based on a self-disclosure survey, the index lists 104 companies that have made strong commitments to gender diversity.

Olivier Blum, Chief Human Resources Officer and Executive Vice President at Schneider Electric, commented: “Our diversity and inclusion philosophy aims to provide equal opportunities to everyone everywhere, and ensure that all our employees feel uniquely valued and safe to contribute their best.

The Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index gives us an opportunity to be evaluated among the best performers, while serving as a barometer for our efforts as a gender-equal employer. Our inclusion in the index strengthens our resolve to create an inclusive culture where all forms of diversity are valued.”

Schneider Electric’s Longstanding Commitment to Gender Equality

Woment’s Empowerment Principles

Schneider Electric remains fully committed to supporting the Women’s Empowerment Principles, a joint initiative of UN Women and the UN Global Compact. The Principles are seven steps for businesses offering guidance on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community, including establishing corporate leadership, fair and safe treatment, promoting development for women, and monitoring and reporting progress in the gender equality journey.

In March 2015, Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Schneider Electric was recognized by the WEPs initiative with the WEPs CEO Leadership Award in the Business Case for Action category for its “Diversity and Inclusion” policy.

Global Family Leave Policy

In 2017, Schneider Electric launched its Global Family Leave Policy. By addressing various leave needs - parental, care and bereavement – our truly inclusive policy supports employees to manage their unique life and work no matter who they are or where they may be.

Gender Pay Equity Process

In 2017, Schneider Electric celebrated its second anniversary as an IMPACT 10x10x10 champion. The United Nations Women HeforShe movement can count us in as one of 30 key decision-makers from governments, corporations and universities spearheading the move to make gender equality an institutional priority.

We have also achieved one of our HeforShe commitments: 85 percent of our employees work in countries covered by a gender pay equity process. Gender pay equity now stands among the 16 key indicators in our quarterly “Planet and Society” sustainable development barometer.

Access to Energy Training and Entrepreneurship Programme

Our access to Energy Training and Entrepreneurship program is a bridging answer to gender, employment and access to energy issues in emerging economies.

In Brazil, Nigeria, Togo, Cameron, Egypt, and Vietnam, Schneider Electric provides local training to disadvantaged people to develop their technical as well as entrepreneurial skills in the energy field. Empowering both men and women with opportunities for income generation in this field has been locally changing mindsets regarding women in society. We are also partnering with Plan International on a project to develop women entrepreneurship in the energy sector in Senegal, Mali, and Niger.

“Across the Gulf, many communities are supporting women in the workplace through systems, procedures, and policies, from family leave to coaching to mentorship,” added Hanan Darwish. “However, the road is not paved with success. Women need to empower themselves. Nothing is stopping women from becoming successful. The difference for women’s career success is their own personal decisions.”

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