Evènements

[Replay] The UAE and France approach when implementing D&I

Speakers

  • Florence Bulte, Chief Sustainability Officer Chalhoub Group
  • Angelique Eriksen, CEO - EGG Events 
  • Nadine Halabi, Business Development Manager, Dubai Business Women Council
  • Moderator: Nathalie Amiel-Ferrault, Board member and Vice-President, French Business Council

View the video

Key takeaways

When we speak about diversity, it does not refer only to gender, but also to nationality, to age and to ability. The Middle East in general and especially Dubai have a very diverse environment. Chalhoub group for example itself counts 114 nationalities within their workforce and focuses on gender parity as well as on the inclusion of people of determination.

D&I is quite unique in the UAE and has been set from the beginning of the constitution of the 7 emirates by the late Sheikh Zayed as he stated: “the woman is half of the society and any country that pursues development should not leave her in poverty or illiterate.” The concept of glass ceiling here is less visible than other parts of the world.

Another example is the creation on 2002 of Dubai Women Business Council at the initiative of the Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid al Maktoum. This created a platform of prominent and successful UAE business women running multinationals. Today Dubai Women Business Council helps other women through proposing g them tools and platforms to develop their skills.

Another example is the policies put in place by Chalhoub group to measure the implementation of D&I policies through dashboards that are shared with the GMs and that reviewed on a quarterly basis. They have also a special program for people of determination called “Empower to work” – it allows managers to know how to integrate a person with disabilities through training and integration programs. As for women, their women in leadership program facilitates the access to senior leadership roles for women in the company.

If we look now at the challenges organizations can face in the UAE is the initiation of a D&I program and an associated tool. Then comes the challenge of measuring tools towards D&I policies as they differ for one organization to another and that’s quite a global challenge all over the world. So the key message to pass on to companies is that they have to set tools to measure D&I standards.

UAE overall is a very invigorating environment with its many nationalities and access of many women to both the corporate world but also to the local political scene. The Expo itself will be an additional opportunity to raise awareness on D&I matters with specific sessions programmed to address the private sector but also the government public sector companies.

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