Women executives
Women in leadership roles were also highly present in the legal profession, with around 26 per cent in managerial positions. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: Nearly half of human resource (HR) executives in the UAE are women, according to new data from global consulting firm Mercer, supporting the Gulf country’s more gender balanced approach in the workforce.

An analyses on their data from a remuneration survey found that 49 per cent of HR executives are women, while 53 per cent work in managerial positions. The survey featured responses from almost 600 companies across multiple sectors with over 300 of those reporting on gender data.

Sebastian Fuchs, Career & Workforce Consulting Business Leader at Mercer MENA said: “Putting women in high-ranking HR functions could be crucial to continue the UAE’s gender balance push in the workforce. Addressing issues in labour representation will entail redesigning hiring strategies, but more importantly ensuring an inclusive work culture with more policies influenced by diverse talent management.

“As the country progresses its economic diversification agenda towards a knowledge-based economy, it is critical that a broad range of industries advance their commitments to fair, skills-based hiring practices to create a representative, inclusive workforce.”

There is strong evidence as to why HR is one of the critical teams within a firm, as they take part in foundational business functions, including staffing and recruitment, but more importantly in influencing company culture.

Women in leadership roles were also highly present in the legal profession, the survey showed, with around 26 per cent in managerial positions and 45 per cent in executive ones.

The survey comes on the back of increasing government support to put women in leadership roles, both in the public and the private sector. In 2015, the UAE set up its Gender Balance Council to implement and inspire reforms in bridging the gender gap.

Many legislations have been implemented since then, including around equalizing pay, lifting legal restrictions against women in certain jobs, and doubling down on workplace discrimination.

Despite this positive development, the TRS found that there are still a few industries where female representation in leadership roles is lacking. These include engineering and science, data analytics and warehousing, and finance – all traditionally dominated by men globally.