The latest corporate leaders to sign up to the target were lauded during an event at the Capital Club in Dubai International Financial Centre on December 15 Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: 18 more companies taken the ‘SDG 5 Pledge to Accelerate Gender Balance in the UAE Private Sector’, bringing the total to 56.

The new pledges have been praised by Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council (UAE GBC), wife of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court.

Sheikha Manal said the UAE, under the dedicated leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is continuing to make substantial strides and achieve prosperity in various sectors while actively contribute to supporting global efforts aimed at achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

She added that the UAE GBC has intensified its efforts during the past years and will continue them during the coming period in cooperation and partnership with all state institutions to implement the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to enhance the competitiveness of the UAE globally and its position among the best countries in terms of gender balance.

2025 target

The Pledge has a target of increasing the representation of women in leadership roles to 30 per cent by 2025 to ensure their full and effective participation at the highest levels of decision making.

Sheikha Manal expressed her pride in all companies that have signed the Pledge, emphasising their willingness to work closely with the government to advance SDG 5 and gender balance in the UAE’s private sector and in the country more broadly.

On December 15, the 18 additional local and multinational companies signed the Pledge. Signatory companies are from a range of sectors including law, healthcare, defence, finance, energy, and professional services.

Main objectives

The Pledge has four main pillars: ensuring equal pay and compensation; promoting gender equitable recruitment and promotion; reviewing company policies and programs to advance gender balance; and transparency through annual reporting to the UAE Gender Balance Council.

The newest group of 18 companies signed the Pledge during an event organised by the UAE GBC at the Capital Club in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

During the event, Shamsa Saleh, secretary-general of the UAE GBC, presented a speech on behalf of Sheikha Manal, in which she expressed her thanks to all the companies for their dedicated support and cooperation with the Council to achieve the vision and goals of the UAE at the local and global levels.

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Who took the pledge?

Companies who signed on December 15 include: Emirates Group, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group, Kaman, Chalhoub Group, Aramex International LLC, Jacobs, APCO Worldwide, Omnicom Media Group MENA, Kraft Heinz MEA, Crescent Enterprises, Saab,, Dentons & Co., Clifford Chance, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP, TVM Capital Healthcare, Brunswick Group, and Russell Reynolds Associates.

Corporate officials affirmed during the signing ceremony of the pledge their companies’ commitment and the private sector, in general, to work closely with government to enhance gender balance in the UAE.

This Pledge is the result a longstanding partnership between the UAE Government and the private sector, and is a direct result of the efforts of the Private Sector Advisory Council on Sustainable Development Goals, in cooperation with the National Committee for Sustainable Development Goals, represented by the UAE Gender Balance Council and the Federal Centre for Competitiveness and Statistics Centre.