Beauty Connection Spa - womens only organisations Image Credit: Supplied

DUBAI: The Dubai-based Beauty Connection Spa, which claims to be the biggest in the world, prides itself with a 98 per cent female workforce.

The 30,000 square feet facility on Shaikh Zayed Road employs 294 women, many of them drawn from disadvantaged sections of society.

Speaking to Gulf News ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8, Emirati entrepreneur and spa founder Kawthar Makahlah Al Shamsi said, “As a company which consists of 300 employees, out of which 98 per cent are female, I take pride and honour in employing widows, orphans, single women, less educated or skilled and people of determination, giving them a chance to earn a respectable life for themselves and their families and to feel empowered and independent. Those who have not received formal education or training are provided with training until they have acquired the required skills, techniques and capabilities to be professional in their work, equipping them with greater opportunities for their future.”

She said the company follows the holistic ‘Female Empowerment Programme’.

I take pride and honour in employing widows, orphans, single women, less educated or skilled and people of determination, giving them a chance to earn a respectable life for themselves and their families and to feel empowered and independent

- Kawthar Makahlah Al Shamsi, Emirati entrepreneur and spa founder

“We follow the UN principles of targeting three areas for action: human rights and well-being, labour rights and norms and workplace empowerment for the female sector. Now in 2019, women hold only 24 per cent of senior roles in the workplace across the world. Through Beauty Connection Spa and my other companies, I wanted to break the stereotype of “women take care and men take charge.” I wanted to provide a safe platform for women in need of work, for women who wanted to make a change, for women who wanted to stand up for their families and themselves,” she said.

“Being in a spa/salon business, there are a lot of requirements like ability to deliver services in a comfortable and professional manner, communication skills, personal care and hygiene, physical fitness, attitude and body language, time management and team work,” she added.

She said in keeping with Unesco’s declaration that education is the basic human right of every individual and every organisation should promote learning of skills and knowledge, the spa hires women for cleaner, staff or managerial positions, regardless of them having any experience.

Kawthar said the staff, who undergo intensive training, are paid from day one. “Beauty Connection Spa pays them a full salary to keep them motivated and be able to support themselves and their families.”

In a message for Women’s Day, Kawthar said, “To all the women out there, I would like to say, do not ever doubt your value, your worth and do not shy away from following your dreams. You are strong, you are powerful, and you are fully deserving of all the opportunities and the chances that the world has opened. Do not let anyone hold you back or take credit of your success. Empower yourself and empower each other. Happy women’s day to everyone.”

International Women’s Day 2019 Theme

The theme for International Women’s Day (March 8), as marked by the United Nations, this year is “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change”. The aim is to put innovation by women and girls, for women and girls, at the heart of all efforts to achieve gender equality.