Huda Buhumaid - Chief Impact Officer - Dubai Holding-1678373577370
Huda Buhumaid, Chief Impact Officer, Dubai Holding Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A new research study was commissioned to identify priorities and challenges faced by women working in the UAE’s private sector.

Dubai Holding, a diversified global investment company with a presence in over 13 countries, announced that it has partnered with the UAE Gender Balance Council to commission the research study. The announcement was made during a Group-wide employee event held to mark International Women’s Day 2023.

By highlighting priorities for advancement and providing actionable insights and recommendations to address some of the challenges women face in the private sector, the study will fill an important research and data gap in the market.

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Results, recommendations

The research study will explore issues in a range of work-related areas including promotion and retention of women leaders, organisational culture and work-life balance, among others.

The final research report will outline key findings, provide in-depth analysis of the results and offer recommendations for improvement. The research paper is expected to be published before the end of 2023.

Huda Buhumaid, Chief Impact Officer, Dubai Holding, said: “On the special occasion of International Women’s Day and in line with our commitment to gender equity and inclusivity, we are keen to cement our leading role in advancing this important agenda by commissioning market research focused on the private sector in the UAE.

“By informing our fellow sector companies and the wider business community about the challenges faced by women in the workplace and recommending best practices to adopt, we can further equip ourselves with the knowledge required to build an equitable work environment that offers equal opportunities to all, nurtures diverse talent and facilitates professional growth, which in turn will lead to stronger organisational performance and economic prosperity.”

Various measures

As one of the first organisations in the UAE’s private sector to sign the SDG 5 Pledge to Accelerate Gender Balance that seeks to raise the proportion of women in leadership positions to 30 per cent by 2025, Dubai Holding has taken various measures to advance inclusivity, diversity and gender equity within the Group. The Group has launched an official Gender Equity and Inclusion Framework built on three key programme pillars: the ACCELERATE Programme, focused on attracting, retaining and developing top talent; the IMPACT Programme, focused on implementing inclusive policies, systems and processes; and the REACH Programme focused on promoting gender-conscious stakeholder engagement, partnerships, products and services.

Through new initiatives and programmes under each strategic pillar, Dubai Holding has made significant strides in advancing the gender equity agenda over the past year.

Employee-driven community

The Group introduced the Dubai Holding Women’s Network, its first employee-driven community that brings together staff to help drive inclusion and advancement in gender equity across the Group. It also launched the Director Development Programme in partnership with the Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance to prepare its female leadership to become ‘board-ready’ and commenced a Coaching Programme to support high-potential female employees in advancing their careers.

Dubai Holding also addressed the issue of unconscious bias by deploying a mandatory Group-wide learning module and running an awareness campaign to engage employees and the wider community.

The group said it continues to act on its commitment by rolling out more gender equity programmes and inclusive policies, systems and processes across the Group and the wider community.