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A scene of a women-only job fair held in Dubai, UAE, on Saturday. Image Credit: Sajila Saseendran | Gulf News

Dubai: By the women, for the women. That is perhaps the best way one could describe a women-only job fair held in Dubai.

It was a rare display of women empowerment through career opportunities when nearly 2,000 expat candidates attended the “All Women’s Job Fair” at a five-star hotel in Downtown Dubai on Saturday.

The special career fair for female jobseekers was organised by WIT Events run by the Women in Tamil Nadu (WIT), a community group of Indian expat women from the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Merlin Gopi, president of WIT, told Gulf News that the event provided a platform for women job seekers of various nationalities to meet with several companies under one roof, offering a multitude of employment opportunities.

“WIT feels proud and honoured to have organised and conducted this All Women’s Job Fair,” she said.

Speaking about the reason for hosting the event, Gopi said: “We are trying to support women to be independent financially, have knowledge, courage and self-respect. We are also conducting many talent shows and entertainment events.

"After every event, we take feedback from our group and we got many requests from the members for this kind of job fair. We found that many of them are highly educated but lack enough support, guidance and connections to land jobs. So we approached some companies and decided to go with a career fair open to women jobseekers of all nationalities.”

She said the fair was also beneficial for the companies as they were able to screen a large number of candidates in person in a short time.

Companies and jobs

“The companies that took part included a hotel, a courier company, an insurance company, a school group, a supermarket chain, facilities management companies, HR recruitment companies etc. We thank all the companies that took part in our fair. We also thank all the jobseekers who attended the fair and patiently waited for their turn to meet the recruiters. Overall, the job fair was a great success with around 2000 women candidates of all nationalities taking part,” said Gopi.

The job offerings at the fair spanned a wide spectrum, including positions in administration, teaching, sales, engineering, promotion, customer service, healthcare, insurance consulting, front office roles, sales representation, cashiering, driving, personal assistance, human resources, and accounting.

Job seekers were required to register for free and then enter the job fair halls with a limited number of attendees at any given time. Several volunteers from the 3000-strong WIT group facilitated the registration and interview procedures.

Gopi said the results were promising, as a minimum of 100 candidates were shortlisted for potential job opportunities after spot interviews.

“The shortlisted candidates have been asked to go for the next round in their offices. The HR managers were happy to have received candidates with good resumes,” she said.

Jobseekers speak

One of them is Indian expat Priya Sriram, who applied for an admin job. She said she had been advised by a logistics company to go for the next interview on Wednesday. “I am looking forward to that. It was really a great experience to greet and meet some companies in one place. This initiative really gave motivation and self-confidence to candidates like me.”

Another applicant, Sujatha, said she got assurance from two companies for the next round of interviews in the coming week. “A third one said they would call me over the phone.”

Filipina expat Jenni Rose, who sought a job opening in the front office in the hospitality sector, appreciated the initiative and said: “Usually when we go for walk-in interviews or job fairs, the male candidates get priority in most places. This was different.”

Another candidate said many women found it a good platform to look for jobs that suit their qualifications and experiences. “Thank you WIT for giving us this platform to motivate and encourage women and empower them,” she added.