Our Top 7

Favourite Women Empowerment Initiatives in the UAE

The UAE has always set the bar in the region when it comes to gender balance and equality with various programmes and initiatives, such as the Dubai Business Women Council and the UAE Gender Balance Council. In December 2012, the UAE government issued a decision requiring the Boards of Directors of federal bodies, companies and institutions to include Emirati women. Now, the UAE leads the region in gender equality. As a women-founded and led company, S&K Consulting is proud to be headquartered in a country that is pushing the envelope on women empowerment in the workplace.

In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, we thought it would be a great idea to acknowledge and celebrate the UAE’s efforts and advances for women in the country. Here are our top seven favourites of the UAE’s women empowerment programmes and initiatives:

· The UAE Federal National Council (FNC) is represented by 50% women.

· Established in 2015, the UAE Gender Balance Council ensures that Emirati women continue to play a leading role in the development of the UAE. The Council is charged to oversee the implementation of best practices and processes to ensure federal institutions achieve their gender balance targets, which will support the UAE’s vision to become one of the world’s top 25 countries for gender equality by 2021.

· The Dubai Business Women Council (@DBWC) was established in 2002, under the umbrella of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and is led by its President, Her Excellency Dr. Raja Easa Saleh Al Gurg. The Council is a non-profit organisation and is the leading platform for the personal and professional development of working women in Dubai.

· Nama Women Advancement Establishment (NAMA) was founded in 2015 by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the UAE Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and is chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah. NAMA is determined to mobilize the means required to create enabling environments to advance gender equity and inclusive economic and social growth.

· Womena is a multi-dimensional media company that accelerates equality through creative content and entrepreneurial experiences. Womena produces creative content focused on female founders, creatives and changemakers, and its flagship accelerator program, Womentum, is an experience-based early-stage accelerator for female-led tech startups in the Middle East, which aims to increase the pipeline of women entrepreneurs in the regional ecosystem.

· Women@Work, a female careers platform in the UAE, was launched in 2016 and continues to promote and empower women at work through new job openings, career advice, and more.

· Reach was founded by a group of four Dubai-based professional women and is the first non-profit organisation to be registered at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). Reach aims to support and develop the skills of female professionals in the area of financial services and its related sectors and to provide mentors.

We would also like to take this opportunity to recognise several inspirational UAE-based women-led startups and companies in celebration of International Women’s Day. These women and their respective companies show that it is truly possible to reach your goals and dreams in the UAE, and globally, as a woman. Thank you for your leadership and paving the path!

· Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, the first woman to hold a ministerial post in UAE

· HE Dr. Raja Easa Saleh Al Gurg, Managing Director of Easa Saleh Al Gurg

· Reem Ebrahim Al-Hashimi, Managing Director, EXPO 2020

· Huda Kattan, Founder, and Mona Kattan, President, of Huda Beauty

· Mona Ataya, Founder and CEO of Mumzworld

· Donna Benton, Founder The Entertainer

· Sarah Jones, Founder of Sprii

· Ghizlan Guenez, Founder of The Modist

· Dana Baki, Founder of Lunch:ON

We are privileged to say the list is long and would love to list every one of them.

We feel inspired with these programmes coming into play in the UAE and abroad. Although it’s proven that companies with equal representation on leadership boards perform better, globally, only 29% of senior management positions are held by women. This is the largest number to date, but together, we can make that number 50%.

Happy International Women’s Day!