Participants during a workshop in Dubai.
Inayat-ur-Rahman, Business Editor
The UAE has long been a leader in the promotion and support of women in the workforce, and this commitment is reflected in the country’s impressive economic growth.
In November 2022, the Dubai Women Establishment (DWE) unveiled its strategic plan for the next five years, which aims to develop new generations of women leaders, improve the quality of life for women in society, and create an enabling work environment for women. These efforts are already paying off, as women make up 50% of the UAE’s parliament and 30% of its cabinet. The country also has a mandatory quota for at least one-woman director on the board of all publicly-listed companies.
“At athGADLANG, we are fully aligned with the UAE’s strategy of women’s development and actively encourage women in our organization to take on leadership roles. This commitment to diversity and inclusion has helped us grow as a company and has contributed to our record of success. With approximately 35% of our workforce being women at all levels, we have seen firsthand the positive impact that women can have in the workplace. Our high customer satisfaction rate is a testament to the innovative and detailed approach taken by our women professionals.” Khushboo Mushtaq, Co-founder of athGADLANG, said.
In 2022, we experienced that more women inquiring and coming forward to establish their own business in UAE. Due to the increasing government support and incentives, UAE’s economy is a perfect platform for women to launch their businesses. Women’s participation in the workforce not only drives economic growth, but also leads to greater equality and improved quality of life for all members of society.
One of the key ways that the UAE is working to improve the quality of life for women is by creating an enabling work environment. This means providing support and resources for women to succeed in their careers, such as access to education, training, and networking opportunities, and this is already bearing fruit, as more and more women are able to succeed in their careers and reach leadership positions.
The UAE’s commitment to supporting and promoting women in the workforce is an example for other countries to follow. As we move into the new year, we can look to the UAE as a model for how to support and empower women to succeed in their careers and make a positive impact on the world.
“Today, women in the UAE are not only breaking through traditional glass ceilings, but also making significant strides in entrepreneurship. Nearly 47.5% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country are owned by women, and 20% of the workforce is employed in these SMEs. This is particularly exciting, as it shows that women are not just taking up traditional roles, but are also heavily involved in starting their own businesses and driving economic growth. Women currently contribute 20% to the UAE’s GDP, and this is expected to increase to 25% by 2023.
The impact of the UAE’s efforts to create a supportive environment for women professionals extends beyond its own borders. Given the success of the UAE model to invest in women development, other countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are also taking steps to promote and support women in the workforce, and it is estimated that by continuing to invest in women’s development, the GCC could add over $800 billion to its collective GDP in the next three years.”
One particularly inspiring example of the UAE’s commitment to women in leadership positions is the historic “Emirates Mars Space Mission,” the first in the Arab world and only the fifth in the world. This mission was led by a woman, with a team that is 80% female. This demonstrates the UAE’s commitment to supporting and encouraging the development of women’s human resources as a top priority.
In addition to the leadership roles that women are taking on in the UAE, they are also making their mark in the education sector. Women in the UAE surpass men in universities and comprise over 50% of all STEM students. This bodes well for the future, as these highly educated women will be well-equipped to take on leadership roles in a variety of fields.
The UAE is also supporting women entrepreneurs through initiatives such as Gitex, a platform that brings highly educated women together and helps them present their ideas to a global audience and access the funding they need to thrive. This type of support is crucial for women who are looking to start their own businesses and contribute to the economy.