Leading organisations in the private sector are making strides to promote the values of diversity and inclusion in their regional offices. And one of the latest promising steps is the launch of the Middle East Action for Diversity Council, which took place during the 21stedition of Naseba's Women in Leadership Forum.
PwC Middle East Senior Partner Hani Ashkar, together with some of the world's leading companies, initiated the exciting new council during the recent forum in Dubai, which was titled 'Dare to Build a Better Future.' The Middle East Action for Diversity Council intends to rally like-minded organisations to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace by working together and addressing the opportunities and challenges that come with the change.
“The MENA region is collectively losing an estimated $575 billion a year due to the legal and social barriers that exist for women’s access to jobs and careers. As business leaders with a deep and longstanding commitment to the region, we can play a critical role in ensuring that inclusion is core to our workplace culture and that our companies are representative of the communities we serve,” Ashkar said. He added while these commitments don’t solve everything, they are important steps towards purposefully fostering “more diverse and inclusive workplaces.”
PwC Middle East Diversity & Inclusion Leader Norma Taki believes diversity can be attained by highlighting a number of key areas like raising awareness, ensuring accountability, mentoring/sponsorship programmes and linking into external communities. Taki, who participated in the forum’s “Honest Panel,” added: “We have done a lot in a short amount of time, mostly by raising awareness and collecting and analysing data. We now have a strategy and we are driving hard to make a real difference.”
This year’s Women in Leadership Forum brought together over 400 participants from around the world to shape the economy of tomorrow, lead in times of constant change, learn from organisations that are closing the gender gap and build a community of game changers.