Presented in partnership with Naseba.
These six companies in the United Arab Emirates made serious strides last year, by creating modern work environments striving for equality and inclusiveness.
1. Roche Diagnostics
Roche is a research-based healthcare company which provides innovative diagnostic and therapeutic products and services. They are leading the diversity and inclusion efforts in the region.
They had an inclusive internship in partnership with SEDRA foundation and Naseba. The internship programs included work readiness workshops to ensure that interns had the best shot at success when they left the internship program.
Roche regularly organizes coaching for their teams on disability etiquette and provides on-the-job coaching to ensure clear learning outcomes.
Roche Diagnostics is doing a great job at ensuring diversity in their company because they believe in “bringing together all kinds of talents and ideas under one roof”, as said by Harald Wolf, General Manager of Roche Diagnostics Middle East.
Visa is an American multinational financial services corporation and they are striving towards diversity and inclusion as they consider it imperative.
Gender diversity is a huge priority for them because they believe female leaders bring different views and perspectives in the decision-making process. They are demonstrating their commitment to gender equality by developing and promoting female leaders. They provide training, development, and programs designed to increase female representation in the workplace. Events were held across MENA to celebrate International Women’s Day in 2016 and they have had training for Women’s Leadership Network across global offices.
From October 1, 2016, to September 30, 2017, 50% of their workforce hired in MENA (The Middle East and North Africa) were women.
Visa has also worked towards helping people with disabilities. They have partnered with charities supporting disabled people as well as a Visa Employee Resource Group (ViAble – for employees with disabilities) to promote the growth of employees of determination.
3. Al Naboodah Group
Al Naboodah Group is a construction company in the United Arab Emirates that concentrates on three major areas of construction: civil engineering, building, and MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing).
They are constantly working toward greater gender equality in the workplace. Their 2016 Sustainability Report gave a comprehensive overview of their gender empowerment and employee welfare initiatives.
They also launched the Women’s Development Programme, which was designed to help women at all levels of the company tap into their strengths and work to the best of their capabilities.
Al Naboodah even has an in-house training school (ANGE Trade School) where they provide workers with opportunities to refresh their skills or learn new trades. ANGE was awarded the ‘UAE’s Happiest Workplace’ award this year.
They have signed an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Stepping Stones to place students with disabilities in various internships within the company. This will be implemented in the next year, expanding the company’s commitment to inclusion and diversity within the workplace.
Siemens is an industrial manufacturing company headquartered in Berlin and Munich, Germany.
Their CEO in the Middle East and U.A.E, Dietmar Siersdorfer has been quoted as saying, “Businesses have thrived in the midst of diversity”. He says that Siemens continues to reap the benefits of diversity, especially where innovation is considered.
To demonstrate their commitment to gender equality, they signed the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEP) (needs citation) put forth by United Nations to strengthen the women in their company. The ratio of women in global management at Siemens has nearly doubled in the past 10 years.
They also work to promote a healthy work-life balance by providing services to fit different employee lifestyles and needs. Siemens offers childcare, flexible work schedules, diverse employee networks, and workplaces equipped for people with disabilities.
ENGIE is a multinational electric utility company that operates in the fields of nuclear and renewable energy, electricity generation and distribution, and natural gas.
They have some pretty awesome gender diversity policies in place. They’ve committed to having 25% of their workforce be female by the year 2020. Their gender diversity policies also state that 30% of all their new recruits must be women. They also have a lot of initiatives underway to promote gender equality and increase career development opportunities for their female employees.
ENGIE is among the Top 30 companies in the world that promote gender equality in the workplace.
Isabelle Kocher, the CEO of ENGIE has said that “Gender diversity in business as a whole has greater ramifications than the representation of women in management or leadership positions… diversity also fosters critical thinking and innovative thinking and innovative solutions.” She genuinely believes that creating a diverse company means creating a better company.
GlaxoSmithKline is the world’s sixth largest pharmaceutical company.
They are striving towards equality of actual or perceived race, color, ethnic or national origin, age, gender, religion or belief, physical ability/disability and/or chronic health conditions, genetic make-up or other protected characteristics as they might be relevant. For example, their Project SEARCH initiative has helped people with disabilities get meaningful paid employment.
They have a Global Disability Council which has identified a wide range of opportunities to increase GSK’s disability confidence and their Disability Confidence Network has also helped the process of accessibility and raising awareness.
In a society as diverse as ours, to see inclusion, diversity, and accessibility being pioneered by some of the biggest companies in the world is an absolute delight. It is an important part of becoming a more holistic society in general.
With awareness, comes great responsibility to do whatever is in our power to make this world a more inclusive one. And to see this being done in practice is a huge step forward in the right direction.