Strive for Gender Equality – Sustainability Knowledge Series by DMCC
DMCC, in collaboration with the United Nations Global Compact Network UAE and WEPs Taskforce, staged its latest second CSR Knowledge Series event on gender equality at Almas Tower on the 14th of May.
Held exclusively for representatives of DMCC’s 15,000 member companies, the event theme was “Equality Makes Business – Empowering Women in the Workplace, Marketplace and Community” with the objective of raising awareness and outlining the business case for eradicating all forms of discrimination against all women and girls.
DMCC wants to place gender equality on the agenda more firmly than they have ever done before, and spread the message to their incredible network of world-leading member companies. Gender equality is Goal 5 of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and this was the focus of much discussion among over 100 delegates in attendance.
Key note speeches took place by DMCC’s Executive Director, Free Zone, Krysta Fox , Ayla Bajwa, Senior Advisor, UNGC UAE Local Network, Monika Papadopoulos ,Community Relations Manager, Hadafi (The Women’s Entrepreneurship Program). A high level panel was moderated by Iris Van der Veken, Director of International Public Affairs, DMCC with key panellists David Mackenzie, Managing Director, Mackenzie Jones Group; Alice Laugher, CEO, CTG (and Chair WEPs Taskforce) and Swati Randev-Verma, Manager – Corporate Responsibility PWC.
Women’s potential is “macro-critical”. It simply means making the most of everybody’s talents. It is a universal mission. And so, the time is now to change it. It has been estimated that if women played the same role in the labour market as men, $28 trillion could be added to global annual GDP by 2025. If women and men have the equal access to land, technology, financial services, education and markets, the consequent 20-30 per cent increase in agricultural production on women’s farms could lead to 100-150 million less hungry people.
There have seen significant advances since the first International Women’s Day in 1976. More girls in school. More women doing paid work. Yet we still need to break the structural barriers that women and girls face — unpaid care work, unequal pay, harmful stereotypes, discrimination and violence. This requires new partnerships and more cooperation than ever.
The future of trade is about women empowerment and innovation to build organisations that embrace diversity. The Fourth Industrial Revolution will be fuelled not only by emerging technologies and advances in innovation, but human expertise. Removing barriers for women is not an easy fix; it’s something that takes “effort, leadership and a willingness to change the nature of work as we know it.
Organizations that embrace diversity and inclusion will be more competitive in the coming decades and outperform the companies that fall behind. A recent study on business and diversity by McKinsey & Company found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams were 21 percent more likely to experience above-average profitability. The best talent want to work for diverse organizations and investors are putting their capital into diverse organizations.
The event comes as part of DMCC’s ongoing programme to raise awareness of sustainability, and encourage its member companies to join the global cause.