e& announced its commitment to adopting the United Nations' Women's Empowerment Principles, reiterating the Group's support for women's empowerment and gender equality in the workplace.
The Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs), established by the UN Global Compact and UN Women, is a set of seven principles that guide companies in advancing gender equality and women's empowerment in the workplace, marketplace, and community. The principles build on international labor and human rights standards and are based on the recognition of corporate interest in and responsibility for gender equality and women's empowerment.
As part of e&’s “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” (DEI) strategy and ESG commitments, these principles focus on improving the representation of women at all levels (as well as other under-represented groups) within the group.
Through this commitment, e& reaffirms the Group's dedication to promoting equity and attracting and developing female talent. This contributes to facilitating economic and social opportunities for women, strengthening e&'s competitiveness and its vision of achieving sustainable development as part of its ESG agenda.
Hatem Dowidar, Group CEO, e&, noted, “By signing the Women's Empowerment Principles, we are reaffirming our commitment to achieving gender equality in a tangible way. Throughout our transformation journey as a global technology and investment group, we have sought to create business practices that empower women, positively impact societies, and address gender disparities.
“As we deliver on our commitment to closing the gender gap and investing in future leaders, we are further accelerating our progress on gender diversity across all our business verticals. It is a great initiative to empower women locally, regionally, and globally. Supporting the UN initiative underscores our commitment to enacting real change.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Mouza Al Shehhi, executive director, UN Women UAE Liaison for the GCC, said, “We are delighted to welcome e& as a signatory to the Women Empowerment Principles (WEPs). This step demonstrates the group's commitment to advancing gender equality throughout its operations. We look forward to the group implementing the WEPs framework and continuing its journey towards building an inclusive and gender-responsive organisation.”
With the ambition of being an employer who creates positive change in the workplace globally, e& has already achieved measurable results in its drive to create an innovative, diverse, and engaged workforce.
Dena Al Mansoori, group chief HR officer, e&, added, “Creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace is not just the right thing to do but also the right decision for the success of our company. A culture that empowers and provides opportunities for our people leads to greater engagement and productivity while also amplifying the sense of belonging.
“I am proud that our leaders have embraced the UN principles of women's empowerment and remain confident that we can continue to enable women, as well as other under-represented groups, to flourish and contribute more effectively to socio-economic progress in our communities.”
e& launched its internal guiding principles pillar dedicated to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to raise awareness and drive the organization's DEI goals. By 2022, e& reached its highest gender diversity rate in history at 25%.
Since 2021, the Group’s female workforce has grown substantially by approximately 7%. Moreover, of the 188 AI graduates hired in 2021 and 2022, 79% were female, demonstrating dedication and commitment to nurturing young Emirati female talent.
e& also signed an MOU to hire Emirati females in remote areas such as Al Dhafrah, providing them the opportunity to work remotely to strengthen the culture of inclusion.
These significant results earned e& the coveted World's Best Employers list for 2022, making e& one of only four companies from the UAE and the only technology company in the region to be included.
The Women's Empowerment Principles outline seven steps that e& will take to advance and empower women. The steps include establishing corporate leadership support for gender equality, ensuring the health, safety and well-being of the entire female and male workforce, promoting education, training and professional development for women in the workforce, and promoting equality through community initiatives and advocacy.
The seventh step is to measure and publicly report its gender equality progress to keep itself accountable for its commitment.