Since early 2022, major local and international private-sector companies, all operating in the UAE, have voluntarily pledged to put women in 30 percent of their leadership positions by 2025.
The pledge, organised by the Gender Balance Council, has become known as the GBC SDG 5 pledge as it aligns to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal no.5 – gender equality.
Aurora50’s co-founder, Diana Wilde, says that achieving gender parity at the executive level signals a “huge business opportunity” for the UAE, but also shows “our commitment to becoming more globally competitive”.
Aligning to UN’s SDG 5
Pledge members work closely with the UAE GBC to align with the UAE’s vision to achieve the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – particularly SDG 5, achieving gender equality and empowering women.
The actions all companies pledge to work on are:
- Ensuring equal pay and fair compensation
- Promoting gender-equitable recruitment and promotion
- Making gender balance ‘mainstream’ through company policies and programmes
- Being transparent about progress with the other companies involved in the pledge and with the government.
The pledge also supports the UAE Gender Balance Strategy 2026 and the Abu Dhabi Family Wellbeing Strategy.
‘More women means thriving economies’
HE Mona Al Marri, Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council and Chairperson of the Global Council on SDG 5, said the pledge “confirms the important role that the private sector has in achieving the UAE’s vision and goals”.
She added: “There are real gender gaps in leadership positions across the world, with women occupying only 22 percent of CEO-level leadership positions. We need to escalate efforts to increase the number of women in senior and middle management roles, as more women in leadership means stronger organisational performance and thriving economies.”
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