Anyone who knows me will not be surprised to see that I am writing about the benefits of women’s empowerment in the UAE’s business sector. I know from first-hand experience that being an empowered woman is extremely important for personal success and the benefit of surrounding communities.
In a business setting, empowerment is critical providing women with the confidence and emotional support to make a difference. It also allows those around us to recognise the importance of female representation. I believe that female empowerment is one of the greatest things we can instil in future generations, including my daughters.
What does empowerment look like?
As a woman in business, I appreciate all that this nation has done to ensure that women like me can thrive in the corporate world rather than fade into the background. Women’s empowerment features highly in our nation’s consciousness, with many initiatives to support our ambitions, and rightly so.
For instance, Emirati Women’s Day, celebrated annually on the 28th of August, was founded by Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, also known as The Mother of the Nation. This day is observed to recognise the efforts of Emirati women in the UAE and how they have helped to shape the nation. Her Highness also coined the National Strategy for Empowerment of Emirati women in the UAE, which coincides with International Women’s Day, to provide a general framework for organisations to offer a decent living for women. As well as these, the Ministry of Economy has strengthened its collaboration with entities that support gender equality and empowerment to increase women’s economic participation.
Looking at these initiatives, it’s easy to understand why women occupy more than half (66%) of public sector jobs in the UAE, one of the highest proportions worldwide. It is amazing to see the measurable impact of the way that our nation provides women like me with the right environment in which to achieve their business dreams and flourish.
So, what impact does women’s empowerment have?
We all know that a thriving business benefits from a diverse workforce with a wide range of backgrounds and cultures as each brings a fresh perspective to the organisation. This means a company can improve its services to better suit a more comprehensive range of consumers as well as increase its productivity through a more expansive skillset. In a similar way involving women at all levels of company structure can bring new ideas and a variety of outlooks which help businesses to thrive.
Women in the UAE are also very well educated. Generally speaking, we surpass men in gaining tertiary education globally, and this trend is reflected in our region, where we make up 56.3% of total graduates. Of course, it means that women in the business sector can provide a great deal of educational value, helping to uplevel the prospects of our chosen industries.
Businesses also benefit from the inclusion of women thanks to our heightened communication skills. In fact, certain skills and qualities such as task management, communication, perseverance and empathy, which are crucial when it comes to succeeding in a work environment, are areas in which shine. We also excel in encouraging others to talk through issues, stay organized, remain patient and be understanding. These abilities can facilitate the development of more meaningful relationships with consumers and amongst staff members in the workplace, thereby increasing a business’ output both externally and internally.
With so many well-educated, intuitive and ambitious women to choose from, it’s no wonder the UAE is helping to lead the way when it comes to women’s entrepreneurship in the GCC. Moreover, our nation will reap the financial benefits of its investment with a potential $812 billion set to be added to the whole of the GCC’s GDP over the next three years through achieving gender parity within the region. Arguably, a woman’s touch is just what the workforce and the wider economy needs.
As for myself, I am proud to be a part of the UAE, especially knowing all it does to empower women. Female leaders and businesswomen in our nation bring so much to the business world and the economy, but I believe we still have a long way to go before we are accurately represented around the globe.
For now, though, strong and empowered women are undoubtedly having a positive impact upon our nation’s business sphere, and I can’t wait to see where the future will take us.