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The Dubai Business Women Council (DBWC) together with The BIG 5 have recently hosted a webinar entitled “The role of diversity and inclusion in transforming the construction industry”.
The online event is the latest in a series of webinars held by the DBWC to discuss pressing topics, motivate women to engage in various economic sectors, accelerate the process of women empowerment in the business community, and provide female entrepreneurs with knowledge and skills they need to enrich their expertise.
Moderated by Marcus Taylor, CEO at FifthEdge, the panel discussion had Louise Collins, Head of Engineering & Energy at JLL MENA, Cynthia Corby, Partner, Regional Audit & Assurance COO, Transformation Leader, Regional, Consulting Board member and Middle East Construction Leader at Deloitte Middle East and Dr Reem Sabouni, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at Abu Dhabi University, as guest speakers.
The virtual session discussed several important topics including how to attract and retain young talents and new ideas, and can the increasing adoption of advisory positioning by consultants bring more non-construction specific talent to the industry and how will this be received.
The event also touched on how can paternity and maternity leaves play a part in creating a more balanced workplace and help businesses retain talents, promote gender parity and improve economic productivity.
In her opening remarks, Dr Raja Al Gurg, President of the Dubai Business Women Council (DBWC),, stressed that diversity and inclusion should be seen as a long-term strategy thanks to their leverage in the ever-changing work environment. “By the year 2025, 75% of the global workforce will be made up of millennials – who will be responsible for making important decisions that affect workplace cultures and people's lives. This group has a unique perspective on diversity so the outlook is bright.”
Dr Al Gurg made it clear that to develop effective solutions and enhance diversity and inclusion strategies in businesses, a lot of work needs to be done first to understand the underlying issues and obstacles in the path to progress. Stereotypes and biases need to be confronted; flexibility needs to be encouraged; traditional models of reward need to be challenged, and good intentions need to be seen through to tangible execution.
“Since its establishment, the DBWC has dedicated its efforts to enhancing gender parity in society and encouraging women to play an active role in building the country and stimulating sustainable development,” she further said, adding that the council’s initiatives, programmes and events take a holistic approach to supporting business women as they cover everything from networking and education to business development, entrepreneurship and innovation.
The Big 5 Women in Construction Forum & Awards, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Goal 5, aim to highlight the positive socioeconomic impact a gender balanced workforce has by putting in the spotlight female professionals that excel in their role and companies that have a proven track record of implementing positive change to push the industry forward in equality and representation.
The DBWC’s recent activities reflect its ongoing efforts to promote the concepts of development, competitiveness and outstanding performance among Dubai businesswomen and entrepreneurs, refine and develop their skills and experiences according to international best practices and activate women’s role across various fields of work.
Established in 2002, under the umbrella of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Dubai Business Women Council is the UAE’s leading platform for the personal and professional development of business women in the Emirate of Dubai. It aims to support businesswomen and entrepreneurs taking the first in the world of business. The Council plays an important role in enhancing the contribution of businesswomen to the country's economy and promoting economic development in all sectors of the business community.