Diversity and Inclusivity begins with awareness, and the consciousness of inclusivity and gender equality; but also ensuring collaboration between the public and private sector.
“Inclusion is more than just an action, it’s a mindset. We must be willing to contribute to a culture that prioritizes inclusion,” said Yaser Saeed Almazrouei, Executive Director, People, Commercial and Corporate Support Directorate, ADNOC Group, during his opening remarks at The Inclusion Summit in Abu Dhabi.
“There has also been a significant number of those competent females applying for jobs at ADNOC,” explained Almazrouei on how more women working in STEM are finding opportunities.
Historically women participation in heavy industry has lagged not just in the UAE but around the world. Some of the companies within these industries are making a commitment to bring in more women in the workplace of heavy industries.
“Diversity is a fact, Inclusion is a choice, that is the difficult part,” Thierry Conti, president, surface technologies TechnipFMC.
The concept of diversity has been expanding and the idea of inclusivity has also been expanding. Once the terms reflected on gender gaps, the terms have been expanding to reflect on different other concepts.
“The challenges now are around interchangeable gaps. These are challenges in our office and we haven’t addressed it in our offices,” said Ruba Al Hassan, Director General of Strategic Affairs, Department of Government Enablement.
Some of the challenges includes access to funding such as women getting 2% of the funding or lower, work and life balance, or the “boys club” culture that is prevalent as men get better access to the decision makers hence opportunities.
“The minority in the country are Emiratis, when we talk about inclusivity we are talking about Emiratisation,” explained Al Hassan. She added that when they try to understand the Emirati unemployment they look deeper and find an example such as women in Al Ain who can’t find jobs in the private sector within where they live.
Al Hassan believes that the demographics remain a key issue with diversity and inclusion. Nonetheless, the gap is widening due to the lack of communication.
Noor Al Tamimi, Member of the Board of Directors at the Abu Dhabi Chamber said that different generations are viewing each other as “advantaged” or that “they are too old” and that closing multiple gaps between generations and other factors is through communication.
“I want to understand the new generation and the only way to do that is to be super curious about them rather than being judgmental,” said Al Tamimi, adding that keeping an open mind, older generations must unlearn and learn again constantly to communicate better.
“Knowledge is a liability now,” she added.