Commenting on the Labour Fund’s (Tamkeen) great achievement in winning the Award of Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa for Bahraini Women Advancement, His Excellency Shaikh Mohammed bin Isa Al Khalifa, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Labour Fund (Tamkeen), emphasized that the esteemed position in which Bahraini women stand today as key contributors to economic development is driven by a committed and supportive national ecosystem dedicated for this purpose by the government under the wise leadership of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, and the efforts of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, and with consistent support from Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, wife of His Majesty the King and President of the Supreme Council for Women.

Tamkeen received this prestigious award for the public sector (official enterprises) category during an official ceremony that took place on the 30th of November,2022, as part of the Kingdom of Bahrain’s celebrations for Bahraini Women Day which takes place on 1st of December.

His Excellency highlighted the award’s role in celebrating private, public, and civil institutions that believe in the ability of Bahraini women to drive their development and prosperity. He continued: “Being presenting this award highlights Tamkeen’s commitment to the objective of increasing the economic participation of women and supporting their inclusion in the labor market through various programs, initiatives, and partnerships.”

Ms. Maha Mofeez, the Acting Chief Executive of the Labour Fund (Tamkeen), confirmed Tamkeen’s efforts in providing inclusive support that is suited to the needs of Bahraini women, facilitating their participation in the economy and supporting them across the various stages of their development, a key component of Tamkeen’s annual plans and strategy. Tamkeen has introduced several initiatives that focus on supporting female entrepreneurship, as well as programs that support women to establish companies and further their career development.

She added: “Since establishment, Tamkeen’s efforts provided over 104K training and employment opportunities for Bahraini women across all sectors, in addition to supporting over 24K women-led enterprises with over BHD 250 million, which included facilitating financing from banks worth BHD 383 million through several portfolios, including the Riyadat portfolio, which is dedicated to supporting Bahraini women in business in collaboration with the Supreme Council for Women and the Bahrain Development Bank.”

In addition to Tamkeen’s support for women in the economy, the Labour Fund has implemented policies and procedures that foster a work environment that enables work-life balance and adopts high levels of institutional flexibility, thus enabling the active participation of women within the organization and enhancing their productivity in their various roles.

Among the most prominent policy developments are those related to human resource management, including enhancing the communication and involvement of employees through newly established reward systems and flexibility in the work environment. Additionally, the organization adopted new policies that specifically target the enhancement of work-life balance such as maternity and paternity leave, as well as miscarriage and compassionate leaves.

Tamkeen’s dedication to fostering work-life balance resulted in a high representation of women within the organization, where 53% of Tamkeen’s employees are women and over 50% of leadership positions are filled by women. With the establishment of an internal career progression and training platform, women in Tamkeen achieved 53% of promotions and incentives in 2021, a testament to their distinction across various job roles and responsibilities, as well as a reflection of the effect of gender balance on the competitiveness of women in the labor market.

During the pandemic, Tamkeen ensured that female entrepreneurs received the support required for the continuity of their businesses through the Riyadat portfolio and the Business Continuity Program. Additionally, Tamkeen supported the wages of employees in nurseries and preschools during this period.

Tamkeen continuously works on updating its programs and initiatives to ensure inclusivity, especially for Bahraini women, through ongoing performance monitoring, research, and studies that inform the organization about the needs of women and the challenges they face in the labor market and as entrepreneurs.