First-of-its-kind research in the region to reveal insights on diversity and inclusion in the workplace

Pearl Initiative and NAMA officially release Women in the Economy: The Gulf Region Outlook

First-of-its-kind research in the region to reveal insights on diversity and inclusion in the workplace

Key Takeaways:

  • The first-of-its-kind report in the region will help build stronger and more supportive policies to create workplace diversity
  • Organisations can do more to support women in the workforce for their career success
  • Positive tone from the top leaders and management can help women in the workforce
  • Call for regional organisations to incorporate the feedback of their employees in order to create impactful change for improved business outcomes

United Arab Emirates (UAE): The Pearl Initiative, the region’s only non-profit organisation promoting a corporate culture of accountability and transparency across the Gulf Region’s private sector, and NAMA Women Advancement Establishment (NAMA) have announced the launch of their latest Thought Leadership Report, titled Women in the Economy: The Gulf Region Outlook. The report provides a thorough synopsis of the latest insights on women’s experiences in the workplace, as well as how both genders differently interpret workplace support mechanisms and what women are looking for in a supportive and encouraging work environment.

The report sheds light on the impact of adopting a positive tone from the top to promote women in the workforce as a common denominator for the active support and development of women’s careers. One of the important findings from the report reveals that 79% of the participants say their organisational leadership is actively trying to empower and promote women, while 77% of the participants believe women and men are afforded the same benefits and facilities. The report also discloses key factors identified by participants that can support women in the workforce:

  • 60% of respondents want an improved organizational culture supporting women
  • 57% want increased leadership commitment to women’s workforce engagement
  • 46% want better recruitment opportunities for women

Organisations can build stronger and more supportive policies to create diverse and inclusive workplaces, as well as to create mechanisms in offices which support women’s inclusion, career progression, training, mentorship, and success.

Reem BinKaram, Director, NAMA Women’s Advancement Establishment, said, “Women’s meaningful inclusion in the workplace requires an evidence-based approach in order to achieve concrete results. The creation of equitable societies and workplaces for women is at the core of NAMA’s efforts, and we are proud to have launched this pioneering regionwide study and achieved this milestone together with our valuable partner, The Pearl Initiative, in fulfilling our shared goal of achieving diversity and inclusion in the workplace.”

PwC, a champion of diversity and inclusion, supported in the data parsing for Women in the Economy: The Gulf Region Outlook Report.

Norma Taki, Diversity and Inclusion Leader at PwC Middle East, says, “Diversity and inclusion is one of our strategic priorities at PwC Middle East, we are committed to the advancement of this agenda in the communities we operate in. According to our ‘Women in Work - Insights from MENA’, diversity has been found to improve financial performance, breed creativity and innovation, and is an integral factor in navigating the digital revolution.” 

“Collaborating with the Pearl Initiative on this report has supported our perspective of the ongoing dialogue on diversity and our partnership is a testament to that. We are confident that more work in this space will drive action for the change we aspire to achieve across the region.”

Yasmine Omari, Executive Director of the Pearl Initiative, said, “When we look at the future, we see diversity and inclusion for women across the board. Our expertise lies in our ability to produce novel and contemporary research based on the region’s business trends and needs. The aim of this first-of-a-kind report in the region is to boost the community by providing a valuable source of insightful data to emphasize the business case for a diverse and inclusive work environment. We strongly believe that diversity is a pillar of good corporate governance and this is the reason we launched the DIBL programme back in 2014.”

“The report wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our long-term partner and supporter of the DIBL programme, NAMA Women Advancement Establishment. We would also like to thank our partners PwC as a supporter of the DIBL research as well as advising on the business case for diversity.”

Founded in 2010, the Pearl Initiative is a business–led non-profit organisation promoting a corporate culture of accountability and transparency as key drivers of competitiveness and sustainable economic growth across the Gulf Region. The organisation develops programmes and publishes regional research reports and case studies to promote the implementation of higher standards of corporate governance amongst business and student communities across the Gulf Region.


To download the report in English, please click this link: 

To download the report in Arabic, please click this link: 

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