RITIKA SHARMA / Emirates Business
“It is a big concern that in UAE the percentage of graduating women is 51% while the percentage of those working is only 18%. Such high number of skilled women only translates to such low number of them in workforce. It is high time we find solutions to such a major workforce difference,” Fadi Ghandour, co-founder and Vice Chairman of Aramax said.
Ghandour was addressing a gathering of businesswomen and entrepreneurs from across the UAE in Dubai during the “Today I Will” forum organised by Dubai Business Women Council (DBWC) and Ellevate Dubai, where experts from various industries , both men and women, discussed issues related to women in business and suggested solutions to them.
“If your female employee cannot come to office, due to any reason, be it social obligations, family responsibility or any other reason, it is our duty to bring the ‘office’ to them. We are in a digital world today there is nothing that cannot be done with a screen and internet. Only if we help them (women) achieve this balance, we can think of retaining them,” Ghandour added.
The forum accessed the impact of regional dynamics on professional women in a series of discussions that addressed pertinent regional issues, to an audience of around 200 business leaders from the region. During the event some of the most enterprising women leaders shared their journey to the success.
Talking about the work-life balance debate, Roula Theodory, founder and managing partner of Dubai-based event management company Cherry on Top said, “This (work-life balance) is an on-going process. It has always been there and it will always remain. I believe what makes successful women stand apart is the fact that they prioritise and make sure neither of the areas (work or family) suffer.”
The speakers at the high-profile forum agreed that UAE is doing its bit to support women in business and in jobs. Some of the speakers agreed not having experienced any gender bias through their business establishment journey.
“I have experienced a very fair work environment in UAE. To be honest, I never faced any problem just because of the fact that I am a woman. There are several pre-conceived notions that need to be addressed,” Theodory said.