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VIP Interview: The future of gender parity

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In conversation with Ruqayya Alblooshi, Head of Government Identity and Events Section, General Secretariat of the Cabinet.

Where do you project the future of women in the next five years and further? 

I believe the future of women in the workplace is very promising as they are thriving in their roles and delivering major projects across the nation. With government support, we are witnessing women who are conquering new fields such as space, science, judicial and medical.

How important is it for companies to ensure they are hiring women in leadership positions?

It is crucial to have women in leadership positions; they bring certain diversity into the workplace. Women are defined by their strong working style which includes listening skills, collaborative approaches to problem-solving, and the ability to multi-task and to synthesize a number of viewpoints effectively and quickly. Let us not forget women are very much responsible and committed by nature, they contribute tremendously to the improvement of the workplace they belong to.

What are the policies and practices that really work in promoting and retaining top female talent?

In my opinion as a woman in a workplace, fairness in treating a female equally to her male coworkers in pay and promotion does make a difference in retaining top female talent. Another important factor is appreciating and acknowledging her efforts and contribution to the workplace by her management.

What future trends are you seeing in terms of gender parity and how is the UAE at the forefront of this?

Gender equality is crucial to any growing country’s competitiveness. Women represent half of the population which means that their productivity is critical to the economy. The government of the UAE is fully supporting gender parity by excelling in strategic initiatives that contribute to achieving this goal. There has been a significant increase in awareness of the importance of gender parity. Let’s look at the numbers: 66 per cent of the government workforce are women and 30 per cent of them are in leadership positions. I’d like to share a quote by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai: “Behind every great community stand great women, leading each generation and raising our families and nation higher”.

What are some of the top challenges that women in the workplace currently face? How can they overcome these?

As a mother, I would say balancing between work and personal life. Especially when we have children, it gets very challenging. My advice is to utilise the help of the community we live in and our family. We have very effective nurseries that assist in educating and improving the child’s social skills at an early age.

As a woman in a leadership position yourself, what advice would you like to give to other women looking up to you?

Work hard with strong commitment to succeed as it takes a lot to show your calibre. We must work with the intention to leave the place we work in better than when we first joined it. Women must support each other, especially at the leadership level.

Finally, on a personal level, who inspires you?

My father is my inspiration, growing up seeing him dedicated to his work made me the person I am today. He made me want to be part of the workforce and be part of the development of my country. Now I am trying to pass this sense of pride and commitment to my children, who are a 6-year old girl and a 3-year old boy.

 

Rushika Bhatia

Rushika Bhatia is one of the region’s leading commentators on business and current affairs issues. She is the Editor of SME Advisor magazine - the flagship title of CPI Business. She is passionate about infographics – with special emphasis on data, research and statistics. Rushika has a Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University, USA and is also CIMA qualified.