Emirates launches Gender Balance Council as part of IWD celebrations

The Emirates celebrated International Women’s Day 2024 by launching a Gender Balance Council,  highlighting its unwavering commitment to and steady investments in women and gender equality at the workplace.

The Council will represent all its women employees, create a knowledge sharing platform, and advance the cause of gender balance. On the council’s agenda are mentorship programmes, professional development workshops, outreach and events that champion women in the workforce.

A key focus will be to support the Group’s existing commitments, including the UAE Gender Balance Council pledge, the NOORA network, UN Global Compact principles, and IATA’s 25×2025.

Employees were treated to talks by Liz Wiseman, bestselling author of multiple leadership books, including Multipliers, and CEO of leadership research firm, the Wiseman Group. Liz left her audience with valuable insights and practical strategies to enhance their leadership skills.

The Emirates Group’s gender balance strategy is three-pronged: equal pay and fair compensation; equitable recruitment, development, and promotion; and balanced policies, inclusivity programmes and initiatives. The Group’s pay and remuneration structures are free of gender bias.

The Group has long been an employer of choice, and its appeal is clearly growing among women from Gen Z and Millennials to experienced professionals. As of 1 March 2024, women in the Group workforce –

  • Increased by 1% to 26,896 or 43% of the workforce, of which 1,240 are UAE Nationals.
  • They represent;
    o 39% of middle management and 15% of executive management
    o 56% of new joiners and 55% of those promoted.
    o 50% of movements from middle to senior management level
    o 67% of lateral moves.
    o 1,218 roles, of which 462 roles have only women.
  • Account for 26% overall of leadership and management training, which includes partnerships with premier institutions such as Global Business Consortium, INSEAD and top universities. INSEAD for Emirati women leaders is designed to help them build networks with professionals worldwide.
  • Continue to enjoy their careers at the Group after becoming mothers as post maternity leave, 88% of women overall and 85% of cabin crew returned to work.
  • Were recognised for their achievements – 3,659 women or 30% of total employees rewarded.

The key initiatives that showcase the Group’s commitment to achieve gender balance and women empowerment include:

  1. UAE Gender Balance Council pledge: signed in January 2023 to achieve 30% women in the workforce and increase female representation in middle to senior management by 2025.
  2. NOORA, Aurora 50: signed a two-year partnership with Aurora50 and is one of the cofounders of NOORA, a network of women from diverse professional backgrounds who support like-minded, ambitions individuals.
  3. UN Global Compact (UNGC): In April 2023, Emirates and dnata joined UNGC and reaffirmed their commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  4. Four women employees represent the Group in in the UNGC’s Target Gender Equality accelerator programme.
  5. IATA 25×2025 – dnata signed this initiative in 2021 and have rolled out a range of programmes – from career development workshops and mentoring to maternity coaching for return to work, a mum’s support group and more.

The Group has also rolled out unconscious bias training to minimise employees’ hidden prejudices, launched a chapter of the global movement #IAmRemarkable to amplify women’s stories, a Women in Leadership (WIL) forum and Women in the Emirates Group community. All these initiatives take members on a journey of
discovery, knowledge and discussion with speakers, webinars, workshops, mentoring and networking opportunities.

Not just its employees, the Group goes beyond borders to protect, educate and empower girls in economically disadvantaged areas. The Emirates Airline Foundation supports the IIMPACT Girls Education Project, which is dedicated to transforming the lives of women, families, and communities in the most remote and rural areas of India by empowering girls through education. IIMPACT educates girls in over 1,100 villages in 11 states of India, and now has more than 4,200 girls enrolled at its learning centres. The Foundation fully funds operating expenses of
Saint Rita de Cassia Orphanage, which houses more than 96 orphaned 4 to 12-year-old abandoned girls in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.