IGF 2022 UAE concludes with a focus on the role of women on the global stage | Jobs Vox


Dubai: The second edition of the India Global Forum (IGF) UAE concluded on Thursday with sessions that highlighted the role of women on the global stage. While increasing numbers of women are now taking on leadership roles in government and the private sector, as well as at the helm of successful businesses, speakers at the event agreed that much more needs to be done to bring about meaningful change that will pave the way for the right gender. equality.

Setting the tone for the fourth and final day, Manoj Ladwa, founder and CEO of the IGF, said it was “absolutely amazing” to him how women were able to juggle household responsibilities with top-level talks and conference calls at the highest corporate levels. levels. or government sectors. He also said that his vision of the future is a time when there is no need for sessions focusing on women’s empowerment.

Laura Bakewell, who moderated the day’s sessions, pointed out that while women leaders at their level are just as likely as men to aspire to be promoted and promoted, in many companies they are not advancing at the same rate. She cited a study report that said female leaders were twice as likely to be replaced by someone younger in the organization and to feel that their characteristics, such as their gender or parentage, played a role in being denied or let go. for a raise, promotion or chance to advance.

In the second session, Meghan Gregonis, Consul General of the United States of America in Dubai, discussed the challenges facing women in leadership and senior management positions. Gregonis noted that although significant progress has been made in the representation of women in leadership positions, certain sectors such as diplomacy are still dominated by men. As the first female consul general of the United States in Dubai, she highlighted the need for change and new policies to ensure that there are more women in leadership positions globally.

She also praised the UAE for its progressive steps regarding the representation of women in the economic sector and in leadership positions. Speaking about the issue of unconscious bias, she said: “Although it’s normal to have it, it’s important to recognize unconscious bias and confront it. Gregonis also emphasized the importance of mentorship in encouraging women to climb the ladder. She said it is crucial to have a joint effort by both men and women to recognize the potential of women as a whole, across all industries and sectors.

In the next session, the panelists emphasized the need for organizations to overcome their obligations towards gender equality and turn their plans into real actions on the ground. They discussed the existing obstacles for women leaders and how they can overcome them, as well as the approach of organizations to better deal with gender equality and the way forward. “I would say the mindset is changing, but it’s not changing fast enough.” Women leaders don’t need gifts; they need equality and equal opportunities. For me, the challenge is the broken crossbar in the middle. I’ve been to many conferences where people talk passionately about how they hire women at the bottom of the pyramid. That’s great. The question is how they nurture the talent to grow out of the broken bar,” said Harshvendra Soin, Head People, Tech Mahindra, India.

Concurring with this view, Noha Hefney, founder and CEO, People of Impact, said that while there are many leaders in the public and private sectors who want to strengthen their commitment to gender equality, more strategic integration and more evidence-based approaches are needed. which use the data to measure progress in these actions. “I haven’t seen organizations go beyond the original commitment,” she said.


Dr Supriya Kumamuru, Technical Director Middle East and South Africa, TCS.
Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dr Supriya Kumamuru, CTO, Middle East and South Africa, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), UAE, says cultural and geographical constraints play a role in women not realizing their potential. “What is gender agnostic is your intelligence, qualifications, ability to perform roles.” But if you consider women, there are many more diversity coefficients. It starts with your age, marital status and career, your looks and your attitude. All these (problems) which were of great concern three decades ago, are now blurred thanks to different work patterns. There are opportunities now,” she added.

Meanwhile, Jiten Vyas, Chief Commercial Officer and Member of the Executive Committee, VFS, said that in the last 7-10 years, there has been greater awareness of women’s issues as well as gender equality with the positive advent of social media. “We should start from the bottom up,” he said.

“We need to make changes in homes, colleges and schools.” It is not about a specific country or culture. We have a thinking problem. It is a tough challenge in today’s scenario, but it is changing,” added Soin of Tech Mahindra.

In a later session, Darshita Gillies, Founder and CEO, Maanch, UK, highlighted the risks and stereotypes and challenges of starting a business and raising funds for women entrepreneurs. The session shed light on how male and female entrepreneurs face very different constraints, including psychological and cultural biases.


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