The Federation of Egyptian Industries Department of Environmental Compliance office and Sustainable Development (FEI ECO), jointly with the regional programme “EconoWin – Economic Integration of Women in the MENA region” implemented by Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) held the 2nd Gender Diversity Management (GDM) workshop on 29. November in Cairo. The professional management of gender diversity promotes job and career opportunities for both: women and men.
The workshop focused on “Corporate Strategy, Culture and Recruitment”. As first ‘Best Practice’ Sekems’ Holding HR Director Meret Morris talked about gender diversity as a part of SEKEM’s corporate strategy. She highlighted Sekem’s efforts to increase the number of female employees in senior and middle management positions achieving 33% of female employees at senior level in 2016 from 11% in 2015. The significant change can be attributed to their recruitment process being free of gender bias and their additional efforts to reach out to the female talent. Participants of the workshop were especially keen to discuss how Sekem does overcome the socio-cultural challenges given in the region. A successful approach is the screening of ANA HUNNA films which foster the dialogue about the topic women & work and their engagement in the work force.
The second part of the workshop focused on gender sensitive recruitment and employer branding. Considering the fact that only 26% of the Egyptian labour force are women despite achieving gender parity on all education levels, leaves great potential untapped. Recent studies have shown that mixed-gender working teams were up to 42% more successful than teams divided by gender. The participants were able to fully benefit of workshops through open brain storming sessions and role plays, applying the different concepts previously discussed.
Eng. Ahmed Kamal, Executive Director of FEI-Eco, stressed that it is important for Egypt as a developing country that all talents, women and men, need to participate to achieve the Egypt’s ambitious plan and thrive jointly for economic success. Currently FEI –Eco is implementing a series of activities with EconoWin such as the gender diversity training for HR managers, a conference on the topic of gender diversity to further disseminate the topic in 2017 and a possible study about GDM in the industrial sector. FEI strongly believes in GDM. Asked about reasons for companies to professional its management of gender diversity, Ahmed Kamal replied “definitely an increase of productivity and also, the fact that a diverse workforce creates more ideas”.With the launch of the FEI gender diversity network, “we are optimistic that GDM will have a great impact in our labour force”, Ahmed Kamel stated.