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Why Mentorship Is Key to Closing the UAE’s Gender Gap

The UAE continues to make diversity and inclusion (D&I) a high priority. The federal government is viewed as a regional leader in promoting gender diversity, as evidenced by a number of initiatives it has implemented and by the high level of engagement of women in senior leadership. While these are positive indicators, there is still much work to do.

Winston’s Managing Partner for the Middle East Campbell Steedman, and co-author, Middle East Partner Christopher Skipper, argue that while the gender leadership gap persists in the UAE – as it does across global workplaces – our recent survey of D&I sentiment provides cause for optimism. The results do point a way forward that responds to the unique work environment and challenges of the UAE, but even more can be done. They go on to say, “While there is wide commitment and engagement to see D&I succeed, it does not yet exist at the highest levels. This is perhaps due to a relatively young population and the newness of D&I development efforts in the UAE.”

Our research also points out that a lack of role models hinders women’s rise up the ranks. We found that women and men readily receive career guidance from senior colleagues, but the lack of female mentors likely hinders some women from their leadership aspirations and can be attributed in part to the decline in numbers seen among the female workforce at senior levels.

Read the full Gulf Business article for more on what work remains to be done to close the gender gap in the UAE. 

View the “UAE Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace Survey Report” here.