CEO Dialogue highlights importance of diversity, inclusion in workplace
DUBAI, 17th November, 2021 – CEOs representing some of the UAE’s leading companies have made a business case for promoting and improving diversity and inclusion in the workplace during their participation in the CEO Dialogue recently hosted by Dubai Chamber.
The CEO Dialogue held virtually under the theme “Unleashing the Power of Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace”, was organised as part of Dubai Chamber Sustainability Week 2021.
The dialogue highlighted the importance of diversity and inclusion and outlined effective strategies that can be used to create and nurture a culture of inclusion at the workplace to attain greater productivity and receive innovative results.
Among the high-level speakers joining the dialogue was Hassan Al Hashemi, Vice President of International Relations, Dubai Chamber; Luay Al Shurafa, President and Managing Director Africa and Middle East, General Motors; Luciano Poli, President Middle East, Africa and Turkey, Dow; Shamsa Al Falasi, Managing Director, Head of Global Subsidiaries Group GCC Iraq, Citi Group, and Noha Hefny, Founder and CEO, The People of Impact.
They shared valuable insights on diversity and inclusion, strategies, best practices, tools and measurement metrics for boosting inclusion at the workplace.
During his opening remarks, Al Hashemi said that addressing diversity and inclusion requires the commitment of the top management team.
He said the UAE is a prime example of a diverse country, home to more than 200 nationalities and open to embracing new cultures and ways of thinking.
Investing in a diverse yet inclusive workplace requires commitment from the top management, said Al Hashemi, stressing the importance of events like the CEO Dialogue.
Drawing on his experience, Al Shurafa said transparent communication, empowerment of diverse employees, psychological and physical safety, and flexibility, empathy and trust are necessary attributes for nurturing a workplace that fosters inclusiveness.
Poli emphasised the need to set up the right systems and processes and actively implement initiatives and programmes that promote diversity and inclusion at the workplace to get the desired results.
He noted that conscious and unconscious bias are some of the main challenges organisations face, which one can only tackle through training, guidance and leadership focus in embedding diversity and inclusion into core business strategy.
Al Falasi advised leaders to develop partnerships and collaborations with different types of organisations to learn their best practices, adopt and implement the same to increase diversity and inclusion and at the same time engage leaders as mentors for employees to encourage inclusion.
Top leadership commitment backed up by solid strategies, investments, and measurable actions are needed to realise progress, according to Hefny.
During the dialogue, Dr.
Kamel Mellahi, Senior Manager at Dubai Chamber’s Centre for Responsible Business, suggested that a diverse workforce brings many strengths, opportunities, and fresh ideas and perspectives to the table, which help businesses innovate and grow.
From 14th to 18th November, Dubai Chamber Sustainability Week 2021, also features a roundtable on opportunities, challenges and solutions related to inclusion at the workplace and a multi-stakeholder discussion highlighting innovative technologies that can be used to improve diversity and inclusion.
In addition, a campaign titled “Let’s Create an inclusive Workplace” was launched as part of the week-long initiative to encourage companies to take practical actions within their business to improve inclusion for their employees.