Thu, 02 Feb 2023

By Lina Ibrahim


ABU DHABI, 7th November, 2022 (WAM) -- Tolerance and coexistence have long defined the UAE's vision to establish a resilient, cohesive, inclusive and sustainable society.

After all, the UAE is home to around than 200 nationalities, and is a prime example of a diverse country that adopts pragmatic and solution-oriented thinking derived from the most diverse teams - people from different disciplines, different parts of the world, different genders, different cultures, politics, and religions.

UAE an oasis of peace and prosperity

"The visionary rulers of the UAE have made this country an oasis of peace and prosperity through the philosophy of tolerance," said Dr. Azad Moopen, the founder, chairman and managing director of Aster DM Healthcare, a healthcare conglomerate in the Middle East and India that was founded in the UAE in 1987.

"There are people from nearly 200 countries having different faiths and beliefs who are co-existing harmoniously here. The Vision of our Great rulers and the leading example in tolerance being set by the UAE can go a long way in building a global culture of accepting diversity, encouraging equal opportunities and enabling mutual co-existence," Dr. Moopen, who started his entrepreneurship journey as a single doctor clinic in Dubai, told the Emirates News Agency (WAM).

Today, Aster DM Healthcare has grown to include more than 30 hospitals, 121 clinics and 421 pharmacies spread across seven countries. The group employs some 27,242 people who come from 52 nationalities.

UAE a global hub for talent

Priti Singh, Senior Vice President, People and Capability, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, Mastercard share similar views Dr. Moopen on UAE's pluralistic workplace environment.

"It is our belief that no economy can ever truly reach its full potential unless it ensures the contributions of all its citizens and residents. Thanks to the vision and policies set by its leadership, the UAE has established itself as a global hub for talent that allows everyone to flourish, regardless of nationality, gender, age or background," she said.

Employing around 442 people from 53 nationalities in the UAE alone, Mastercard, through its EEMEA region headquarters in Dubai, has the highest female representation in international markets worldwide and leads the way globally.

"This melting pot of diversity is mirrored at Mastercard, which boasts more than 50 nationalities among our UAE-based employees. In our efforts to build diverse teams, our EEMEA region headquartered in Dubai also represents the highest ratio of female representation across Mastercard's international markets," Priti Singh told WAM.

Inclusion is the key to unlock unparalleled potential

SAP UAE also believes this diversity is its 'superpower' and that inclusion is the key to further unlock unparalleled potential by creating an environment where every single employee can be their authentic self, contribute fully and belong.

"In the UAE, we benefit from the government's continued focus on the principles of tolerance and coexistence, as well its attractiveness to foreigners as a hub of innovation," said Vicky (Vasiliki) Hasioti, Diversity & Inclusion Lead and Head of Culture Accelerator Office, EMEA South, SAP, who has been involved in implementing diversity and inclusion initiatives at SAP in the UAE.

"Thanks to initiatives such as the golden visa, the UAE is attracting the world's foremost scientists, innovators and technology experts. This helps companies such as SAP UAE to attract and retain brilliant staff who want to build their careers in a country that is at the forefront of technological advancement, innovation and visionary thinking," she added.

Employee-driven initiatives

SAP, a global technology company, employs people from 56 nationalities in the UAE, making it one of SAP's most diverse locations globally. The company has many initiatives promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace, including initiatives driven by its employees.

"As part of this collaborative approach, SAP UAE has been supporting employee-led networks, working hand-in-hand with them to jointly drive D&I topics such as empowering women in technology. Collaborating around our diversity efforts and encouraging employees to continuously challenge the status quo drives the success of these diversity and inclusion initiatives," Vicky Hasioti said, adding that this year the company launched a gamification platform where employees can practice inclusive behaviour, in a fun and engaging way.

Women empowerment

Women empowerment is also a key focus of Mastercard's that saw a 16 percent year-on-year growth in female representation in the Middle East and North Africa region.

The company's recruitment process includes 50/50 gender slate recruitment opportunities, and it has three female country business development leads employed in MENA. Furthermore, Mastercard is one of the 18 major local and international companies across various sectors in the UAE that signed UAE Gender Balance Council Pledge to accelerate gender balance with a target to increase women's representation in senior and middle management roles by 2025.

"Building on our 35-year legacy in the UAE, we will continue to support the government's efforts to build an inclusive and accepting world through our hiring practices, technologies and culture," Priti Singh stated.

WorkPeople of determination get equal opportunities in workplace

Meanwhile, Aster DM Healthcare not only believes in women empowerment, but also encourages People of Determination to pursue their dreams and get equal opportunities in the workplace. The Group employs 120 people of determination and has 59 percent female employees.

"I believe that every individual who has the passion to achieve their dreams and motivated to work-hard should be given an opportunity, without discrimination. Inclusion and diversity are a part of our ethos at Aster DM Healthcare and forms the basis of our strength as an organisation. We have seen individuals challenged with a disability, driven by sheer determination and hard-work, excelling at their jobs. Let us encourage the differently-abled to become active participants in society," concluded Dr. Moopen.

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