Microsoft will hold a special event to observe of International Women’s Day at its Dubai headquarters on 7 March to highlight the importance gender equality plays in GDP growth, job creation and societal cohesion.
Microsoft has long urged action on the gender-parity gap, encouraging individuals and organisations to imagine the economies and opportunities that emanate from a truly inclusive workplace. The company continues to work with other, likeminded organisations in the non-profit, private and public sectors to bring about awareness and change for the benefit of women in the workplace.
The headline panel discussion – chaired by Salwa Smaoui, Government Industry Leader, Microsoft Middle East and Africa – will tackle how we can overcome inhibitors to gender parity in the technology industry. Smaoui will be joined by Microsoft’s Leila Serhan, Public Sector Director, Gulf; Stephanie Mitri, Regional General Manager, Gulf at Netways and Brunhilde Barnard, Senior Partner, Ernst & Young MENA
Each of these organisations is a partner with Microsoft in creating awareness of gender-equality issues, and each panel participant is a seasoned leader, passionate about gender diversity and experienced in the implementation of gender-diversity measures. Panel talking points will include pointers on how to address the “confidence gap” and overcome “maternity bias”, as well as how to establish best practice for enhancing the quality of outcomes from the implementation of gender diversity measures.
The event’s keynote will be delivered by Rima Assi, Partner at McKinsey & Company, which has been a global spearhead in highlighting the gender-parity gap. In an October 2017 report – the culmination of a decade of research – the business-intelligence firm revealed that women generate only 37% of global GDP while representing half of the world’s working-age population. In the Middle East and North Africa, women generate only 18% of regional GDP.