EY MENA wins prestigious global women’s economic empowerment award

Dubai, 03 November 2015

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EY’s “Women. Fast forward” program has been named as the winner of this year’s prestigious “Best Global Initiative for Women’s Economic Empowerment Award” at the WIL Achievement Awards 2015.

This award recognizes EY’s efforts to encourage women’s economic empowerment globally.

Samar Obaid, Partner at EY, received the award at a ceremony yesterday at the Jumeirah Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi. The award was presented by His Excellency Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori - Minister of Economy for the United Arab Emirates and Sophie Le Ray - CEO of Naseba  and the Founder of WIL Forum Series.

Yasmeen Muhtaseb, MENA Diversity & Inclusiveness Leader at EY commented: “We are delighted to receive the award for our “Women. Fast Forward” initiative. We are confident that with the right policies and leadership support, gender parity in the workplace will become a reality sooner rather than later. EY has been a strong advocate of accelerating women’s advancement because we see the economic contribution when women are enabled to realize their full potential and contribute to our societies.”

As part of the initiative, EY launched the MENA “Women³. The Power of Three” forum in Amman on October 20th 2015. Exclusively for women leaders across MENA, the forum convened in a series of international roundtables seeking to utilize the collective knowledge, experiences and convening power of economic, geopolitical and social influencers to help accelerate the rate of change toward global gender parity.

The forum aimed at addressing the various challenges that influence the management and success of businesses and governments around the world by targeting female leaders who represent boardrooms, highest levels of government and entrepreneurship across markets in Europe, Middle East, Africa and India. The raised issues will be showcased by the forum’s participants from the MENA region at the inaugural roundtable in Istanbul on 12 and 13 November, 2015, thus ensuring that local challenges to achieving professional talent development are heard on the world stage.

EY’s “Women. Fast Forward” program supports the fact that a company with even one woman director outperforms those with none (Global Gender Gap Report 2014, World Economic Forum). The program supports:

  1. Illuminate the path to leadership.Good opportunities for progression are considered a top enabler by men (26%) and women (35%), suggesting that organizations must work harder to make the path ahead clearer to women, demonstrate what is possible and show them career opportunities that match their skills and ambition.
  2. Speed up culture change with corporate policy change. The twin enablers of work/life balance and flexibility are high on the women’s list of accelerators. From its own experience and what the high-performer responses suggest, EY says informal flexibility for both men and women is highly effective in helping all employees balance their personal and professional lives. 
  3. Establish a supportive environment and work to eliminate conscious and unconscious bias.Men cited unconscious bias as the number one barrier for women in the workplace. Twenty-seven percent of men said that in their own experiences having a supportive culture is the best way to support women’s career advancement. To advance women, EY recommends that leaders must spread an organization-wide message that bias is unacceptable.

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The MENA practice of EY has been operating in the region since 1923. For over 90 years, we have grown to over 5,000 people united across 20 offices and 15 countries, sharing the same values and an unwavering commitment to quality. As an organization, we continue to develop outstanding leaders who deliver exceptional services to our clients and who contribute to our communities. We are proud of our accomplishments over the years, reaffirming our position as the largest and most established professional services organization in the region.

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