x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

How Emiratisation works for women at Masdar, TDIC and Emal

Case studies in how Emiratisation is working at Masdar, Emal and the Tourism Development and Investment Company.

In Abu Dhabi, the government sector is by far the largest employer, including for female Emiratis. 

At Masdar, a company under the Abu Dhabi government’s strategic investment arm Mubadala, nearly 40 per cent of the staff are Emiratis. Of them, 17, or about 20 per cent, are women. 

“We do not differentiate between male and female employees, and we hire based on performance,” said Maha Al Mansouri, Masdar’s director of human resources and Emiratisation.

The challenges that Emirati women face when they come into the workforce include balancing work and family life, and juggling the multiple roles they play as mother, daughter and wife, Ms Al Mansouri said. 

At Masdar, women can take the benefit of an hour’s nursing time at any time of the day until a child is 18 months old, and they also have flexible work hours at Masdar. Masdar focuses on advancing renewable energy through education, research, investment and commercialisation. 

Its current headquarters does not yet have a nursery for female employees, but its new office at Masdar City will. The office at the new location is expected to open at the end of next year. 

The Emiratisation rate at Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) has reached 41 per cent, of which 47 per cent are women.

Two TDIC programmes, Tamkeen Graduate Programme and Tumouh Professional Development Programme, offer opportunities to both male and female Emiratis.

“We haven’t had any challenges recruiting Emirati females,” said Budoor Al Khalidi, TDIC’s head of recruitment and employee relations. “On the contrary, we’ve been able to meet and identify some of the strongest candidates who also happen to be women.”

They go on business trips, attend construction site inspections and lead professional groups in a mixed environment, Ms Al Khalidi said.

TDIC is developing Saadiyat Island, which will house the Zayed National Museum, the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Museum, the Performing Arts Centre and the Maritime Museum. It is also behind Desert Islands, a tourism project in the islands of Al Gharbia.

This year, Samar Al Mansoori became the first woman to join TDIC’s senior management team. She is the executive director of project services following her service as a director of procurement.

Abu Dhabi’s aluminium smelter company Emirates Aluminium, or Emal, says the role of Emirati women is central to its growth plans as it sets into the second phase of its operations.

Several of them are set to work on the factory floor. Najeeba Al Jabri, senior manager for engineering and asset management, will work on the potline at the factory. Others who are ready to rough it out in the second phase include the senior engineer of process control Shaikha Al Shehhi, the development engineer Nadia Ahmad, the project procurement manager Nadera Abdulla Al Marzouqi and the senior project engineer Inaam Al Marzouqi.

ssahoo@thenational.ae