x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

More women take up tech roles in workforce

Women's empowerment takes a step forward in the UAE as more and more women enter the workforce and Sheikha Lubna is appointed to an international panel on the issue.

Of the class of 62 students who graduated from Strata Manufacturing's college for composite aircraft technicians last week, all but two were women.

The boost to the Emirates' workforce has shown that even companies not traditionally associated with women - Strata manufactures aircraft airframes - can attract new recruits to strategic industries key to fostering the UAE's development.

The drive to provide more roles for female Emiratis comes as the UAE wins international recognition for its efforts to empower women, with Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi appointed to an initiative led by the US government intended to assist in promoting women in the global economy.

Sheikha Lubna is the Minister of Foreign Trade and the first woman in the Emirates to hold a Cabinet rank.

The role of Strata in the UAE's plans to diversify the economy away from oil was one factor attracting large numbers of women, said Homaid Al Shemmari, the executive director of Mubadala Aerospace, which owns Strata. Mubadala Development is a strategic investment company owned by the Abu Dhabi Government.

Mubadala Aerospace is taking part in Abu Dhabi's diversification drive by taking advantage of the emirate's geographic location as a good site for an aircraft manufacturing and maintenance hub.

"Strata lies at the heart of what will be one of the largest and most important aerospace hubs in the world," Mr Al Shemmari said.

"The young people graduating today are the aerospace industry leaders of tomorrow and I am very proud of what they have achieved and look forward to their future successes in the aerospace industry".

The high take-up of positions on Strata's course comes as welcome news for the UAE, which has attempted to grapple with unemployment among its female workforce.

The UAE's efforts were recognised on Friday, after Sheikha Lubna was named a member of the International Council on Women's Business Leadership.

ghunter@thenational.ae

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