Approach

EconoWin’s approach in a nutshell: In cooperation with MENA-based companies, EconoWin promotes Gender Diversity Management as a business case; indeed, an economic and social imperative. The approach is multiplied and sustained through close cooperation with  participating business associations and placed on the global and political agenda through a global knowledge exchange instrument, the GD Circulator. Addressing the topic of women’s economic integration on all levels in a multiple stakeholder process furthers the development of innovative ideas on promoting women’s employment.


Gender Diversity Projects in companies

EconoWin is cooperating with twenty “first forerunner” companies in the four countries to professionalize the management of gender diversity in order to win, keep and promote female talent. Vodafone Egypt, Dar El-Omran and Umniah (Jordan), BMCI (Morocco) and Vermeg and Amen (Tunisia) were the first companies to enter into cooperation with EconoWin after winning EconoWin’s Gender Diversity Competition in 2014. A second Gender Diversity Competition in 2015 witnessed a significant increase in applications; 14 additional companies were considered suitable for selection and are currently cooperating with EconoWin.

Examples of best GDM practice include: flexible working hours, childcare services, recruitment quotas, gender neutral communications (internal and external), equal job opportunities for both women and men as well as the implementation of gender policies at the management level. Creating a socially-sustainable and family-friendly working environment broadens a company’s scope for recruitment and reduces absenteeism and workforce turnover, ultimately improving performance across all departments.

Company projects will be promoted as “best practice” and Gender Diversity Management as a return of investment throughout the MENA region.

Business Associations

“When women work, economies win” – Partnering business associations (BA) in the four countries are key drivers promoting the commonly-shared vision of the economic integration of women. All BAs have received extensive training in the strategic approach to Gender Diversity. EconoWin is cooperating with the four BAs in offering training programmes and information sessions to  members of their networks in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia.

Partnering association Country
L’Association Nationale des Gestionnaires et Formateurs des Ressources Humaines (AGEF) Morocco
Federation of Egyptian Industries – Environmental Compliance office and Sustainable Development (FEI-Eco) Egypt
L’Institut Arabe des Chefs d’Entreprises (IACE) Tunisia
Young Entrepreneurs Association (YEA) Jordan

 

Gender Diversity Circulator

The GD Circulator is a global activity with 40 companies already selected from Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Connecting companies both regionally and globally creates the potential to collaboratively enhance the economic and political relevance of GDM.

Learn more about the Gender Diversity Circulator

Understanding GDM-5 strategic layers towards a diverse workforce

EconoWin’s approach to Gender Diversity Management addresses five main corporate levels: Corporate Strategy and Culture, Management, Operations, Corporate Communications and Controlling. All five levels within the organization need to be engaged to that ensure full economic benefits are achieved.

Corporate Strategy and Culture

Corporate strategy and culture provide the framework for business and working relations within a company. Successful Gender Diversity initiatives are accompanied by corresponding changes in the strategic and cultural rationale of a company.

  • Incorporate Gender Diversity in your corporate strategy, e.g. by integrating Gender Diversity in your mission statement or strategic objectives
  • Support employees in internalizing the new strategy/culture, e.g. by trainings or changes in the employee evaluation system
Management

Managers serve as role models and opinion-leaders inside and outside the company. Their support is crucial for the success of Gender Diversity initiatives.

  • Win your management to communicate the Gender Diversity strategy, e.g. in team meetings
  • Win your management to act as role model, e.g. by promoting stories of managers in part-time
Operations

Concrete operational actions are in the heart of every Gender Diversity initiative. With these actions, you respond to the individual challenges within your company. Identify the most pressing challenge, and launch actions in this field:

Win

 Field 1: Mostly men apply to your company? Focus on the recruitment of women

Encourage women to pursue a career in the private sector, e.g. by

  • Developing gender-neutral HR marketing materials
  • Offering internships and student traineeships for female students
  • Organizing HR marketing events for women
  • Ensuring a transparent recruitment process

Keep

Field 2: Turnover rates of women are high? Focus on the retention of female employees

Retain female employees – especially throughout marriage and maternity leave, e.g. by

  • Offering flexible work arrangements
  • Supporting child or elderly care
  • Accompanying important life events of employees
  • Implementing zero-tolerance programs for sexual harassment

Promote

Field 3: Few women are in top position? Focus on the career advancement of women

Promote female talent within your company, e.g. by

  • Offering management trainings to talented female employees
  • Promoting success stories of female managers
  • Ensuring your evaluation and promotion process is free of gender biases
  • Sensitizing managers to existing gender biases
Corporate Communications

Corporate communication is an important means to win the support of employees for change initiatives, and enhance the company’s corporate image. Thus, active communication on Gender Diversity is crucial to draw upon its full economic potential.

o  Communicate your Gender Diversity project within your company, e.g. through the intranet

o  Communicate your Gender Diversity project to your external stakeholders and the general public, e.g. in your annual report

Controlling

Monitoring and evaluating corporate projects is vital for a continuous learning experience, and enables companies to objectively report on progress and target achievements. Thus, a monitoring and evaluation system is important for the success of all Gender Diversity initiatives.

  • Create key performance indicators (KPIs) and set targets for your Gender Diversity project, e.g. “Increasing the application rate of women from 15% to 35%”
  • Continuously monitor and report on your project’s progress, e.g. with the help of a gender balance scorecard