The Fourth Industrial Revolution can create opportunities through automation, digitisation, online platforms, and the rise of entrepreneurship
Chiara Marcati: “To accelerate the pathway to gender parity, we must prioritise education, fix the structural foundation, and create a conducive environment in which we are aware of our biases.”
Dubai, UAE, 16 February 2020: McKinsey & Company released findings from its latest report – Middle East Women at Work – at Global Women’s Forum Dubai 2020, which highlighted the importance of advancing gender parity in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The two-day GWFD 2020, taking place at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, UAE, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Ruler of Dubai, will conclude on 17 February.
During a session at GWFD 2020’s Economy Hub, Chiara Marcati, Partner at McKinsey & Company, who has been involved in various projects related to gender diversity and inclusion over the past decade, said that “advancing gender parity in the region stands to be such a driver of change.”
Marcati explained that the Fourth Industrial Revolution can create opportunities for women through automation, digitisation, online platforms and the rise of entrepreneurship. “Automation means women can access sectors that are traditionally male-oriented.” She also highlighted that demand for technological skills is set to rise 55 per cent by 2030, making digital tools and advanced analytics a vital component of creating workforce opportunities for women.
While online platforms such as LinkedIn are helping with networking, women are less likely to ask for referrals and apply for 20 per cent fewer jobs than male counterparts.
“I am very excited about the rise of entrepreneurship. Humanity is great at inventing jobs and there are significant returns for the self-starters who want to achieve something for themselves,” said Marcati. McKinsey’s report highlights that women-owned or partially owned enterprises generate 2.5 times the return of others.
The research also indicates that there are several factors driving female representation in professional and technical jobs, including education, digital inclusion, financial inclusion and legal protection.
“We must create more role models for young girls by choosing study fields that offer more digital skills. Also, 69 million women in MENA are still not using the internet, and many women in the region remain unbanked, often as a result of not having identification documents,” Marcati continued.
In terms of remuneration for equal work, women are still being paid less than men for freelance jobs – about 20-45 per cent less. The survey also highlighted the unsupportive work environment that women often face, with research indicating women’s judgement is being questioned five times more than men.
Summarising the next steps, Marcati added: “To accelerate the pathway to gender parity, we must prioritise education, fix structural foundation, and create a conducive environment in which we are aware of our biases. Awareness is solving half the problem; we must keep talking about it.”
Global Women’s Forum Dubai 2020 is organised by Dubai Women Establishment, which is led by Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council and wife of HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
Building on its theme, ‘The Power of Influence’, Global Women’s Forum Dubai 2020 will highlight how effective policies and partnerships in four key areas – Government, Economy, Society, and the Future – can further women’s positive impact for a better future.
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) was formed on 1 January, 1992, by a decree issued by the late Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum to merge Dubai Electricity Company and Dubai Water Department, which had been operating independently before then. Both organisations were established by the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum in 1959. Dubai Government fully supported the Electricity Company and the Water Department to provide Dubai’s citizens and residents with a continuous and reliable supply of electricity and water. Since then, DEWA has made considerable achievements, to be ranked as one of the best utilities in the world. DEWA provides services today to more than 900,000 customers with a happiness rate that reached 95% in 2018.
The UAE, represented by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), has maintained its first global ranking, for the third consecutive year, with scores of 100% in all Getting Electricity indicators in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report. The report measures the ease of doing business in 190 economies around the world. DEWA achieved competitive results in global benchmarking, surpassing the private sector and major European and American utilities in efficiency and reliability. DEWA raised the efficiency of its energy production by using the latest technologies and adopting technological innovations, surpassing European and American utilities, by reducing losses from electricity transmission and distribution networks to 3.3% compared to 6–7% in the US and Europe. DEWA also achieved the lowest customer minutes lost per year (CML) in the world of 2.39 CML compared to 15 minutes in Europe and was also able to reduce water network losses to 6.5% in 2018 compared to 15% in North America, which is one of the best results in the world.