Gender Diversity Management (GDM): a human resource policy which promotes the economic integration and retention of women within the professional sphere. Companies have established that the professional management of Gender Diversity should be seen more on a business level. Greater integration of women and gender equality within the workforce leads to the increased competitiveness of companies.
Examples of this include the introduction of flexible working hours, the use of women’s quota within recruitment processes, the development of career paths and the consistent implementation of gender policies at the management level. A socially responsible and family-friendly working environment enables broader staff selection, reduces absences and staff rotation, and ultimately leads to improved overall business performance. The active labour market participation of women has an immediate impact on economic growth.
Under the EconoWin ‘label’, the project supports pioneer firms in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia in introducing various GDM projects aimed at promoting employment for women, improving staff retention and career development opportunities. Regional knowledge sharing brings together all project partners and creates a strong lobby for the economic integration of women.
A highlight of the project is its global knowledge sharing platform, known as the Gender Diversity Circulator. This platform enables direct exchange between enterprises from the MENA region and companies from Germany and throughout Europe, including Commerzbank, thyssenkrupp and Ahold Delhaize. In this context and in cooperation with GIZ, Germany’s Commerzbank convened the first global GDM conference in Berlin in 2017, which was attended by 100 managers from 60 companies and more than 10 international organisations.
The project works closely with business associations. ‘When women work, economies win’ ‒ is the slogan that has helped transform the partner business associations in the four countries into driving forces that share the same vision of economic integration for women. Going forward, these associations will support their member firms in integrating GDM into their business practices.
Since January 2015, more than 100 companies have participated in GDM events run by partner associations. 30 firms have signed cooperation agreements with GIZ and are implementing GDM projects. For example, working conditions are being made more family friendly in the telecommunication and IT sector at Vodafone Egypt, Umniah in Jordan and Vermeg in Tunisia. In the banking sector, both Amen Bank in Tunisia and BMCI in Morocco are introducing women-friendly recruitment processes and career development programmes. More than 14,000 employees (including 5,000 women) have already benefited from GDM projects in the four countries. Through training courses, 150 human resources managers from more than 40 firms now have the skills they need to initiate GDM in their businesses.