When societies achieve gender equality, economies become more resilient. That's why The Centre for Inclusive Business and Leadership for Women is committed to informing research and policy discussions about the state of women's economic opportunities and empowerment. We celebrate the progress made while emphasizing the work still to be done to ensure economic empowerment for all. Read on to understand what our key activities are and how we achieve our mission.
Research: The foundation of all the center's initiatives
We engage in cutting-edge research on women's economic empowerment and economic integration in the Arab MENA. Our signature KIP Index offers a more comprehensive measure of women's economic integration in 11 countries. The Center research focuses on two areas:
- Identifying barriers and facilitators to developing female talent: We work on recognizing multi-level barriers preventing women from access to employment, balanced representation in different sectors, as well as different decision-making levels. Research will focus on exposing the root causes of gender gaps from the classroom to the boardroom, identifying the barriers that prevent women from advancing, and providing a solid basis for more effective talent development and gender-mainstreaming strategies leading to effective and sustainable systemic change in the region.
- Developing business cases for gender-inclusive systems: We are researching business cases for inclusion and focusing on examining and documenting regional workforce demographics and their impact on employees, companies, communities, and society. The goal will be to identify how women's underrepresentation in the region affects corporate governance and executive teams and explore how diverse leadership contributes to business success.
Capacity Building through executive education and regional external programs
A core activity at the center will be developing programs for individuals, businesses, and employee resource groups to build their capacities and empower them to build the capacities of others. These non-degree training and educational programs are organized with OSB's executive education programs and the university's Office of Regional External Programs (REP).
Key content areas include:
- Developing business leaders
- Equipping HR managers and other decision makers to see the value in developing female talent and to leverage effective tools to make it happen
- Training for gender sensitivity
- Coaching and mentoring platforms
Outreach and Change Mobilization through building partnerships and momentum
These activities include building a knowledge center focused on disseminating key findings to sensitize decision makers, businesses, and other organizations to the value of adopting gender-inclusive and mainstreaming strategies and investing in female talent development.
Key activities will include:
- Conferences shaping diversity and inclusion discourse
- Social media awareness campaigns and outreach
- Creation of an annual award granted to the most inclusive company
- Multi-sector partners networking
- Webinars where world-class speakers share their stories
- Knowledge-sharing roundtables
- Public workshops and lecture series
- Sensitizing institutions throughout the region
Organizational Policies and Systems through developing white papers, gender mainstreaming strategies, and processes
These activities include drafting policies and creating systems that foster and perpetuate more inclusive workplaces specific to the MENA region.
Such activities include developing the following:
- A change-oriented curriculum that embeds gender mainstreaming strategies
- Organizational policies and practices for actionable solutions in the MENA region
- Gender-inclusive training
- Gender-auditing toolkits
- Advocacy manuals
- Mechanisms for influencing balanced representation of women at all organizational levels
- Gender impact assessments and gender-sensitive budgeting