Omnicom Group’s agencies in Dubai once again joined forces to celebrate International Women’s Day with the annual Omniwomen event. Attended by 100 staff and business partners, it focused on equality, equity and partnership. Its main message was that rather than opponents in the workplace, men and women are allies who share the responsibility to attain an equal and progressive work environment for everyone, which will be achieved by overcoming gender bias and reaching gender parity.
Rana Nawas, President of businesswomen network Ellevate and host of the podcast “When Women Win”, stirred the audience with a compelling series of global and regional facts regarding women in the workplace. She also offered actionable suggestions on how to achieve parity and a bias-free working culture. “Women do not need empowerment, they need fair play – and that can only trickle from the top down,” she said. Nawas also took part in a panel with representatives from Pepsico, TBWA\RAAD and EMIR to explore the way forward in the region. These include quotas and targets for female participation at every level of corporate structures, creating more welcoming environments free from bias and casual sexism, as well as making the business case for parity with data. The event concluded with a workshop for Omnicom management.
Alongside its event, the Omniwomen UAE board announced the launch of a mentorship program for 2019, as well as a “An Hour With,” a series of monthly talks designed to reinforce the culture of inclusion and diversity across all the group’s agencies.
Launched in 2014, Omniwomen is Omnicom’s global initiative to increase the influence of women throughout the group bringing together the potential leaders of the future. The UAE chapter of Omniwomen opened in 2017 with a series of talks and panels featuring Raha Mohharak, Sara Al Sayegh and Azza Zaarour, as well as a mentorship program to help nurture opportunities through equality, diversity and inclusion. The board of women included leaders from each respective agency under the group who collaborated to take this initiative forward over the past three years. In its second year, a training program was created to nurture skills within the group and helped participants enhance certain proficiencies in the workplace, such as building resilience and influencing skills.