SNC-Lavalin’s Middle East Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Business Network has signed the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles (UN WEPs), which are aligned with the company’s commitment to foster an inclusive culture that promotes gender equality and supports employees’ professional development, skills and knowledge throughout their career.
Coinciding with International Women’s Day, the signing ceremony took place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, during a business networking event held by SNC-Lavalin and attended by clients and other industry peers who have also signed the UN WEPs, including Parsons, SSH, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), BAM International, in addition to dmg events. The event was also attended by Alice Laugher, a Board Member of the United Nations Global Compact UAE Network, Chair of its WEPs taskforce and CEO of Committed to Good, and hosted a panel to discuss ways to advance women’s empowerment in the industry across the region, and share key learnings and commitments made in organizations. The panel discussion was moderated by Nicole Malick, a Sustainability Consultant and an expert in UN WEPs toolkit, and included senior leadership speakers from SNC-Lavalin, Jacobs, Parsons and SSH.
“In today’s market, a diverse workforce is a key driver to boosting productivity and innovation in the construction industry. Signing the UN WEPs underpins SNC-Lavalin’s long-term commitment to supporting gender equality and empowering women at all levels across the organization,“ said Grant Porter, CEO, Engineering, Design and Project Management, Middle East and Africa at SNC-Lavalin, and Chairman of the company’s Middle East Diversity and Inclusion Network. “By bringing together industry players to share key learnings, we are not only raising awareness about women’s empowerment but also leading the way to create rewarding career opportunities and future growth for female talent across the region.”
In 2016, SNC-Lavalin launched its diversity and inclusion program globally with a focus on increasing the percentage of women in technical and management positions — to 20% by 2020, up from the current 14%. Following the acquisition of Atkins in July 2017, SNC-Lavalin’s (Nisa’) has joined forces with Atkins’ Women’s Business Network to launch the company’s D&I Business Network in February 2019. The newly established network will focus on driving the company’s diversity and inclusion targets, and leading on proactive employee and local community engagement initiatives, trainings and awareness campaigns.
“The Women’s Empowerment Principles agenda celebrates diversity, champions of inclusion, and empowers women to participate fully in the economy. All businesses stand to benefit from gender equality and women’s empowerment,“ said Alice Laugher, a Board Member of the United Nations Global Compact UAE Network, Chair of its WEPs taskforce and CEO of Committed to Good. “I spend a lot of my time working to empower women across the globe, specifically in developing countries, and what I’ve learnt is if you want to create meaningful change, then you need to be doing as much as you can to create it. Support for the seven WEPs Principles has gathered global momentum – thousands of companies worldwide are now WEPs champions – thereby contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goal 5 for Gender Equality.”
Since its launch in 2010, the UN WEPs initiative has been at the forefront of transforming business policies, practices and approaches to advance gender equality and create opportunities for women, engaging more than 2,000 businesses globally to date. The principles offer businesses guidance on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community.