Tipping the Scales of Gender

SAM EMERY, CFO, EMRILL SERVICES

While we see more women in FM than construction, as an example, the industry has more work to do when it comes to attracting females into its workforce. Certainly within operations, there are fewer female managers than in other support services departments. However, more and more companies are giving women the opportunity to start careers in facilities management. Emrill is unique in that 50 per cent of its leadership team is female. Gender equality is supported at every level of the business. Emrill is one of the few, if not the only, FM solutions providers in the UAE to have a female CFO, further demonstrating the successful shift in its culture to diversify and ensure gender balance. When I joined Emrill in November 2014, I was the first female director on the leadership team. In under five years, the number of female managers within the business has grown, and we have increasing numbers of females training for and taking roles traditionally viewed as ‘male’, such as boom lift operator, lifeguard, security guard and machine operator.

Emrill is leading the way in terms of setting policies that are more inclusionary and attractive to potential female employees. For example, Emrill’s maternity leave policy goes beyond the standard   UAE Labour Law of 45 days; Emrill employees who have one-year of continuous service are entitled to 90 days’ paid leave, 90 days’ half-paid leave and a further 180 days unpaid, totalling one year. Emrill also permits flexi-time, so that juggling family commitments becomes a little easier – for mothers and fathers. Also, the medical insurance Emrill provides its employees offers comprehensive cover for both males and females, ensuring both genders have access to the very best in healthcare. Emrill does not require policies that specifically target increasing the number of women it employs. Rather, it has created a culture of openness and diversity that has naturally attracted some of the best talents in the industry – male and female.

When it comes to gender specific skill sets, I don’t think there is any one skill that women bring to the table that men otherwise don’t. What women have achieved is closing the gap – there is now no skill that men bring into the workplace that women don’t. I think that is at the heart of equality and diversity. Women do not require special treatment or dispensations. Emrill has created an environment in which women can thrive as professionals, equal to their male counterparts. We support and encourage women to have a voice in whatever field they choose and to make a change – both in their home lives and in business.

We hope that we will serve as an example to other companies in the FM and related industries by showcasing the success we have achieved through diversity.

Source : http://bit.ly/2DOiPRB

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