The Big 5, the Middle East’s largest construction event, has announced the return of the Women in Construction (WIC) Forum & Awards at its upcoming edition which kicks off on November 25 in Dubai.
A powerful initiative focused on Gender Balance, Diversity and Inclusion (D&I), and Women in Leadership, the prestigious WIC Forum & Awards will make a come back on November 27 following the successful launch last year.
This year, the event also supports the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), an initiative of the UN Women and the UN Global Compact, providing seven principles that organisations in all fields can commit to adopt in order to advocate gender balance in the workplace, community, and marketplace.
The Big 5’s Women in Construction Forum & Awards will host an official certificate ceremony for the companies willing to sign the WEPs.
Hanane Arif, the head of communication, Societe Generale Middle East and chairwomen of WEPs UAE Local Network, said: "Despite the unconscious gender bias barriers, women continue to build their path in the industry. Corporates have a critical role to play and the WEPs is the tool that will help them to act and guide them in their journey for greater gender equality."
"We are proud to have dmg events, the organisers of The Big 5, part of the WEPs community, and we hope that The Big 5 Women in Construction Forum & Awards will bring together the industry to join the WEPs and the global movement," stated Arif.
According to a research published by the WEPs UAE Local Network, eliminating discrimination against female workers can increase productivity by up to 40%.
“Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) policies in organizations boost business,” remarked Josine Heijmans, Portfolio Director at dmg events.
“With this is mind, we are proud to bring back the Women in Construction Forum & Awards to share inspiring stories of women in construction and leadership positions, promote D&I policies that increase productivity in construction businesses, and support the WEP’s initiative,” stated Heijmans.
Morgan Tuckness, the head of Technical Services, Global Director, Drees & Sommer, and a speaker at The Big 5’s WIC Forum, said: "There has been a big mental shift in the industry over the past few years and the inclusion of women professionals has become more important and relevant. However, the policies that would enable them to perform and succeed are lacking."
"Taking part in the Women in Construction Forum & Awards will be an opportunity to open the discussion further about what the industry needs and how to get there," he stated.
The lineup of speakers at the WIC Forum also includes big industry names of the likes of Brian Johnson, Managing Partner at Godwin Austen Johnson, Hind Al Owais, Vice President- International Participants at Expo 2020, and Katie Fifer, Vice President- Finance, Asia & Middle East at Katerra, among many others.
Following the keynote presentations and panel discussions, The Big 5 will award industry professionals and organisations in the construction sector in the following categories: “Woman in Leadership”, “Next-Gen Woman”, and “Company Championing Inclusion & Diversity”, said the organisers.
The WEPs Pledge Ceremony and a networking session will close the second edition of Women in Construction Forum & Awards.
On the sidelines of the event, a growing movement of women and men wil be joining the Ambassadors Program of The Big 5’s Women in Construction, with the aim of fostering meaningful discussions and promoting gender balance in the traditionally male dominated construction sector.-TradeArabia News Service