Diversity + Inclusion: ‘Think of It as a Way of Life’

Diversity + Inclusion: ‘Think of It as a Way of Life’

February 25, 2014 at 03:02pm

“Have you reached out to someone who is different from yourself – someone at work, someone at your children’s school? Have you read about different cultures, traveled to new regions and countries, listened to voices other than your own?”

This was one of the questions put to the audience of the just-concluded Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Forum in Dubai, an event that bought together attendees to discuss how an inclusive workplace can become an organization’s competitive advantage and a benefit to its employees.

The question was put forward during a keynote address by Dalya Al Muthanna, President & CEO Gulf for GE. An Emirati woman who also has been an entrepreneur starting her own companies, Al Muthanna discussed how inclusion, diversity and change can help all aspects of life, including our professional lives, to be more fulfilling.

“The more diverse the mix that constitutes the workforce the more diverse the minds and the backgrounds and the more we can be inspired, the more we can integrate new ideas and foster innovation and competitiveness and the more we are better equipped to respond to the diverse profile of customers we serve,” she told the audience.

She also highlighted the role that the UAE leadership is playing to promote female diversity in the workplace, noting that more than 65% of government employees and more than 30% of government leadership positions are held by women, and nearly 70% of university graduates are women.

GE, which was the Gold Sponsor of the event, hosted a luncheon, and also led a workshop on the link between a multicultural workforce and building an organization’s human capital.

In her conclusion, Al Muthanna said, “I would like to leave you with one thought: to think of diversity beyond the corporations you work in. Think of it as a way of life, as an experience you seek everyday. Think of it as a verb, as something that one does, as something that requires action and purpose.”

For more information on GE’s commitment to workplace diversity, click here

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