Gender Equality in the Work Place

Gender Equality in the Work Place

#BalanceforBetter - Gender Equality in the Work Place

The UAE was ranked as the 11th country in the world in the ‘World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business’ index in 2019. This is a huge climb from the 21st position last year, making the UAE the easiest place to conduct business in the Middle East, leading the Arab world for the sixth successive year. The country is fast becoming a world leader in business and a global hub for tourism and trade.

By 2021, the UAE aims to achieve their gender balance targets with the end goal being within the world’s top 25 countries for gender equality. In 2016 a new UAE Gender Balance Council was formed to assist with the execution of the ‘Gender Inequality Index’ which is issued every year by the UNDP. The main focus is to improve the country’s efforts in driving women’s involvement in the development of the UAE. A new legislation has been created to ensure that there is a female presence on boards, currently there are more women in the UAE Cabinet than the UK and USA.

With many female-focused business groups and networks across a myriad of industries, there are many efficient ways for female business-owners, entrepreneurs and businesswomen to network, empowering their success in business. With the support of the UAE, women in business in the UAE are guiding entrepreneurship into a new momentum and are turning their business ideas into successful companies across many sectors.


In light of International Women’s Day, we asked some of the PRO Partner Group ladies how they feel about being a woman in business in the UAE:

“International Women’s Day is a day for celebration and acknowledgement of the progress made in the movement of women’s rights. The UAE has taken great strides in reducing the gender gap and it’s hugely important that business across all industries encourage diversity in the workplace. We must empower and support women to climb the career ladder and do this with confidence. This, in turn, will create a sustainable and healthy economy.”

- Jane Ashford, Founder, PRO Partner Group

“I think there can be false preconceptions about being a woman in the UAE. Huge progress has been made regarding gender equality and reducing the gender gap. There are numerous women’s groups and events which are aimed at promoting and supporting professional women in the region. A few years ago, I attended one of these events which consisted of a panel of three female entrepreneurs, each of a different Nationality. Each of these ladies were self-made and had started and grown companies in the UAE. I left the event feeling inspired and empowered to continue my own growth as a businesswoman in the region.”

- Jess Ashford, Deputy CEO, PRO Partner Group

“Personally I have found working in the Middle East to be the most unique experience because of the diversity in culture, people, business types, how things are done plus a million other reasons! Then add being a woman in business and it can be incredibly enlightening and door opening but not without frustrations, it is an experience that I am so fortunate to have been given and wholeheartedly enjoy. I have learnt that tolerance and patience is a real must if you want to be successful and respected, regardless of whether you are a male or a female. The UAE offers opportunities unlike any other country in the world and if you respect the country and the people they will respect you and they will help you selflessly.”

- Libbie Burtinshaw, Operations Manager, PRO Partner Group

“Being a woman in business in the UAE has been a very empowering and rewarding experience for me. While the UAE is no exception to the barriers that face working women all over the world, there is a lot of support for working women here. There are now numerous UAE led gender equality initiatives that have been implemented to drive the UAE’s vision to become one of the world’s top 25 countries for gender equality by 2021. I am fortunate to work for an organisation that promotes gender equality and diversity in the workplace and enables a healthy work-life balance for my family and I.”

- Louise Ball, HR Manager, PRO Partner Group


The UAE is a diverse country with strong values and visions to support its residents and to become a recognised global business leader. The country’s strong economy allows for the UAE to fast-track their goals and provide many opportunities to both young and mature talent. The SME sector has grown dramatically in the last few years, in accordance to the Ministry of Economy, women in the UAE have contributed to over 50% of this sector! Many regulations and company set up options have evolved to support the entrepreneur which makes starting your own business that much easier.

PRO Partner group is one of the region’s leading business formation and company support providers, we facilitate all the procedures and legalities involved in establishing and maintaining a commercial entity in the UAE, Oman and Qatar; from start to finish. For more information contact us on +971 (0)4 456 17 61, email:

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