The Marketing Society announced its first of a kind programme in the region, Gender Equality Acceleration, during an interactive event held at the Tiktok lounge in Dubai. The event was attended by over 75 senior marketers and their teams. The Marketing society is a global community that strives for a more diverse and inclusive leadership to shape, support and steer the region’s top marketers.
The programme sets out to break barriers by accelerating gender equality at mid and high levels of management in the Marketing & Communication industry across the UAE. In line with the current business (and social) landscape, the programme seeks to bridge the gap between men and women, emphasising the importance of including and encouraging men in the conversation, and working together to drive more awareness, visibility, and opportunities for women in the industry.
The objective is to better equip women to take on senior leadership roles with brands, agencies and media owners in the UAE and the wider region. A key focus for the project is to put words and ideas into action and break the cycle of just talking about gender equality without any execution. This will be achieved through training, events, mentoring, policy changes, and many more decisive actions to impact real change and support its aspiring female leaders, including:
- Working closely with different conference producers and event organisers to support them in having equal panels – by creating an accessible speaker directory that shines a light on females in the industry. The goal is to reach a 50/50 split on panels across the marketing and comms industry by 2023.
- Organise and host identified training and masterclasses with over 50 women by December 2022
- Sharing best practices to inspire and empower businesses of all sizes to echo the initiative.
Founder of Leanne Foy & Co. and project director, Leanne Foy says: “The initiative aims to bring both men and women from the industry together and empower women to break both internal and external boundaries that stand in their way. The mission is to LIFT women by LInking them together, Fuelling action from the industry, and Training them to continue honing their skills.”
Abby Lyons, co-founder & managing partner of house of comms, says: “There are many external barriers that stand in the way of women moving into leadership, some harder to impact than others. But perhaps the biggest, and most crucial barrier to tackle first which is often overlooked, is the one that we place on ourselves. Often letting lack of confidence and self-doubt leads us to feel like imposters.”
Abby continues, “This initiative not only better educates both genders on how to find their voice to ensure there are equal opportunities at senior levels in all organisations, but, more importantly, provides an essential support network to build the self-belief of many women, giving them the strength to truly believe they deserve the recognition of a leadership role. It all begins within.”
Mohammed Ismaeel Hameedaldin, partner at Toughlove advisors & chair, The Marketing Society Dubai said “Marketers are changemakers within businesses – who can make an impact and make a difference. We’re thrilled to be launching this initiative for the industry to inspire people to make change and help to accelerate gender equality in the UAE and across the region. The time for talk is over, it’s about action and we look forward to supporting this through our planned activities and engaging the whole industry to speed up change.”
Senior marketers were welcomed at the launch event and discussed what’s in store for this defining initiative and The Marketing Society’s goal to develop and include exceptional talent to further the conversation around gender equality in the region. The Marketing Society encourages all businesses, whether big or small to get involved and come together to take action within the industry. The Society is looking for more partners to help support this initiative, working alongside the founding partner TikTok who has helped make this possible.